Lots of experiences in Odense this week! I have chosen four of them: Dance and hand-to-hand. Site specific theater / performance in Eventyrhaven. More performance with young talents at Jernbanegade 13. And a talk about what makes us happy and why, at the Student House. We're going out! Kasper Kasper Herschend

Thu 22
8/19/2019 4:00:00 PM 8/22/2019 16:35 40 V.O.G.O.T Partner acrobatics steeped in a dark garden-of-eden themed love story Østre Stationsvej 35, Odense C H.C. Andersen Festivals false DD-MM-YYYY

V.O.G.O.T Partner acrobatics steeped in a dark garden-of-eden themed love story


V.O.G.O.T
Theatre | Kl. 16:00 - 16:35 | Østre Stationsvej 35, Odense C | Price: 0 Kr. | Written by: Kasper Herschend | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Location: Musikhuset Posten
Organizer: H.C. Andersen Festivals

-Just as it should be when dance meets acrobatics meets Italian/Argentine sensuality.

Hand-to-hand balancing is impossibly difficult for most of us mere mortals, and because of that alone, you ought to do yourself the favor of experiencing these two artists when they perform at Posten this week.

But if you happen to be one of those types of people aren’t impressed by difficulty alone, and for this reason scoff at sudokus, crossword puzzles, and CAD-sketches of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel, then it’s lucky for you that V.O.G.O.T by the Italian/Argentine Duo Masawa is actually made for an audience, as opposed to other difficult activities I can come up with.

Modern circus – which is what this performance is, according to yours truly – is great at two things: Telling stories and producing awe!

Armed with these two preliminary parameters, I hereby encourage every culture-loving, coming new-circus enthusiasts to experience this performance on the HCA-festival’s tab. Short and sweet: It’s awesome and it’s free.

See the video here.

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Wed 21
8/21/2019 5:00:00 PM 8/21/2019 18:00 40 Philosophy Time! I'll admit it: On paper, Søren isn't exactly a crowd-pulling attraction Amfipladsen 6, Odense C Spoken Word Festival og Studie Stuen false DD-MM-YYYY

Philosophy Time! I'll admit it: On paper, Søren isn't exactly a crowd-pulling attraction


Philosophy Time!
Talk and debate | Kl. 17:00 - 18:00 | Amfipladsen 6, Odense C | Price: 0 Kr. | Written by: Kasper Herschend | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Location: Studenterhuset
Organizer: Spoken Word Festival og Studie Stuen

Professor of philosophy Søren Harnow Klausen is hosting a lecture about happiness based on his self-help book (a competitor to Svend Brinkmann’s series on the same topic) “På Sporet af din lykke” (roughly “Pursuing Your Happiness”) as part of the program of this year’s Spoken Word Festival.

I’ll admit it: On paper, Søren is not a marvel of entertainment, nor a crowd-pulling attraction. You probably – with good reason – imagine a lofty, arm chair-owning, ivory-tower building, opinionated and perhaps even elitist type, who may best be conveyed as a good old fashioned know-it-all. But Søren has actually succeeded in crafting a philosophically well-founded self-help book that is worth reading and discussing.

First, a bit of context and clarification, then a totally down-to-earth catalogue of totally trivial, every-day, more or less universal sources of human joy, and rounded off with a bit of good advice at the end.

For those who, like me, had the pleasure of Søren’s lectures in my short stay at the university, it was hard to avoid the short introductory textbooks, which formed such a fantastic foundation for the students’ further work. I remember – with just a touch of youth’s rebellious disdain – the objectively serviceable reading-room-banger “Metaphysics – a Primer” and later “What is Scientific Theory.”

-Right! Not just captivating titles, but equally captivating narratives. Most of us chewed through chapter after chapter, thanks to an author and communicator who wasn’t afraid to bring himself into the material and expose the Clark Kent side of a philosophical Superman.

The long and the short of it is that I met Søren at Carlsens Kvarter the other day and was promised that the lecture on Wednesday will contain new perspectives in a quite significant discussion about what happiness is exactly and why it is worth pursuing.

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Thu 22
8/22/2019 9:00:00 PM 8/24/2019 40 The River Man Yet another tribute to the man with the fairy tales for young and old Eventyrhaven, Odense C H.C. Andersens Hus / Museum false DD-MM-YYYY

The River Man Yet another tribute to the man with the fairy tales for young and old


The River Man
Theatre | Kl. 21:00 | Eventyrhaven, Odense C | Price: 0 Kr. | Buy tickets here | Written by: Kasper Herschend | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Location: Eventyrhaven
Organizer: H.C. Andersens Hus / Museum

The air about us! It is around us, within us, it voices our thoughts and our deeds, and sounds them deeper than the bell down in the depths of Odense River, where the River Man lives, it sends them out into the great firmament, so far, so far, for ever and ever, until the bells of Heaven ring out: “Ding dong! Ding Dong!”

-excerpt from The Bell Deep by Hans Christian Andersen

Of course we have to experience something by Denmark’s undisputed greatest author when there’s a festival with his name on it in town!

For that reason and because the trio behind the performance are exceedingly talented, I’m going to Eventyrhaven to see the short theater piece "I mørket mellem land og vand: et ritual for den tabte fremtid." (“In the Darkness Between Land and Water: A Ritual For the Lost Future.”)

There’s a little risk that it is going to be a moralizing performance, and it might be one of those art experiences that leaves its audience with a bitter aftertaste, but that doesn’t make #actnow any less relevant.

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Sat 24
8/24/2019 6:00:00 PM 8/24/2019 22:00 40 Born to be wild Some exciting things have happened in the couple of days it's taken This Is Odense to publish Jernbanegade 13, 5000 Odense C Det Fynske Kunstakademi - Funen Art Academy & H.C. Andersen Festivals false DD-MM-YYYY

Born to be wild Some exciting things have happened in the couple of days it's taken This Is Odense to publish


Born to be wild
Exhibition | Kl. 18:00 - 22:00 | Jernbanegade 13, 5000 Odense C | Price: 0 Kr. | Buy tickets here | Written by: Kasper Herschend | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Location: Det Fynske Kunstakademi
Organizer: Det Fynske Kunstakademi - Funen Art Academy & H.C. Andersen Festivals

The producer wrote the following in their description on the Facebook event: “In H.C. Andersen’s Fairy Tales from 1869, George Brandes writes: “I know of no Poet, whose talent is less ‘sexy’, whose genius has less of a defined gender than Andersen’s.” This description is undoubtedly meant to be derogatory, but it does elucidate how gender and sexuality are undefined in Andersen’s life and writing. In the fictive space of fairy tales, fantastical creatures abound and boundaries are diffuse. We want to focus on powerful performances. Whether this be performances that are exaggerated, high intensity, or especially penetrating. These will be performances that don’t attempt to create authentic or naturalistic meetings between performer and audience, but rather are inspired by the drama and cultural appropriation that is expressed in Power Yoga classes in fitness centers countrywide.”

I thought:

Promising! – And then have to remind myself that the whole point is powerful performances – and not only that, but powerful performances inspired by a mysterious academic concept AND Georg Brandes?

But I have a hard time seeing the connection between the proposed androgeny of Andersen’s writing and the powerful performances presented as a result.

I don’t know – possibly because of a lack of a membership –what kind of cultural appropriation Power Yoga in fitness centers is perpetrating. And I don’t really know what to expect when the performances in this event are meant to be inspired by it. But I do take note of the “exaggerated, high-intensity, or especially penetrating” aspects and let the artists ambitions in this direction stand as a good reason to stop by Jernbanegade 13 on Saturday.

Note: Some time has passed in the couple of days it’s taken This Is Odense to publish, and this has resulted in the people behind this performance updating their description of “Born To Be Wild.”

The new text is as follows: “One day performance exhibition at Funen Art Academy.
The exhibition explores queer futurism in fairy tales: A world of hybrid bodies, mermaids, and princesses, post-human imaginary spaces.

The exhibition is curated by Rune Finseth and part of H.C. Andersen Festivals.

NB! There will be nudity, strobe and laser light, explicit sexual content, smoke and moments of unexpected chaos. We advise children under the age of 13 to be in company of an adult.”

- Which doesn’t make things less interesting. But it was easier for me to write about the event before the young, wild artists buckled under the pressure of the communications department.

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