There (2001) was a dance theatre production by by Jo Strømgren Kompani.

Jo Strømgren choreographed it.

There was a deliberate misunderstanding of the terms of Eastern Europe, and it perhaps spoke louder about a disputable viewpoint than about the region in itself.

There presented a style in which dancers and actors crossed borders in an absurd and physical Gibberish pattern, with humour and respectless playfulness as its frame.


(Objekt ID 2468)
Object type Production
Premiere April 18, 2001
Produced by Jo Strømgren Kompani
Coproducers Haugesund Theatre, BIT Teatergarasjen, Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, Projekttheater Dresden
In collaboration with The National Theatre, Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre), The Touring Theatre of Trøndelag,
Based on There by Jo Strømgren
Audience Youth, Adults (from 16)
Language Gibberish
Expressions Dance theatre, Theatre, Contemporary dance, Corona-production
Running period April 18, 2001  
Duration One hour
Website Jo Strømgren Kompani

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 8m
Maximum stage width 12m
Minimum stage depth 8m
Maximum stage depth 12m
Blackout Yes
Rigging time 600 minutes
Downrigging time 30 minutes

There by Jo Strømgren Kompani was a dance theatre production springing out from faulty prejudices about Eastern Europe. Four dissidents from the former Soviet Union are stranded in the zone between East and West. Nostalgia, psychological malfunctions, and desperate social needs create a far from harmonious atmosphere. Aggression, apathy, fear, paranoia and ridiculous emotional outbreaks are provoked within a frame of verbal confusion and political opposites.

With dance, theatre, live music and a particularly well-developed Gibberish language the aim was to explore the heritage from the Soviet Union and to express the consequences of constructed ideas of reality. The music and some Russian texts were chosen deliberately due to literary content, but turned out to be a good basis for association for those not understanding Russian.

There became by far the most requested performance the company has ever made. Somehow audiences warmly embraced this show in every country despite a pseudo-Soviet topic. This production was also the turning point where JSK decided to focus more on actors than on dancers, but still with the movement-based expression.

Touring: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Estonia, Austria, Germany, England, Finland, The Faroe Islands, France, USA.

There by Jo Strømgren Kompani was supported by Arts Council Norway, the municipality of Bergen and the Fund for Performing Artists.

There by Jo Strømgren Kompani won The Hedda Award 2002 in the best production category.


Jo Strømgren Kompani,, 08.08.2010, / 31.08.2021

Sceneweb on The Hedda Award 2002,, 06.11.2012,

Contributors (18)
Name Role
Jo Strømgren – Choreography
Jo Strømgren – Stage design
Jo Strømgren – Costume
Jo Strømgren (from 2017) – Sound design
Lars Årdal – Sound design
Stephen Rolfe – Lighting design
Espen Reboli Bjerke (from 2001 to 2002) – Actor
John Brungot (from 2001 to 2002) – Actor
Jørn Fuller-Gee (from 2014) – Actor
Thorbjørn Harr (from 2001 to 2002) – Actor
Severin Romer Iversen (from 2014) – Actor
Jan Ivar Lund (from 2021) – Actor
Mikkel Are Olsen (from 2014) – Actor
Ivar Örn Sverrisson (from 2014) – Actor
Jan Ivar Lund – Dancer
Kyrre Texnæs (from 2001 to 2002) – Dancer
Knut Bry – Photo
Ken Ruben Theodorsen – Sound technician
Festivals (2)
Kortreist dansefestival June 27, 2017
FringeArts September 9, 2015
Press coverage

Writer and date unknown, Republica [Latvia]:
"A miracle! There is Eastern Europe. There presents the Russia you cannot understand with logic, Russia with its Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov and the Idiot Count Myshkin. With the slogans and signs from the Soviet era. And throughout the whole performance one perceives a feeling of sympathy, loneliness and longing" Republica, Latvia

Writer and date unknown, Jyllands-Posten [Denmark]:
"There is something as rare as a deeply original, entertaining, and touching piece."

Writer and date unknown, New York Times [USA]:
"The result is impressive ensemble work from four performers whose look of unforced, alert connection adds to the mystery and sadness."

Writer and date unknown, Village Voice [USA]:
"Strømgren elevates everyday behaviour into the realms of the bizarre and the extreme."

Writer and date unknown, 30.04.2001, Diena [Latvia]:
"Impressively acrobatic drive, intelligent and filled with humour."

Writer and date unknown, Postimees [Estland]:
"The dancers move in a wonderfully light and unforced manner." (2001, 28.04).

Writer unknown,20.09.2001, Dagbladet [Oslo]:
"Splendid! New and very strong masculine dance theatre. Strømgren’s sense of humour and play, his powerful movements and respect for the absurdity and desperate challenges of life, is given a comprehensive outlook and a greater punch than before." (2001, 20.09). Dagbladet

Writer and date unknown,20.09.2001, Verdens Gang (Rated worthy of 5 pips on the dice) [Oslo]:
"...impressively well done....smooth, manly playful with a company in tip-top shape."

Writer unknown,07.09.2001, Morgenbladet [Oslo]:
"Strømgren is a loving concretist understanding the magic of the theatre (...) an energy and a beauty practically lifting the audience into a condition of bliss."

Writer unknown,02.09.2001, Aftenposten Morgen [Oslo]:
"Unique dance theatre production (...) ingenious mix of sincerity and humour (...) the performers create some incredible characters (...) they impress with the complexity of the humans they create. A better start than this The Contemporary Stage Festival couldn’t have dreamt of."

Writer unknown,01.09.2001, Dagsavisen [Oslo]:
"Jo Strømgren Kompani on its best (...) funny and beautiful performance. Opening The Contemporary Stage Festival with one of our best choreographers was the smartest move The National Theatre could make."

Writer unknown,03.09.2001, Vårt Land [Oslo]:
"Scenic hit. This performance creates a whole new room for imagination and thought, in the intersection between dance, performance and theatre."

Writer unknown,03.09.2001, Klassekampen [Oslo]:
"Jo Strømgren’s scenic language communicates a well-developed choreographic system, funny, dynamic, precise and pointed."

Writer unknown,12.09.2001, Fædrelandsvennen [Norge]:
"...entertainment a plenty...human warmth and understanding. The performance leaves the onlooker with a good experience, a clue of having witnessed something important."

Awards - Nominations (1)