A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football (1997) by Jo Strømgren Kompani was the production that got football fans to see contemporary dance, in presenting dance in what was to many a new perspective. The expression was dynamic, fresh and immediate, an appropriate first meeting with contemporary dance for children and youth, boys and girls alike.

In 2009 A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football was resumed. It's still playing and is as popular as it had been twelve years before.


(Objekt ID 2072)
Object type Production
Premiere August 1, 1997
Produced by Jo Strømgren Kompani
Coproducers Black Box Teater, BIT Teatergarasjen, Alvsborgsteatern
In collaboration with The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret)
Based on A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football by Jo Strømgren
Audience Youth, Adults (from 13)
Expressions Dance, Contemporary dance, Dance theatre, Corona-production
Running period 1997  
Duration 60 minutes
Website Jo Strømgren Kompani

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 9m
Maximum stage width 15m
Minimum stage depth 9m
Maximum stage depth 15m
Lights requirements according to technical rider
Audio requirements according to technical rider
Blackout Yes
Rigging time 420 minutes
Downrigging time 90 minutes
Other Must be a Theater with well equipped light- and soudsystem

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football dealt with football, the greatest game on earth, as a phenomenon with physical routines, violence, insanity, aesthetics and humour. At the same time it was a political comment to the artificial conflict of choice between the "common sports" and the "eloquent arts" as well as a kick to the pride and prejudice surrounding the concept of working-class football and upper-class ballet. The piece erased all lines of demarcation and shined a spotlight on the similarities; the sheer entertainment and the arousing physical excitement.

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football was awarded the Scandinavian selection for Bagnolet in 1998. The performance also won The Norwegian Critics' Award in the category of dance in 1998:

"For everyone having seen Strømgren's football game, a football game will never be the same, but a lot more - and a lot more exciting. Jo Strømgren sees through so much of the sports’ and the game’s dynamics, disciplined brutality, inner drama and all its rituals, and all the time, the players’ own movements are the forces driving the dance."

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football by Jo Strømgren Kompani is supported by the Arts Council Norway, the Audio Visual Fund, the Fund for Performing Artists, Oslo City Council, Bergen City Council, Spenn.no  and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (travel grant/performing arts).


Jo Strømgren Kompani, jskompani.no, 08.08.2010, http://jskompani.no/productions/2

Name Role
Jo Strømgren – Choreography
Jørgen Knudsen – Music
Stephan Østensen – Stage design
Ingvild Hovind – Costume design
Jo Strømgren (from 2021 to NIL) – Costume
Lars Årdal – Sound design
Stephen Rolfe – Lighting design
Stian Danielsen (from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009) – Dancer
Jonas Digerud (from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997) – Dancer
Jon Filip Fahlstrøm (from 2021 to 2021) – Dancer
Niklas Gundersen (from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997) – Dancer
Sverre Magnus Heidenberg (from January 1, 2009 to 2021) – Dancer
Jan Ivar Lund (from January 1, 1997 to January 31, 1997) – Dancer
Mikkel Are Olsen (from January 1, 2009 to 2021) – Dancer
Erik Rulin (from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997) – Dancer
Jan Nicolai Wesnes (from January 1, 2009 to 2021) – Dancer
Ken Ruben Theodorsen – Sound technician
Leila Sunniva Berg (from NIL to December 31, 2008) – Lighting technician
Press coverage

Writer unknown, 03.06.1999, The Times [England]:
"It's a cheeky, rumbustious celebration of the physical exuberance of football and dance. It gives a healthily humorous kick to a preconception or two about both activities, and it deftly combines maximalist movement with a minimalist score (...)."

Writer unknown, 22.06.1999, Le Figaro [France]:
"The gags are numerous and irresistible, but the choreographer also master the art of creating inventive movements and beautiful images, like the sequences in slow motion, the frozen pictures in the middle of the action, the pause at half time and the final tableau of the four men nude, showering in a trickle of golden light. The sport-inspired dance is muscled and violent and the four interpreters throw themselves into the game without caution, taking all the risks with intensity and incredible energy...and with evident pleasure!"

Writer unknown, 21.11.1999, The Sunday Telegraph [England]:
"Strømgren's witty and thoughtful piece anatomised each aspect of the game (...) and the familiar soccer manoeuvres of dummies, shimmies and swerves were worked up into a coherent vocabulary fluently expressed by Strømgren's four excellent dancers".

Writer unknown, 15.11.99, The Guardian [England]:
"With its boots laced with humour and risky, high-energy footwork, the dance tribute is more than a mere fan letter to a boyhood passion. Behind the slow-motion replays, crotch-scratching rituals and satirical player stereotypes lurks a sophisticated take on a global obsession that says much about the human condition."

Writer unknown, 21.11.1999, The Sunday Times [England]:
"Strømgren's work came as a surprise and a delight."

Writer unknown, 21.11.1999, The Independent on Sunday [England]:
"A marvel of mood and observation."