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Rebellion of the Cell

Rebellion of the Cell re-imagines Butoh dance with the modern developments in cellular biology. The performance stems from the collaboration between Karolina Bieszczad-Stie, Yuko Kaseki and the Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming at the University of Oslo, and is about the dancer experiencing the body as a coalition of individual cells, herself as a single cell, and even part of a cell, which mutates, and so performs mutiny against that coalition. This self focused cell mutiny is the essence of what cancer is. Grotesque yet poetic dance performance unfolds questions about what it means to be an individual, a concept which gets increasingly blurry the closer one looks at the body.



As a result of using cancer research and Butoh as mutual lenses to examine one another, more and more unexpected paradoxes are brought to light: beautiful confocal micrographs of cancer cells contrasting with suffering bodies of cancer patients; a cancer cell that is not an external invasive microorganism but a natural, although malicious, part of a human body; or the notions of life and death where the cancer cell needs to die in order for the patient to live.


Rebellion of the Cell navigates through these complex conflicts, opening up the space for dialogues between scientific and artistic processes, and connecting people and ways of thinking that might otherwise have remained isolated. At the same time, it carries the form and aesthetics of Butoh dance into the 21st century.


Choreography and direction: Karolina Bieszczad-Stie
Choreography and dance: Yuko Kaseki
Scientific collaboration: prof. Harald Stenmark & prof. Ragnhild Eskeland from the Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming at the University of Oslo
Stage design: Adam Bartley
Lighting design: Stein Stie
Music composer: Simen Korsmo Robertsen
Costumes: Zofia Jakubiec
Production Assistant: Aleksandra Piotrowska
Graphic design: Atocha Crespo

Photos: Magne Risnes
Technician: Thomas Sanne
Special thanks to: Azumaru, prof. Erik Andrew Johannessen, Tara Ishizuka Hassel, Øyvind Jørgensen
Talk after the premiere organised by: Danseinformasjonen
Production: Butoh Encounters


Funded by:

Kulturrådet, Det norske komponistfond, Danse- og teatersentrum, Kulturdepartementet, Chunichi Inadomi Fondet, Oslo Kommune

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