The Problem Has No Name

The Problem Has No Name (2007) by Henriette Pedersen: Choreographer Henriette Pedersen is known for her combination of dance, theatre and performance art, and for her conceptual approach to sound and visuality. In The Problem Has No Name she worked with text for the first time. As in former projects such as Small Stick Big Bird and Hamburger Allee, Pedersen collaborated with award winning composer Lars Petter Hagen.


(Objekt ID 1094)
Object type Production
Premiere October 17, 2007
Produced by Nartmanstiftelsen, Living Arts
Audience Adults
Number of events 9
Keywords Dance, Theatre, Dance theatre, Music, Tragicomedy/Seriocomedy, Performance, Contemporary dance
Running period October 17, 2007  —  March 25, 2009
Website Henriette Pedersen

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

The frame for the dance theatre production The problem has no name by Henriette Pedersen was the undefined relationship between a man and a woman meeting in a hotel room in an unknown location. The interior and the behaviour of the couple indicate that something dramatic has happened in the room, but only fragments of the story are acted out by dancer Siri Jøntvedt and actor Gisle Hass.

The Problem Has No Name balances between the uneasy, disturbing, the pathetic and the comical. The visual landscape of the performance led the associations to David Lynch and the text was inspired by Nobel winner Harold Pinter’s play Ashes to Ashes.

The Problem Has No Name can be said to exist within an absurd universe. With imagination and humour Pedersen likes to turn gender identities upside down, examining the power balance of social relations. But underneath the comedy Pedersen protects the weird and different, understood as the secrets we humans rarely reveal.

Henriette Pedersen has previously made her mark with a burlesque and humoristic brand of performances contemplating the absurdity of the world of art and the madness of the everyday people.

Pedersen also formerly has worked with site-specific performance plus video, and her work has been presented in cities such as Ljubljana, Belgrade, Leipzig, Brussels, Stockholm, Malmö and New York, as well as in Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim.

The regular collaboration partner of Pedersen’s is the contemporary composer Lars Petter Hagen. Hagen has written instrumental music, electro-acoustic works, sound installations plus film scores, dance and theatre music, and his music has been performed in Asia, USA and all over Europe, including at Donaueschinger Tage für Neue Musik, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Gaudeamus, ISCM World Music Days in Switzerland, Warzaw Autumn, Ultima and Oslo Chamber Music Festival.

Dancer Siri Jøntvedt has repeatedly taken part in the productions by Henriette Pedersen, but she has also worked with a number of other well-known Norwegian choreographer, as well as working as a choreographer herself. She is among other things known for the collaboration with Snelle Hall under the name of Siri & Snelle.

Gisle Hass is originally an actor, but he has taken part in several dance productions and has toured extensively in different productions by The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret). Hass has performed in productions by Jo Strømgren, Sølvi Edvardsen and Otto Homlung among others.

The Problem Has No Name had its world wide premiere during the Meteor Festival in 2007, becoming the third production Pedersen had presented in Black Box Teater and BIT Teatergarasjen.

The problem has no name by Henriette Pedersen was supported by Arts Council Norway and The Fund for Performing Artists.

Source: BIT Teatergarasjen, Meteor 2007. 22.11.2010: -arkiv

Contributors (13)
Name Role
Henriette Pedersen – Text
Tine Jacobsen – Translation
Henriette Pedersen – Choreography
Lars Petter Hagen – Composition
Åsmund Færavaag – Stage design
Henriette Pedersen – Stage design
Elinor Ström – Stage design
Henriette Pedersen – Costume
Inger Johanne Byhring – Lighting design
Gisle Hass – Performer
Siri Jøntvedt – Performer
Karstein Solli (from March 1, 2008 to March 2, 2008) – Performer (dubleringsrolle)
Jana Engel – Voiceover
Performance dates
March 25, 2009Teaterhuset Avant Garden Show
March 24, 2009Teaterhuset Avant Garden Show
Navember 25, 2007Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
Navember 24, 2007Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
Navember 23, 2007Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
Navember 22, 2007Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
Navember 22, 2007Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
October 18, 2007 12:00 – Lille Scene, The National Stage Show
October 17, 2007 18:00 – Lille Scene, The National Stage Worldwide premiere
Festivals (1)
METEOR October 17, 2007
Press coverage

Moa Beskow, date unknown,
"Pedersen’s strength is that she dares to stop in an image, a mood or a movement theme long enough for the spectator’s own imaginations to blossom. She is a master at hiding the corporal expression for the benefit of something absurd, comical and in a strange way universal."

Sidsel Pape, 23.11.2007,
"I wipe my eyes and can barely believe what is playing out: We are in a vulgar hen farm of a hotel room with a burgundy wall-to-wall carpet. Only a corner is left of the walls. There is butchering going on; the woodwork is meticulously covered with spurts of blood."

Melanie Fieldseth, 18.10.2007, Bergens Tidende [Bergen, Norway]:
"The Problem Has No Name is some of the best Pedersen has made in a while. She has created a world which is recognizable, but still turned upside-down."