FEDORA - Van Cleef & Arpels
Dance Prize 2022

On the Nature of Wings (Working Title)

Danish Dance Theatre

On the Nature of Wings (Working Title)
In “On the Nature of Wings”, choreographer Pontus Lidberg puts dance in dialogue with birds – filmed and animated – in a work that reflects on our relationship with nature.


In “On the Nature of Wings”, choreographer Pontus Lidberg takes inspiration from birds, in order to reflect on our relationship with nature.

Of all distinctive traits of collective animal behaviour, the most conspicuous is the emergence of global order: When all individuals within a group synchronise their behavioural state. In many cases, global ordering amounts to an alignment of the individual directions of motion, as seen in flocks of birds, schools of fish, herds and swarms. The gatherings of the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) presents a fascinating example of this collective behaviour. Starlings can be seen performing breathtaking aerial manoeuvres, before choosing a place to roost for the night. They range in number from a few hundred to tens of thousands of birds. Perhaps the act of flying on one’s own wings is the ultimate freedom as perceived by man. Yet, these flocking birds are bound together in a mathematically relational structure, sharing momentum, direction and decisions—as well as being bound as species, much like humans. They are animated beings just like us, individuals and a large undulating wave at once and they arrest us at the intersection of their lives and ours. As much as we can explain the nature and mathematics of swarms and make research into the social structure of starlings, their undulating choreography cannot be fully explained by our intellect, trying to understand them through intellect alone would be as limiting as trying to explain existence itself. The experience of art can also arrest us and remind us that we are part of the larger whole that is our planet, not separate from it. This reminder is the ultimate aim of the project.

The work is a collaboration between Lidberg and animator Jason Carpenter, as well as a composer to be selected by Tones on the Stones, Italy. It’s a co-production between Danish Dance Theatre and Tones on the Stones.

Artistic Team

Pontus Lidberg, Direction & Choreography, Swedish Danish Dance Theatre Artistic Director, choreographer, filmmaker and dancer, Pontus Lidberg has firmly established himself as a creative and visionary artist, bringing dance and film together. Raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Lidberg trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He holds an MFA in Contemporary Performing Arts from the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts. Jason Carpenter, Video Animation, American Emmy and Annie Award animation director and artist based in Santa Monica, CA, Jason Carpenter has over 20 years of experience creating animation and artwork for film, TV, interactive installations, and live events. His theatre work includes animated projects for The New York City Ballet, The Vienna State Opera, The Joyce Theater, The Smithsonian, and Danish Dance Theater, specifically in collaborationwith Pontus Lidberg in the work "Siren". His documentary series credits include directing the animation sequences for Worn Stories on Netflix, and Watch the Sound, with Mark Ronson for AppleTV+. Composer TBD in open call Visual Artist TBD in open call

Co-producing Partners

Fondazione Tones on the Stones



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