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Kjersti Alveberg

Kjersti Alveberg

The text below is courtesy of Valdemar Hansteen (Kunnskapsforlagets Biografiske Leksikon)/Tone Westad

Kjersti Alveberg (born 26. July 1948) is a front figure on the Norwegian dance scene and has been for years. Over the last 30 years she has created a considerable amount of remarkable, highly original ballets for stage and television.

She was educated at Ballettinstituttet (The Norwegian Ballet College) in Oslo and had further studies in New York, Paris, London and Amsterdam. For several years she was a dancer at the Oslo theatres and in television.

Her choreographic debut came in 1975, with Tomorrow at The Norwegian Opera's Ballet Workshop, which presented young choreographers. Her piece caused a lot of attention and enthusiastic acclaim and was soon transmitted to TV to be seen by a bigger audience.


Amanda Prize 1987 (Norwegian Oscar)
Kjersti Alveberg, J. Falk. Steve Guttenberg.

In 1984 she first won international acclaim when her TV ballet Beyond reach got 3rd prize in Prix Italia, a prestigous competition for programs on screen. The same year the Norwegian dance and theatre critics chose her ballet Now as the year's best stage production. Now was one of her six (so far) commissioned works for the ballet company at The Norwegian Opera.

No other Norwegian choreographer has reached such a big audience as Kjersti Alveberg, at home as well as abroad, thanks to to her numerous TV productions.

One example is Spirits, a fable made for Eurovision's competition for young dancers in 1987, which could be seen on TV simultanously in all European countries and in Canada. The amazing Ashes, mist, windblown dust inspired by certain passages in Ibsen's Peer Gynt, was awarded the jury's Special Prize in Prix Italia 1986, plus heaps of other national and international prizes for TV productions.

Television producer Jannike Falk certainly has contributed to the success of Kjersti Alveberg's dance films, which are so much more than filmed dance; rather a thorougly choreographed stream of sound and images, with the camera as an active, moving part. Another TV production well worth mentioning is Who is the one?/Bønn (1996) to new music by Jan Garbarek.

Kjersti Alveberg's choreography tends to be technically quite demanding and she always works with the very best dancers available. She has created some stunning solos for some outstanding Norwegian dancers: Arne Fagerholt (Media, Yr and Spirits) and Ingrid Lorentzen (Lokk and In me).


Dancers from left: Ingrid Lorentzen,
the choreographer, Halldis Olavsdottir
and Arlene Wilkes.

An important stage work to be mentioned: Volven, a commisioned, full-length ballet for the Norwegian Opera in 1989. It deals with the Nordic tale of creation and is probably the most grandious and poetic epos created by a Norwegian choreographer.

Ten years later she created Babies of Babel/Babels Barn for the Norwegian Opera and in 2001 Journey on imagined ocean/Reise på drømt hav), another commissioned work inspired by the universe of Norwegian painter Terje Ytjhall.

Apart from her works for The National Ballet at the Norwegian Opera, she has created several important ballets for the contemporary, Bergen-based company Carte Blanche (Amber/Rav 1989, Echoe/Ekko 1993).

It’s about Time/Nett No was a full evening that she initiated and produced herself in 2002, at The Norwegian Theatre. Norwegian TV did another portrait on Alveberg in 2003: Dance me! - which has later been shown all over Scandinavia.

In 2004 two of her ballets: It’s about Time! and Little Mirror toured to Harare, Africa and Roquebrune cap Martin, France. The same year Kjersti filmed and produced Cuba dancing! - a documentary on Cuban dance and culture, which was shown on Norwegian TV2.

Soon after, she was commissioned artistic director for the grand opening of the new National Library in Oslo – HUSH!, which took place in August 2005.
This year she also released her new book Visions – Eye on Dance, published by Press.

Cubaret was the title of another commissioned work for Oslo Danse Ensemble, premiered in 2006.

Kjerstis last performance: @lice, produced by Riksteateret/Rikskonsertene, toured all of Norway in spring 2008. (Script by Stig Bang/Alveberg. Music by: Sverre Indris Joner/Mats Claesson.) Alveberg and Claesson filmed and edited a Tv version of : @lice from the tour, to be shown in Norwegian Tv ,spring 2009.

For 4 years she was been a member of the board at The Cultural Counsil of Norway, as well as part of the Council's Stage Committee.

She recieved Aase Byes Culture prize at the end of 2008 and was recently appointed head of the jury for Telenor's International Culture Prize Commitee.

For Kjersti Alveberg music and sounds is her main source of inspiration. She creates unique, often surprising movements, movements of great beauty, poetic, dramatic or burlesque. She has the ability to get each dancer's peculiar quality come forward and she is known to have a sure hold on the visual totality, with a keen sense of striking effects.

Her significance as an artist cannot be explained as cleverness alone, but by the fact that her works concern the spectator: She reaches something that cannot be expressed in words. Her works are deeply personal and have a considerable expressive power, full of sensuality.

In 2014 H.M The King appointed choreographer and dance artist Kjersti Alveberg to Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St- Olav, for her unique accomplishment for ballet and dance.