A sensual exploration of Scandinavian folklore.
In her new film multidisciplinary artist and choreographer Celine Fortenbacher draws inspiration from the legend of the Huldra, a seductive forest creature found in Scandinavian folklore. Deriving its name from a root meaning “covered”, or “hidden”, the Huldra are one of several Rå, or wardens, and are associated with the ‘hidden folk’ of the legends of Scandinavia, woodland analogues to the aquatic sjörå, or mermaids, and the mountain cave-dwelling bergsrå.
“It’s in our nature to perceive things fundamentally differently and to question almost everyone’s perception around us,” says Fortenbacher. “We can often end up hiding or overcompensating parts of ourselves that might not be perceived ‘well’ to escape and suppress potential flaws or avoid judgement. Especially the feminine has often been pressured to adhere to certain expectations, a lot of mystical female figures have either one of those binary attributes in common: seductive, serene, beautiful, or full of wrath, ugly and destructive.”
“The Huldra’s in this piece are creatures that all represent responses to those notions and to what is perceived as a human flaw: insecurity, envy, greed, apathy,” she continues. “Each of their inner conflicts is visible to them, there is no hiding and they know it. They come to see that each of their energy affects the others and are challenged with confrontation.” Dancers Ffion Campbell-Davies, Emma Farnell-Watson, Paris Crossley and Faye Stoeser stand in as vessels for these complex mystic figures, manifesting their internal turmoil with raw, emotive movement .
For more information about Celine Fortenbacher and her work you can visit her website and follow her on Instagram.
Dancers – Ffion Campbell-Davies, Emma Farnell-Watson, Paris Crossley, Faye Stoeser
Director, Choreographer, Producer – Celine Fortenbacher-Poplawska
Cinematographer – Courtney Bennett
Gaffer – Isaac Whittingham
Camera Trainee – Sophie Williams
Art Direction, Set – Charlotte Toon, Tolu Oshodi
Hair Stylist – Shamara Roper
Hair Assistant – Chaniqwa Brown
Styling – Seyon Amosu
Styling Assistant – Dahlia Ichaou
Make-Up Artist – Pia Gartner, Mus Emin
Stills Photographer – Lorena Quast Andrés
Editor – Keifer Nyron Taylor, Celine Fortenbacher-Poplawska
Music – Gidge