The Laughing Game

The Laughing Game (2020)

A solo dance work exploring the somatics of laughter 

THE LAUGHING GAME is a choreographic tribute to laughter as an act of human belonging and empathy. By anatomizing and dissecting the physicality of laughter - THE LAUGHING GAME exposes the wide range of emotions present within laughter, its contagious force and its liberating effect. Breaking with the common sense of looking at laughter as only being funny, laughing will be portrayed as a physical manifestation of a broad range of very mixed feelings.

The audience will enter an existential, not always rational portray of a human condition, that fluctuates between the wild and the absurd, the funny and the serious. By passing through a variety of states within laughter the performer takes the audience on a reflective and liberating journey through the captivating powers of laughter. The work doesn’t only tell apart laughter and humor, it also separates the form and the sound of laughter from the intention and social context laughter has in everyday life.

THE LAUGHING GAME oscillates between a dance, an installation and a concert as the work equally involves body and voice work to unfold laughter as bodily state, stirring sound and sparkling sensation. The work is experienced in close proximity to activate the audience's physical empathy. The audience is invited to share the performance space with the performer who is moving among the audience members. That way the performer and the audience will blend, making all individuals visible, inviting to observe each other and giving the feeling that everyone is part of the performance. This situates the work at the verge of interactivity as the spectators will be transformed into participants by their pure presence and without asking them to do anything specific. The audience is invited to contribute to the performance by their immediate and unfiltered reactions.

THE LAUGHING GAME is a tribute to laughter - a celebration of its functions and particularities.

Concept, Choreography and Dance: Antoinette Helbing
Sound: Niels Bjerg
Light: Carina Backmann
Costume: Inbal Lieblich

Research supported by: Statens Kunstfond, Åbendans, Vestjyllands Højskole and Teaterøen
Production supported by: Aaben Dans Roskilde and Forsøgsstationen

Thanks to: Niels Bjerg and Daniel Nordback

Length: 30 minutes
Target Group: 15+

Past Performances
February 2020 Ubåden/Bådteatret
September 2020 BIRCA Bornholm/Bornholms Kulturuge
May 2021 Teater Momentum Odense
June 2021 Copenhagen Stage Festival
November 2021 Danceallyearlong Festival Odense
28. July 2022 PASSAGE Festival
21. September 2022 Bornholms Kulturuge
11. October 2022 Sounded Bodies Festival Zagreb
3. June 2023 Prague/ Studio ALTA
6. June 2023 Banska Bystrica festival Dni tanca/ Dance days
4. July 2023 Testrup Højskole