2022 – Danish Dance Theatre // ICARUS (Dance)


In Icarus, choreographer Pontus Lidberg daringly inserts a queer heart into classic Greek myths. It is the last part of a trilogy, inspired by liminal beings in Greek mythology who are caught in the paradox of being both human and not human, but also neither. Too human to be animals, but not human enough to be accepted as such, they live outside the bounds of society. The first two parts of the Trilogy, multi award-winning Siren (2018) and Centaur (2020), were based on definitional liminal beings who were born with the physical traits of their hybridity.

Icarus, on the other hand, is inspired by a boy who was not born as a liminal being, but died as one. Many people know Icarus as the youth who flew too high and so plunged to his death. In other words, he failed. Lidberg queers this archetypal father-son relationship by imagining them as lovers. Lidberg asks us to see Icarus’ tragedy not as a failure, but as a “queer failure,” a failure that, by a different logic and in a different world, is also a supreme triumph. The construction of the wings is a labour of love, but not one that leads to reproduction. Neither are the wings simply an instrument of escape; but rather, in their ultimate unfurling by Icarus as he prepares to take flight, enable a moment of profound beauty.

Duration: 60’ without intermission


Danish Dance Theatre was founded in 1981 and is the foremost contemporary dance company in Denmark, as well as the largest. Since 2018, choreographer and filmmaker Pontus Lidberg has been the company’s Artistic Director, bringing the company firmly into the future.

In 2021, the company launched its Virtual Stage, focusing on content created exclusively for screens, ranging from short art films to broadcasts and live streams. Its in-house broadcast of “Siren” was nominated for a Venice TV Award in 2021. Danish Dance Theatre – Virtual stage (danskdanseteater.dk)

The company is composed of dancers from all over the world. The repertoire spans large stage productions at The Royal Danish Theatre and intimate productions at smaller venues, as well as open-air events such as Copenhagen Summer Dance in the middle of Copenhagen Harbour. Danish Dance Theatre tours extensively, both in Denmark and internationally. The company receives funding from the Ministry of Culture. In addition, individual performances receive support from private and public foundations.


Partners are essential in current times, to reboot performance activities, exchanges and exposure and Danish Dance Theatre very often collaborates with international presenters and festivals. For ICARUS, the company is actively looking for international co-production partners including presenting venues and festivals. The work will be developed in residence at Orsolina 28, Italy.

Examples of other international targets with whom Danish Dance Theatre is in dialogue or would like to start a conversation about this project are Scharoun Theater Wolfsburg, Kalamata Dance Festival, Sibiu International Dance Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Festival COLORS Stuttgart.


Sustainability is embodied in our organisation’s 4-year strategy and work approach, which aims towards a “green transition”. In addition to choosing to travel by train on tours to nearby countries and replacing printed programs with digital solutions, we also consciously choose to work with props, costumes and set design pieces that are second-hand or upcycled to avoid buying and/or building new ones. Where possible, we enter partnerships to secure large numbers of upcycled items.




Not specified




Pontus Lidberg, pontus@danskdanseteater.dk


Choreography/Direction: Pontus Lidberg

Dramaturg: Adrian Guo Silver

Costume Design: Rachel Quarmby-Spadaccini

Set Design & Light Design: Raphael Frisenvænge Solholm

Original Music: Stefan Levin