ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN BIRD
The Theater of Cruelty’s performance, The Mountain Bird, is a world premiere of Henrik Ibsen’s unfinished opera libretto from 1859. Ibsen’s libretto is based on a medieval legend about a young woman on the farm Birkehaug in Justedalen. She was the only survivor in the valley after the Black Death, and several years later, when an expedition from the neighboring parish found her, she had become, in her solitude, ‘shy and wild as a bird’, and was then named “The Justedalen Grouse”.
Using a national romantic text as the foundation for this performance the company searches for a new theatrical expression and concept. By immersing ourselves in the silence of ages past, new meaning can emerge. We share something in common with the poet, Arthur Rimbaud’s ideas about the Alchemy of Words, where contemporary art is dethroned in favor of a mystical world lost to time. Can a new and dangerous poetry be created out of lost relics so that art can be an active means of reasserting and rediscovering life, as Artaud put it in his manifestos?