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Composer: Kristine Tjøgersen 

Ensamble: Soundinitiative (F)

Light: Evelina Dembacke

Scenography and costumes: Maja Nilsen

Choreographer: Julie Desprairies (F)

Link to documentation (excerpts):

Photo: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengård, Johanne Karlsrud

Experience an extraordinary bird's perspective at Borealis/Only Connect/CDA in 2022 through the innovative new performance piece BOWER. Devised in collaboration between Norwegian composer Kristine Tjøgersen, scenographer and costume designer Maja Nilsen, French choreographer Julie Desprairies and new music ensemble soundinitiative.


The interdisciplinary work is inspired by the unique behaviours of bowerbirds. These remarkable birds are admired for their cultural and artistic abilities, building architecturally complex structures, called a Bower. With few natural enemies and a habitat rich in resources, the bowerbirds pass their days developing their dance oriented courtship and working on their bower; carefully arranging their found objects in a sophisticated system of optical illusions. 

Male bowerbirds spend most of their year constructing the bower, in the hope that it is impressive enough to woo a partner. The bowers therefore represents the status and the genetic fitness of their owners. Their behaviour may even shed light upon the origins of artistic creation and aesthetic sensibilities. 


We have placed this bower in a deep forest from the distant future, and it becomes unclear if it is birds or humans that is in the center of attention. The space will be a haunt for both performers and the audience, where movements, sound and music is directly translated and inspired by the birds' daily routines, habitat, sound world, interaction and behaviour. The bower can be a sci-fi night club or a forest theatre, recreating the extraordinary courtship, rendered in physical format.

Bird behaviour has always fascinated humans, as we try to find meaning and reason in something mysterious. Through seeking original methods of interdisciplinary collaboration, the visual elements propose new premises for musical innovation, and on stage the performative and absurd meet the lyrical and existential.

Through observing the bowerbirds’ behaviour we recognise ourselves.


Commissioned by Borealis – en festival for eksperimentell musikk. 

Commission supported by Arts Council Norway.

Norwegian premiere at Borealis 2022. 

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