Røyst in Collaboration

WoCalling - Røyst in Collaboration was a collaboration project between the all female cappella group Røyst, consisting of four Norwegian/English musicians, and Norwegian, English and Zimbabwean musicians, dancers and poets. The collaboration was initiated in August 2009 by vocalist, composer and musical director: Cecilie Giskemo and had its first performance at the Harare International Festival of the Arts in April 2010.


(Objekt ID 9693)
Object type Production
Premiere March 13, 2010
Produced by Røyst
Audience Adults
Language English
Keywords Music, Concert, Dance, Contemporary dance, Recitation
Running period March 13, 2010  
Website Myspace, YouTube, HIFA - International Festival of the Arts

Requirements to venue

Blackout No

In WoCalling the singers of Røyst were collaborating with the choreographers Ingri Midgard Fiksdal and Shi Pratt, who together with Norwegian and Zimbabwean dancers created movements that were related to and integrated in the originally composed music and poetry.

With the thematic female identity in the arts as basic inspiration, WoCalling was aiming to strengthen the unity between women by crossing borders and artistic expression. This exchange of artistic methods and experience manifested itself in a blend of dance and music travelling through the genres of jazz, African traditional, Norwegian folk, improvisation and not the least, the Woman.

The theme of WoCalling was female identity in the arts. The artists wished to work with women and women's role as artists and creative performers in the arts industry of today, and further the female role as human being and individual. As the artists viewed these two as closely integrated, they aimed, in particular, to observe the differences and similarities between female artists around the world. Some questions the artists were relating to within this thematic, were: Are there any universal questions related to female identity that are independent from culture and context? Is the creative woman different from the creative man? And if so, how does this manifest itself in an artistic expression? What will be dominant - the fact that we are women or first and foremost our cultural heritage?

The main aim of WoCalling was to achieve a combination of dance and music, as well as an equal fusion of Western and African music and dance traditions.

In music, the artists consciously chose voice as the main instrument. From a physiological point of view the female voice is different from a male voice and therefore became the most important effect: a manifestation and communicative tool for WoCalling. By using vocals in song and improvisation as well as texts in rapping and poetry, the singers became the main communicators of the message.

The vocal quartet Røyst contributed as 4 of the 8 female singers who were making the front line of vocalists in WoCalling. In addition to this, WoCalling involved musicians practising both traditional Zimbabwean instruments (mbira and marimba) as well as Western instruments (tuba, saxophone and piano). The musicians were working with material composed by the members of Røyst.

In dance the most obvious universal manifestation of female identity is the female body. There are a lot of the intriguing possibilities in comparing the male and the female bodies; and the choreography in WoCalling was exploring what the typical feminine expressions of movement are in both Norwegian and Zimbabwean contemporary and traditional dance.

In traditional dance, the gender seems to dictate different tasks, whereas in contemporary dance the genders operate on a more equal basis and the chorographers, Ingri Midgard Fiksdal and Shi Pratt, were interested in the common clichés in terms of how a woman is "supposed to dance" in the two different cultures, and they wished to explore these clichés and work towards a common feminine expression that avoided them. The modern dancers Shi Pratt (Norway/USA/Israel) and Sophie Arstall (UK), were manifesting these ideas through improvised dance in collaboration with the Zimbabwean traditional dancer Maylene Chengerai.

WoCalling - Røyst in Collaboration was supported by The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (travel grant, performing arts), The Fund for Performing Artists, a grant from the bank TÆL Sparebank 1 and The Peace Corps.


Myspace, myspace.com, 28.11.2010, http://www.myspace.com/wocalling

Performance dates
May 24, 2010The Mannenberg Show
April 29, 2010Global Stage Show
April 28, 2010Global Stage Show
April 23, 2010Zimbabwe College of Music Show
March 13, 2010The Book Café Worldwide premiere
Festivals (1)