Based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurodice, Journey is a piece aimed at audiences aged 9-13 years old. This is the first dance performance ever to be commissioned for an Irish Library. Originally made for Ballyfermot Library, Journey erases the separation between audience and performers, engaging all senses. At times dangerously close it is a thrilling experience for the audience who will follow Orpheus and Eurydice around the rooms and corridors - familiar spaces tranformed in to an underworld wonderland. ‘Journey’ is the creative highlight in Dublin City Council’s Children’s free Art in Libraries Autumn programme which runs in branch libraries around Dublin this October and November. It was commissioned by the Council’s Arts Office as part of its policy of providing free access to the arts to children. The project received support from Dancehouse and The Arts Council.
Choreography/Set/Costume: Maria Nilsson Waller
Music: José Miguel Jimenez
Dance: Lucia Kickham and Neil Brown
2012, 40 min
This work for four dancers is based on research on Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica and the desert area of Bir Tawil in eastern Africa. These are the last two places as yet unclaimed by any nation - a no man's land. Inspired by these contrasting landscapes, the choreography is an imaginative reconstruction of some of our planet’s greatest natural extremes, encompassing such topics as borders, power and ownership, nomadic peoples, dramatic polar expeditions, extreme nature and wildlife, the different winds that blow over them, accumulating layers of ice and sand and the processes of demolition and decay that work across them.
The piece is concerned, on a deeper level, with the threat of climate change, and with a growing understanding of nature as something hostile, or at least foreign, to man and society.
Dance: Anna Olofsson, Lucia Kickham, Elin Hedin and Liv O'Donoghue.
Music: Je Suis! and Magnus Vikberg, Anna Cochrane, Erik Dahl.
"a highly physical piece with strength and precision, capturing the immensity and timelessness of the landscapes."
"The dancers and musicians perform together with sensitive listening [...] In its strongest moments Last Land gives me the same feeling as when I am overwhelmed by my own insignificance in truly magnificent nature."
"At once sweeping and elliptical, Maria Nilsson Waller's Last Land speaks to the act of creation in its every form, but especially to the creative act of the artist. Its rhythms and metaphors carry us over into a transmembered nature that is sometimes sublime, sometimes strange and homely and uncanny. The piece itself is often sublime, deftly invoking man's transcendental longings. It is a piece of great power and wit and even beauty."
"a profound, poetic piece where the shifting moods are given even more depth and immediancy by the on stage trio of musicians."
2017, 50 min
merry.go.round is the latest and final piece in Maria Nilsson Waller’s triptych based on unclaimed territories, Terra Nullius. After an imagined reconstruction of Bir Tawil and Antarctica in Last Land (2012), followed by the deep-sea world of Founder (2014), merry.go.round looks outwards, into the vast black space surrounding us, the dance of the celestial bodies and what it is we call home.
As with other pieces in Nilsson Waller’s work, our relationship to nature and the environment is being examined, as are the borders between the known and unknown, and science versus faith and mythology. merry.go.round explores domestic space next to the borders of our known universe, in a world where each man is an island.
We meet iconic characters like Juliette, her Italian Boyfriend, Orpheus, Eurodice, Heloise and Abelard, and Queen Elizabeth I, all caught in what seems to be a world stuck in post-romantic stress disorder. Resting on a foundation of loops and orbits and with a touch of cinematic Sci-Fi the dancers move between construction and deconstruction in a marvel universe both beautifully simple and incredible messy.
Otherworldly and epic, yet wonderfully familiar it is a piece that lingers, offering the spectator ever new constellations to observe.
Choreography/set/sound: Maria Nilsson Waller
Light: Stephen Dodd
Dance: David Nondorf, Elin Hedin,Justine Cooper, Mikel Aristegui, Marcia Liu.
2016, 20 min
“An inside out landscape of a woman”
Inspired by iconic pop star and survivor Tina Turner, PRIME is a highly visual, triumphant celebration of life and female strength, a personal take on a universal story of domestic abuse and trauma recovery. A highly visual, triumphant celebration of life and female strength.
In an other-worldly and post traumatic space we meet a woman re-building her self and her universe, a journey from black and white to life in colour. This highly physical and gripping solo is set to some of Tina Turners best loved tunes as well as a striking visual design.
Choreography/Light/Costume: Maria Nilsson Waller
Music: Tina Turner, Maria Nilsson Waller
2010, 13 min
An epic and minimalist march through man's origins to his lost future, as told by the cockroaches who remain after him.
Hypnotic and captivating, this solo fuses several themes of interest, most noticeably a fascination with creation myths, and the dancer’s embodiment of different characters and members of the animal kingdom - insects in particular.
Music: Steve Reich
..Black as salmiak, glittering frogs and rubber humans..
"A standing still forward movement, the twilight shadow and then suddenly the warm light and sound against the cold. An endless journey that finishes in us, the audience, where the dancer is dissolved in a flickering dark nothingness. ".
" It is not wordless understanding, it goes deeper than that. Perhaps insight."
2015, 45 min
In Blanca, cutting edge jazz based sounds (by members of award winning bands Klabbes Bank and Je Suis!) meets a mix of organic and computer generated visuals and forceful choreography. It is a journey that is as much raw sound and physicality as it is a visual, moving and poetic reflection on the land and situation of the Sami - Scandinavias indigenous people and one of Sweden’s best kept secrets.
Drawing inspiration from videos games, psychology, creation myths and hours and hours of improvisation Blanca journeys through to icy black waters and boiling stars and it is like nothing you have ever seen before.
This piece was originally produced by Estrad Norr to be a mobile work touring minor communities of inland Sweden. Faced by the challenge to choreograph for a small physical space Maria gathered the ensemble in 2013. Almost two years later they premiered a complete piece of stage work that "rises above the mundane and expands to epic proportions in the mind and imagination of the spectator - a tribute to the imagination and the creative power of the human race."
Choreography/Light/Costume: Maria Nilsson Waller
Video: José Miguel Jimenez
Music: Magnus Vikberg and Klas-Henrik Hörngren
2014, 40 min
We know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than we know about the bottom of the deep ocean. …Maria's choreography brings nature into the performance space, mapping vast territories in human movement and voice, transforming the raw concrete of a vacant office space into a world resonating with the wonders of the sea. Following Last Land (2012) and Stream (2013), Founder is part of a triptych of work exploring the unknown and mans relationship to nature and environment.
This site specific piece was originally commissioned by Galway Dance Days.
Dance: Louise Perming, Anna Olofsson, Katherine O'Malley.
"Provocative, and atmospheric, this wonderful 40mins quartet seamlessly flows, from beautiful solos to duets and trios and quartets for wonderfully trained and exciting dancers."
"...engaging, resonant images and an undercurrent of darkness beneath..Maria navigates this flow with appealing skill and sensitivity"
2013, 20 min
In a town in the north of Sweden, in the forest at the end of a street, lies a powerplant. I grew up among birch and pine, to the hum of electric wires, of birdsong, of footsteps in the snow and the long, slow passing of trains, their flickering yellow lights strung out across the night landscapes. I grew up to sounds that travel around and above.
This piece is about that landscape - the lake, the forest, and the music that shaped me, memories of a place where I feel at home. The music, mood, light and sounds, my parents' house, the grandfather clock ticking, the out-of-tune piano. It is about the twilight melancholies of that place, about times that have passed, a longing for home. About going home, finally crossing over.
Choreography/Performance/Music/Visuals: Maria Nilsson Waller
..Maria Nilsson Waller possesses as a choreographer and dancer a richness in nuance and shapness in detail, giving her work poetic dimesions. There is no direct translation..
..The ungraspable moment in waiting for the drop of rain to hit the palm of the hand..
2011, 40 min
The title translates as "No Man's Land". The piece is essentially about womanhood, in its many facets. Five female dancers of different ages and nationalities paint a picture of the world and the concerns of today's woman.
Music: Anna Cochrane, Erik Dahl and Magnus Vikberg.
Dance: Nozomi Matsouka, Anna Olofsson, Maria Nilsson Waller, Sigrid and Caroline Dahlqvist.
Costume/light design: Maria Nilsson Waller.
2009, 10 min
Nina Simone's song, 22nd Century, was the starting point for this piece. Her image-rich lyrics and energetic mode of performance triggered the choreography, allowing the 11 dancers to simultaneously interpret fragments of history, the excitement of being alive and the anticipation of the future in a 10 minutes long crescendo.
Music: Nina Simone
Dance: Cannes Jeune Ballet
Light: Maria Nilsson Waller
MED EN DOFT AV SNÖ
2009, 9 min
"With a scent of snow" is a solo exploration of memory, an attempt to portray the manner in which we remember. Movements are generated from fragments of personal memories and, together with light, sound and music, come together in an otherwordly and dream-like piece.
Music: At Mt. Zion
Sound/Dance/Light: Maria Nilsson Waller
2008, 10 min
This piece was created for Cannes Jeune Ballet and was a part of the company's repertoire 2008/2009.
Inspired by birds - their formations and way of moving, as well as their appearance in fairytales and popular culture - the piece is above all a tribute to freedom and the joy of movement, but also a humourous flirtation with humanity and group behavior.