In January, The Royal Theater in Copenhagen gave the stage to Greenland, as they showed the world premiere of the play “Præsten og åndemaneren” (The priest and the shaman), written by the Greenlandic Makka Kleist. The play brought a dramatic and insightful look into the beginning of Greenland and Denmark’s shared past.
The Greenlander Makka Kleist took the stage with her husband Svenn B. Syrin, at The Royal Theater in January, and showed an enthralling play of the meeting between the Danish-Norwegian priest, Hans Egede, and the Greenlandic shaman, Inuk, with Makkas new play “Præsten og åndemaneren”. This new story was shown with one of Makkas earlier play called “Udsigt” (the view), which showed a look into an elder woman’s memories of a time, filled with change.
Both plays which were written by Makka Kleist, were staged by the director and instructor, Hanne Trap Friis from Teater freezeProductions, and was produced by a Greenlandic/Danish production team.
A mixture of visual and auditory storytelling
“Præsten og åndemaneren” that tells the story of the meeting between the priest, Hans Egede, and the shaman, Inuk, is based on diary entries by Hans Egede, and stories told by the Inuits. The play portrays a dramatic meeting between two people with differing views of the world, while it also gives an insight into how actions of the past, can be felt throughout the present.
The meeting between the priest, and the shaman from different worlds is staged as a dialogue, paired with an enchanting moviesque universe, visual installations, and a modern musical soundtrack, combined with throat-singing and church bells.
An old lady’s memoire
“Udsigt” is a solo-performance by Makka, who takes the role of an elderly lady from Greenland, and plays out a moving monologue, where the woman dives into her memories, and gives a glimpse into the urbanizations process of Greenland in the 1970’ies. This beautiful narration filled with humor is based on true stories and shows how moving from a small village to a city can change ones life.
At the moment, Hanne Trap Friis is working closely with the Greenlandic National Theater to bring the play of “Præsten og åndemaneren” to the audiences in Greenland within the next two years.
The plays have been funded by NAPA, Statens Kunstfond, Århus Kommunes Kunstråd, Wilhelm Hansen Fonden, and Salling Fonden.
Facts about the plays:
PRÆSTEN & ÅNDEMANEREN
Manus: Makka Kleist (GL)
Acting: Makka Kleist (GL) and Svenn B. Syrin (NO)
Instructions: Hanne Trap Friis (DK)
Scenography: Maya Sialuk Jacobsen (GL)
Music: Hans Ole Amossen (GL)
Light: Morten Ladefoged (DK)
Film: Mikael Lindskov Jacobsen
Costumes: Bibi Chemitz (GL/DK)
Concept: Hanne Trap Friis and Makka Kleist (after a presentation by Leise Johnsen (The Greenlandic House in Copenhagen):
Manus: Makka Kleist (GL) with processing by Hanne Trap Friis (DK)
Acting: Makka Kleist (GL)
Instruction: Hanne Trap Friis (DK)
Film: Anorak Film (GL)
Filmclips: Mikael Lindskov Jakobsen (GL)
Light: Morten Ladefoged (DK)
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