Written by Pernille Abildgaard Ullmann & edited by Katarzyna Kazimierczuk
30 years and still going strong!
This year, The Bridge of Winds are in Denmark, where it all began thirty years ago! We have been invited to participate in two different festivals, one of them being the annual Passage Festival in Helsingør - the city where the story of Hamlet unfolds - organized by Helsingør Teater (Denmark) and Dunkers Kulturhus (Sweden). Helsingør is located very close to Sweden - in fact it is only a boat-ride away, and Helsingør Harbour is where the Swedes going to Denmark used to come to first. Now we have a bridge connecting the two countries, but the ferry between Helsingør and Swedish Helsingborg still exists, as well as the tie between the two cities.
Passage Festival is an international street theatre festival, and we have been invited to participate with a barter and the concert-performance Voices in The Wind.
The first five days of the meeting we are living and working in a council estate in Helsingør called Nøjsomhed, where we will also do the barter.
We are staying at a local school, a short ride from the Estate Area, and working together with social workers from Nøjsomhed.
In Nøjsomhed, they have a square in the centre of the estate, called Festpladsen - The Festival Square, and on our first working day, we decided to go and rehearse there. It’s located between the buildings, and placed slightly lower - and we discovered today that this means the acoustics is great – it’s almost like a little amphitheatre, but instead of the seats, people can see us from the windows of their apartments.
We are hoping that rehearsing there will attract the attention of the people living in the area, both children and adults, to see if we can invite someone to join the barter, either as spectators or participants.
The first hour we where there it was very quiet – well, not us, but the surroundings – it’s vacation time, and many people are away. But as drums were played and songs were sung, we started to see people. At first they popped up in their windows, but slowly a few people made their way to the little amphitheatre. Some stayed and watched, while others just passed by.
A local man who both lives and works in the area, told me that the square is often used for weddings. “When we hear drums, normally that means it’s a wedding, so I had to come and see who was getting married. And to my surprise, it was this.”
Signe Gravlund Thomsen, who has previously worked in this area, had also arranged a small workshop with some of the local children – juggling, stilts, and firedance were among the things they could try. The children will be participating in the barter, performing some of their new skills.
Around lunchtime, the temperature has risen to an impressive (for Denmark) 27 degrees Celsius, and most of the Winds from the Northern hemisphere were starting to melt. The Brazilians looked like it was just another nice and cool day, but we decided to take a break and head home for the day.
The Frogs and the Concert.
The children of the Winds have for many years been referred to as “The Baby Winds”. Emilie and Frida Molsted (Daugters of Tippe Molsted) and Emilie’s boyfriend Søren joined the group in the afternoon, to participate in the rehearsal for the concert.
Søren also sings, and the three have an act in the barter, where they sing together, wearing Balinese frog masks, and very green clothes, so during the first rehearsals of their gig, they were nicknamed “The Frogs”. For some reason, the name stuck, and they are now affectionately refered to as The Frogs.
Søren said he preferred “The Frogs” to “The Girls”, as it also kinda included him.
Because we are doing the concert on the same day as the barter, we need to rehearse the two simultaneously, so when The Frogs arrived, we dived right in. Elena Floris is the group’s musical director, and although some of the arrangements are done by the previous musical director Nicolai De Fine Light, Elena is now in charge of managing the concert.
In the middle of the rehearsal, we got a pleasant surprise. Carlos Simioni, who had to come one day later, walked trough the door. After a round of welcome kisses and hellos, the show - or rehearsal - had to go on, so he joinded the rehearsal, straight from the airplane from Brazil, with only a cup of coffee as support.
Oh the glorious life of an actor!