On/Crying – The gravity of tears (working title)

On/Crying - The Gravity of Tears

On/Crying – the Gravity of Tears is an ode to tears and the “act of crying." The work is both a performance and an installation that invites you to spend time in the landscape of crying in a collective crying space – encompassing everything before, within, and after the tears. Central question of the work is: What could a world look like that wholeheartedly embraces tears and crying? How does it affect our perception of each other and our surroundings if we allow ourselves to sense and cry together? We are hardwired to cry and to respond to crying. Although crying is our most basic form of communication, most of us unlearn to cry in the presence of others, and crying becomes one of our most private acts. The work fantasizes: What if crying were more social and essential in creating interpersonal connections? In times when it has become normal to skim the surface of emotions, On/Crying invites us through crying to dive into the broad spectrum of human emotions and meet their depths.

In the performance On/Crying – The Gravity of Tears, two performers interact with the installation The CryingSpace and activate its elements to amplify the power of their mourning dance and lament. The dramaturgy of the performance leans on the mourner's rituals and opens an associative space around the persona and landscape of crying: By crying in our presence, the mourner allows us to witness the power and resonance of crying completely without shame and invites us into the intimate as well as universal landscape of crying. Shamelessly generously she shares the sensory and clarifying abundance of tears, which have the ability to change our state of consciousness and thus can accompany the transition into a new situation when fundamental changes occur in life. She uses the voice of crying uninhibitedly and sometimes even joyfully – normally an unacceptable behavior in our society. She gives her tears as a gift to soften the space inside and between us.

In On/Crying, it is dancer and choreographer Antoinette Helbing and vocal performer and composer Katrine Faber who hold The CryingSpace together. Throughout all times, mourners have held this space together. They carry many tears – of the present, the past, the future, their own, and others'. They also cry for the more-than-human life around us, which is being eradicated and destroyed on a large scale today. How can crying become a rebellion against a silenced and paralyzed society in times of wars and crisis? In a time when collective fear, anxiety, and grief are growing, we meet the mourners who collaborate with and use the enormous energy for potential change that lies in homeless crying.

Installation The CryingSpace is a sensory world affectionately celebrating tears as soft prisms that reflect our humanity – translucent and vivid. An interactive laboratory that connects the tangible with the poetic and the scientific with the imaginative. A flowing, running, and seeping universe of liquids in constant movement and connectedness – as an expression of our inner life that spills over its boundaries – bursts, overflows, and streams into consciousness.

Choreographer and performer: Antoinette Helbing
Composer, voice performer, voice coach: Katrine Faber
Dramaturge and choreographic consultant: Mirko Guido
Designer of the installation CryingSpace and Costume Designer: Inbal Lieblich
Light Designer: Carina Backman
Composer, sound designer and technician: Emil Vodder Kristensen
Outside Eye: Jonas Schnor
On/Crying will premiere in summer 2025.