CIRCLES & SWING stands out with its dedication to bringing both adolescents and elder people on stage at the same time. This intergenerational approach makes the work relatable for people of all ages. The Aarhus-based company SVALHOLM has consistently developed a significant visual and movement aesthetic throughout the years that dissolves the notion of time – past, present and future. Manifesting a joyful space beyond beauty for audiences.


Dansekapellet / Bispebjerg Torv 1

2400 København NV

Duration: 35 min


Circles and Swings! is created as a concrete proposal for a sustainable international touring, and is a new interpretation of the work Circuit (2016), which was Nønne Mai Svalholm’s first work in the trilogy Rethink Ageing/Rethink Choreography. Circuit was performed at BORA BORA – Dance & Visual Theater in Aarhus with a subsequent tour across Denmark. Circles and Swings! will be performed by 10 – 12 young local professional dancers and local age 60+ amateur dancers and is created to be performed in a black box, white cube and site-specific with different lighting design. Duration is 35 minutes, which makes it ideal for a double bill.

A giant mirror ball hangs lifelessly from the ceiling by a long wire, dangerously close to the floor. In the sparse lighting, the mirror ball is a dark entity, but when a single beam of light hits it, the floor, ceiling and walls are transformed into a starry sky, where the mirror ball floats like a lonely planet in the universe. Young and old dancers circulate around the sphere, while their distorted and fleeting movements are reflected in the surfaces of the mirrors and blend with the silhouettes of the audience. Slowly, the mirror ball changes character from being the center of the ritual and meditative walk to speeding through the air like a dangerous and potentially deadly projectile. The mirror ball, just like Foucault’s pendulum, shows the passage of time, the rotation of the earth, and puts the value and potential time and life into perspective.

Circles and Swings! is based on a concept of rotations, circles and swings, where change emerges.


Since 2015, Nønne Mai Svalholm has been working with a dogma: To collaborate with citizens over the age of 60 as performers. Their presence as well as the sculptural dimension of the choreographic work have become her artistic DNA. This dogma has led to a pool of over 70 elder citizens based in Aarhus in Denmark, who recurrently perform in her creations. Together, they constitute a sort of ”extended and chosen family”. An early loss of her parents has created in Nønne Mai a deep need to work with elder citizens. She aims at investigating it from an artistic, emotional, and social standpoint to capture a more authentic representation of the power and the fragility in bodies and people that we do not often get to see on stage.


Nønne Mai Svalholm works conceptually and multidisciplinary with choreography, dance, light design, sculpture and installation art. Her work is highly visual and it takes place in a landscape of pleasure, pain and the uncanny. Morphing through a constant of what has been, what is, and what will be – bodies, objects and light becomes symbols of transformation, time, life and death.

Listen to the conversation with Nønne Mai Svalholm in our podcast CONNECTED


We are looking for presenters and festivals who want to curate us for their program, and who want to work locally, intergenerationally and sustainably.


Creative Producer, Carlos Calvo, cc@svalholm.dk

Advisor and Administrator, Jens Christian Jensen, jc@svalholm.dk


For Circles and Swing! we are interested in longer co-productions and a local impact. We create and present the work with local dancers every new place we travel to, and only Nønne Mai Svalholm and our technician travels.

As an industry, we must think of new ways to work, create and tour sustainably. In Circles and Swings! young and old people meet on stage as well as in the audience. It is an obvious chance for dialogue across all generations and cultural divides. The work leading up to the premiere is an obvious opportunity to create local engagement and a meeting space that can grow and continue long after the performance has finished.


Non Verbal


Old age, amateur dancers performing with professional dancers


Svalholm´s audience consists of three groups: a professional audience, young people 18 – 30 years and people age 60+. The young and old audience tell us that they especially appreciate to experience old people on stage as part of Svalholm’s artistic DNA.


Artistic Director and Choreographer: Nønne Mai Svalholm

Dancers: Anna Thu Schmidt, Ar Utke Ács, SVALHOLMs 60+ performers

Light and set design: Nønne Mai Svalholm

Composer: Thomas Wernberg and Morgan Hickinbotham

Costumes: Consultants KASPERSOPHIE in collaboration with Nønne Mai Svalholm