Written by Pernille Abildgaard Ullmann & edited by Katarzyna Kazimierczuk
In the morning, Antonella Diana, the group’s scenographer, got the last costumes ready for everyone, so the concert rehearsal was in full costume. With only a few days to get ready, this was one of the two rehearsals today, with a trip to Nøjsomheden in between.
Our program these days is intense and everyone is doing their best to make a lot happen in a very short time. To get this many people who haven’t seen each other (or rehearsed together) for a whole year ready for not one, but two performances in four days, should be nearly impossible, but not for the Winds. From the moment they start rehearsing, they look like they have been doing it for weeks, and they quickly pick up where they left last year.
Nøjsomhed 2. day.
The rumours about the strange people drumming and singing in the festival square had reached more people, when we came on the second day of working in Nøjsomheden. More people came by, and today we brought all the costumes, so the strange got even stranger.
More children from the area have come to be in the workshop, together with Iza Vuorio’s two children, Emil and Cornelia, who joined the local kids in an act now known as ”Kids in Wings”, which is children dancing with golden and coloured fabric wings. On the hill of the festival square, they look like little golden dragons.
In the afternoon, we went to rehearse the Concert in Toldkammergården – the courtyard of Toldkammeret, to try our the acoustics. The stage wasn’t up yet, so the Winds sang and danced on an imaginary stage – as it turned out later, the “stage” was just a podium of 20 centimeters, so it was not an issue.
During the Passage festival, Toldkammergården is the festival headquarters, for both Helsingør Teater and the volunteers, as well as the artists, and it is located very central in Helsingør, next to the main street, the market, and the train station. So, as soon as the Winds began to sing with all their power, people started coming in from everywhere, to listen and cheer along, and many stayed during the whole rehearsal.
Iben Nagel Rasmussen’s father, the poet Halfdan Rasmussen, is buried near Helsingør, in Hornbæk, where he lived and where Iben grew up. After the rehearsal, a small group of Winds and Iben went to his resting place in Hellebæk Kirkegård, to sing to him the song he wrote for the Winds – Vinden Synger. Tippe Molsted remembered that 30 years ago, when he had just written the song, a small group of Winds went to see him in his home, and sang for him. And here we stood, 30 years later. It was a very touching moment for everyone.
We woke up to grey skies and rain. Lots of rain. Since both our barter and Concert were to be done outside, this was very depressing. The weather forecasts all said it would be clearing up by 1.00 pm and the workshop before the Barter was supposed to start at 3.00 pm, so everyone had high hopes while we went in the cars to go to the Activity Center in Nøjsomhed with all the costumes and props.
The program for the day was:
3.00 pm – Workshop lead by Signe Gravlund and Jori Snell with local children called “Circus Skills and Street Theatre”
4.00 pm – Chilli con carne prepared by some of the ladies from the area, everyone invited
5.00 pm – Barter in the Festival Square.
At 3.00 pm it was still pouring down, and although the activity center is quite a small building, we decided to wait till the very last minute to decide, but in case of rain, do whatever we could inside. Cancelling was not an option even considered, so a small improvised workshop began.
The children rehearsed fire dancing just outside the building, and the Kids in Wings rehearsed in the now very small stage, while members of the Winds played music, and Signe had brought face paint, so soon the children were turned into Tigers, Cats, Butterflies and Spidermen, by members of the Winds, while some women from the community cooked chilli con carne for everyone who wanted it. There was a sense of serene chaos in the house. People were coming and going, some were eating, or drinking coffee, people sat and watched the improvised stage, or just talked with each other, while painted, colourful children ran around…
Just half an hour before the barter was to begin, as on cue, the rain stopped. It felt like a little miracle!
The Winds went out in their costumes to do a parade in the area of Nøjsomhed, to gather people at the festival square. We were all a bit worried the rain meant that everyone would just stay inside, but no – they came. From all sides of the area, people of all ages followed the Winds, who were singing, playing, dancing, and acting their way to the festival square. And so the Barter began.
The concept of the Barter works so well in an open space in an area like this, and it was a great success. Everyone laughed, clapped, cheered along, and followed all the acts with great energy. We even had a surprise act from an enthusiastic kid, who ran onto the stage while Jori Snell and Signe Gravlund were performing, but they handled it with such great skill, that it looked like it was all planned.
We truly felt that we had bartered – exchanged – something with the people of Nøjsomhed.
Voices in the Wind
After the barter, we had to pack very fast to go into Toldkammergården for the Concert. Cars were filled and off we went.
“Voices in the Wind” was to be the opening act for Toldkammergården in the Passage Festival.
Even though everyone has just finished performing, noone could let go of the energy completely, but had to stay focused for the next performance. So after a short break, The Winds got ready, for “Round Two”.
The cafe was already full, and soon a lot of people started showing up, and the benches and chairs got filled very quickly. We saw a few familiar faces in the audience and some even came from Copenhagen just to see the Winds.
The Concert went well. The Winds brought all the power voices they are so famous for, and they received a deserved standing ovation and cheering from the audience.
We had reserved a table at the Festival café, so after dressing down, we could enjoy a nice meal together, and a very long day came to an end.