Tok Pisin

In Tok Pisin (2003) by Jo Strømgren Kompani four characters enter a journey to pursue the last white spot still left on the map - Papua New Guinea. The trip becomes increasingly delusive.

Their search for exoticism is revealed more and more as a substitute for their own lack of identity. The hollow anticlimax is a fact even long before arrival. Not a happy end, actually.


(Objekt ID 1871)
Object type Production
Premiere July 1, 2003
Produced by Jo Strømgren Kompani
Coproducers Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, The National Theatre, Dansens Hus - Stockholm, Danse à Aix, O Espaço do Tempo
Audience Adults
Expressions Contemporary dance
Running period July 1, 2003  
Duration 60 minutes
Website Jo Strømgren Kompani

Requirements to venue

Blackout No

"Tok Pisin" as a term is an official language on Papua New Guinea, more known as Pidgin English. It has evolved in strange ways, mixing elements from English, German, Portuguese, and some of the 720 totally different languages spoken on the island. The evolution has forced itself through without interference from academic guidelines or linguistic methods. Grammar and vocabulary has been formed through verbal and analphabetic practice, and therefore Tok Pisin is quite different from other pidgin languages like for instance the grammatically complex Afrikaans in South Africa.

One ambition of Tok Pisin by Jo Strømgren Kompani was to develop choreography similar to the way "Tok Pisin" developed as a language. Which meant to let movement influences evolve in autodidact ways and neglecting any acedemic analysis of the material presented.

Touring: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, France, Portugal, Burkina Faso, Cuba

Tok Pisin by Jo Strømgren Kompani will not be performed again.


Jo Strømgren Kompani,, 08.08.2010,

Name Role
Jo Strømgren – Concept/Idea
Yasmine Hugonnet – Choreography
Maxime Lannarelli – Choreography
Jo Strømgren – Choreography
Line Tørmoen – Choreography
Jørgen Knudsen – Music
Jo Strømgren – Stage design
Jo Strømgren – Costume
Lars Årdal – Sound design
Stephen Rolfe – Lighting design
Yasmine Hugonnet – Dancer
Maxime Lannarelli – Dancer
Jo Strømgren – Dancer
Line Tørmoen – Dancer
Ken Ruben Theodorsen – Sound technician
Performance dates
September 29, 2003Malersalen , CODA – National premiere, Norway
July 1, 2003CITO – Worldwide premiere
CODA September 29, 2003
Press coverage

Writer and date unknown, Svenska Dagbladet [Sverige]:
"Jo Strømgren is the Thor Heyerdahl of dance. Just like an explorer he throws himself uninhibitedly between various mental landscapes, curiously investigating humanity's loss of direction and its need to create contexts."