Picture: Monica Emilie Herstad is being awarded with several international prestigious prizes for her artistic works, like here, gratefully accepting the Silver Prize in South Korea for her herStay Ibsen performances - earlier given the International Ibsen Award Stipend as well



2018
Interview, Pengevirke Cultura Bank 1/ 2018



2017
https://herstay.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/herstay-review-in-scenekunst/
�Sekvensen der Herstad selv danset med en lang Ariadne-aktig tr�d, var imidlertid blant dem som sitter igjen i ettertid. Tr�den og veven er symboltunge og risikable rekvisitter � gi seg i kast med, men �pnet her for mange ulike lesninger.�

herStay review in Scenekunst 10.01.17: �Sekvensen der Herstad selv danset med en lang Ariadne-aktig tr�d, var imidlertid blant dem som sitter igjen i ettertid. Tr�den og veven er symboltunge og risikable rekvisitter � gi seg i kast med, men �pnet her for mange ulike lesninger.�

Videre sitat:
(...) �Etter en stund ble publikum tatt med ut av bibliotekrommet og opp til den lille blackboxen som befinner seg i etasjen over. Ideen om � spille i hele bygningen og sette publikum i bevegelse er god og kunne gi assosiasjoner til hvordan hus og rom er viktige st�rrelser i mange av Ibsens tekster.�

(...) �Forestillingen var med f� unntak ordl�s. Ett av unntakene kom i �pningen, da flere ut�vere beveget seg mellom hyllene med hver sin store bok og satte konteksten ved at vi kunne se boktittelen - Henrik Ibsens samlede verker (...) lest av flere stemmer samtidig og p� forskjellige spr�k bygde det fint opp til at levende musikk kom inn som selvstendig element, presist sunget av Cathrine Bothner-By.�

(...) �I scenerommet fikk den levende vokalmusikken selskap av elektronisk musikk. I tempo og stemning var det akustiske og elektroniske fint relatert.�

(...) �Compose Yourself - it may happen in beauty abstraherer og forenkler i en meningstung materie.�

-Hild Borchgrevink, Scenekunst 10.01.2017

www.scenekunst.no/sak/skisseskikkelser


Selected reviews and media-excerpts, on artist Monica Emilie Herstad, herStay

2015: herStay with great success in collaboration with the National Gallery Prague, Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia:
herStay in Prague 2015

2015: "Jarvis believes Herstad and her work is at once diplomatic and revolutionary." - Christopher M. Jarvis, change agent in Jarvis, Clee & Daughters, NY, June 2015, in his proposal

2014: herStay performance in Japanhaven, Milde Arboretum, Bergen Botanical Garden, August 10th and October 22nd:
herStay performance October 22
herStay performance August 10

2013: herStay at Oslo Early Music Festival:
herStay performance

2012: "Thank you for the impulses you gave us here up in our [high north] Garden!" / "Takk for impulsane du gav oss her oppe i Hagen! [ June 25th 2012]"
With best regards, Arve Elvebakk, University of Troms�, Arctic Alpin Botanical Garden Troms�
herStay Sketches for spring in High North

Recent review presenting herStay performance Sketches for Spring:
Sketches for spring herStay performance is in 2012 - 2015 performed 37 times in different botanical contexts. In Botanical Garden Oslo, this contributed to the increased audience success:

2012: "Art Historian Torunn Liven felt that the performance appeared as much as a kind of ritual in a performance tradition, as a pure dance performance. Liven think that the performance would not shout in any way, but respect its surroundings.
- It gave an immediate beautiful experience, which also stimulated the mind. I think the performance is intuitive gorgeous, says Liven.
- The dancer who moves among the trees, is both a powerful and feminine image, which provides us with many associations to significant impressions from other art forms, such as painting, she says.
The art historian believes that it was a good idea for the Botanical Gardens to present this project.
- The garden provides a beautiful and exciting space with many interpretative possibilities. The movement seems mentally and physically precisely placed in the landscape. It's great to experience the garden in this way."
- Norway News September 9th, 2012

Scenekunst, Norway: "Choreographers such as Ina Christel Johannessen, Ingun Bj�rnsgaard, Alan �yen, Monica Emilie Herstad do also have a clear theme and an expressive movement language"
-Anette Sture Iversen, Scenekunst

Norway News, September 09.09.2012:
"Leah Garland holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University, and has written an article about the performance [herStay perfomance Sketches for Spring].
Garland says in the article that separate from the grief that the Norwegian people have experienced the last year, she is most drawn to Herstad�s unusual presentation of a public event, with her performance. She believes that Herstad moves faster in this performance than in her previous work, but still with a great awareness. Garland interprets that this openness that lives on stage, reflects a desire for a public space protected enough to be free from fear. "
herStay in Conversation with �Nature�

"Kj�re Monica, Til teksten! For en befriende god artikkel. Jeg er for tiden langt unna Norge og vil ikke kunne se den omtalte forestillingen, men reagerer spontant med � se en s� god og gjennomarbeidet tekst om kunst, samtidskunst-begrepet og en ballettaften satt i s� grundig historisk sammenheng (...)
Herstads artikkel og H�holts reaksjon f�r meg ogs� til � tenke p� en generell mistenksomhet ovenfor tekning og refleksjon. � v�re intellektuell og inneha kunnskap og kunne bruke denne kunnskapen i sin argumentasjon og samtidig v�re kunstner og kvinne synes � kunne v�re en stor provokasjon p� mange niv�, samtidig. Og ikke minst skaper Herstad s� befriende stor plass rundt sine tanker.
Wow, hvilken impact. Jeg er b�de imponert, ber�rt og inspirert.
-Tone Gellein, kunstner i feltet performance/video/tekst/dans, Scenekunst 3.2.2011, om Herstads tekst p� Scenekunst
Herstads review as a critic at Scenekunst

"Det er deilig � lese en kritikk som evner � trekke inn historiske dimensjoner, samt � se forestillingen som en del av det danselandskapet den er en del av, selvom den operer innefor trygge institutisjonelle rammer. Nettopp derfor trenger vi analyser som trenger litt dypere inn i materialet, og ikke lar seg blende av store gullscenografier og dryssende sukker."
-Jon R, Skulberg Scenografistudent ved Akademi for Scenekunst samt studier i dramaturgi og dansevidenskab fra �rhus og Kbh om Monica Emilie Herstads artikkel i Scenekunst
Herstads review as a critic at Scenekunst

herStay Silver Prize Winning performance Movers and shakers - Tangible channeling the existence of nature described by PhD Stefanie Plappert, Goethe University Frankfurt , in Scenekunst, October 7th, 2010:
"A few weeks ago I saw this dance performance at Rom for Dance. It seduced with its seemingly simple movements, a very precise use of space and light, selected well-placed external climaxes, music's driving force, its intensity, minimalistic stage design and beautiful costumes. After, as I went out in the Oslo-night, a kind of positively troubled mind and slowly a clearer picture of a fragmented Ibsen interpretation emerged. The performance is called Movers and Shakers - Tangible channeling the existence of nature, of the company herStay.
(...)
This free space of uncertainty and reorientation are among the best theater offers: an opportunity and necessity to play unconditionally with form and meaning, to show the courage to ambivalence, to the mind game "as if" there were no limits.
(...)
Movers and Shakers is hovering between textual elements from Rosmersholm and a kind of emotional landscape rather than continuous narrative structures. The dancer`s play with the shawl - or is it vice versa? - represents for me a human being (or body) in the struggle between identity constitution and women's subjectivizing, a game between the subdued physis and strong / growing psyche. For me it feels very Ibsen"
- Stefanie Plappert, Scenekunst October 7th, 2010
herStay seducing performance

Interview with Monica Emilie Herstad in Le Monde Diplomatique
September Issue p 34 and 35, 2010:
Monica Emilie Herstad interview in Le Monde September Issue p 34 and 35

Rewarding herStay
Test-tube theatre
Experimental theatre can sometimes be hard on audiences. But, says Shanta Gokhale, that doesn�t mean that it isn�t rewarding:

Last year we saw Norwegian director Monica Emilie Herstad�s inter-textual play Past is Simulation: The Ladies of the Sea vs Nora and Other Stories in the National School of Drama�s Satellite Festival in Mumbai.

It was not enough to know the two Ibsen plays it took off from to comprehend how they were being interpreted on the stage. You had to be familiar with the work of the Nobel Prize winning Austrian feminist-leftist writer-director Elfriede Jelinek and the late Susan Sontag�s reading of Ibsen�s Lady of the Sea. If you weren�t so initiated, you had to content yourself with watching the actors� beautifully-costumed, rigorously-trained bodies moving in a way that conveyed more emotional-sensual meaning than words ever could.

(...)p> Since Mumbai theatre has rarely yanked us out of our comfort zone, we resist any such attempt when it is made. This is not to deny that experimental work does create huge problems for audiences. Take Herstad�s Norwegian play for example. How many people anywhere in the world would have known their Jelinek and Sontag as well as their Ibsen? It must have taken ages to evolve this work because Herstad was not staging a readymade script. She and her associates must have spent months developing the �script�, groping towards a form, doing, undoing and redoing, before the actors were ready to go on stage. But how much time did the audience have to absorb and respond to this dense distillation of months of work? An hour-and-a-half, or two, with no opportunity to go away, think, read and return for a second look.

Thrown in at the deep end like this, the best the audience can do with experimental work is to skim the surface. Visuals, sounds, movement and music also produce meaning, if you open your senses to it and keep the mind out."
-- Shanta Gokhale, TimeOut Mumbai, Monica Emilie Herstad feature in TimeOut Mumbai recently

"Great performance, [herStay: MSTCEN] the team is really good; focused, concentrated, and intence. The music is great. I really wish the performance a great run!"
- Astrid S�ther, Associate Professor, Centre for Ibsen Studies, UiO, 27.08.10

"I would like to thank you for your great performance the 26th of August! I had a wonderful experience.
-Hilde Guri Bohlin, International Ibsen Awards, www.ibsenawards.com", September 2010

On selected Ibsen performances during and inter-relating to the Ibsen Festival in Oslo August 2010:
"The few scenes as described enclosed, and my � rather short � acknowledges adverts to not only an obvious will to interprete Ibsen in an updated manner in the European contributions to this years Ibsen-festival. They investigates at the same time diverse relations between body, text, and scene, tests the opportunities the text offers, let the audience `feel` (see/smell) bodily efforts, and surpasses the stage room in some examples.
(...)
Behind seemingly simple moves, with tiny references to the tale of Prost Rosmer and Rebekka West, man and woman - a shawl in the female dancers hand, a purce being brought outside � glimpses another opportunity of ending, than Ibsen`s proposal of a united death, with own hand.

herStay`s dance performance "Movers and Shakers" is based on "Rosmerholm" - of Ibsen- pieces where children, striking enough, is present only as imagination and pressure medium. The story is stripped for everything, to only a subtle spreading, only a skeleton of the original action is left. And yet it is this performance that opens for real hope for the future: a young woman (danced by different women with multifarious characters and stage presence) manages here to develop a separate will, which opposes itself to Rosmer/ man and story. Without words, under the surface, with all the power the body can generate.
--Stefanie Plappert, theater scientist Frankfurt, Scenekunst September 16th, 2010

New influences in modern and post-modern dance (...) inspiring the Nordic milieu of young dancers such as Norwegians Monica Emilie Herstad (...) A distinct element of butoh can be seen in the work of Herstad in which she has applied Butoh technique related to monodramatic dance portraits of female Ibsen drama figures.
-Knut Ove Arntzen, in the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Forreign Affairs�recent book Independent performing arts in Norway, published by NAPA/ DTS, with his article: "An historical outline of dance in Norway - with a comment on postmodern choreography and the notion of "contemporary dance", November 2010

"In the Monica performance, I would like to live - like this is really good. She is purely a beautiful artist. Monica mind is how wonderful and excellent. Always nice to children, generally smile, sometimes there is a dream general sense, I think of the HP of Luna."
- Review herStay in Shanghai, June 20th 2009, author: Xue Junyuan, MA in Literature,
herStay in Shanghai June 2009

"Takk for hyggelig forel�pig rapport! M� jo si at vi som s� forestillingen i New Delhi var veldig imponerte! Dette var b�de flott, estetisk og absolutt samtidskunst. Vi leste den gode kritikken b�de i Jansatta og den av Prof. Bhanerjee (Pioneer). Vi h�rte dessuten mange positive og fine kommentarer fra teaterkritikere, journalister og publikum for �vrig."
- Royal Norwegian Embassy New Delhi

Interview Monica Emilie Herstad YOUTH VISION in Beijing:
Give Body to the Future

Text: Liu Ying, VISION, YOUTH MAGAZINE:
"Monica Emilie, one of the most experimental dance & performance artists in Norway, is demonstrating for students with her performance how to communicate with space via body language. This performance comes from �Past Is Simulation�, the sub-title of �The Lady of the sea vs. Nora, And Other Stories Of the Society �, inspired by the writings of Henrik Ibsen, Susan Sontag, and Elfriede Jelinek. The course she directs - On Body and Context - aims to sharpen the students' perception and the awareness of differences between live performance and the projected being.
The traditional stereotype of the photographer waiting, choosing and recording a visual moment has been left behind by contemporary photography. Contemporary photography, instead of entering into the art checklist alongside painting, installation and performance, has turned itself into a multi-functioned platform open to all the art mediums which conjunct all the art forms and keeps bringing out new meanings. As for Monica, a dance & performance artist, the collaboration with photo artists has always been an important aspect in her creation. �The photographs of my performance is produced as powerful imagery that also function independently as herStay photography in addition to documenting an event,� Monica said, �and with the students of photo art I often get a fresh feeling and a fresh brain,� which makes her even more creative."
- A 3 page photo & interview presentation on Monica Emilie Herstad, herStay
VISION YOUTH MAGAZINE BEIJING, 09/08
BUYERS: 300 000 IN EDITION MONTHLY, THIS IS A SOLD OUT ISSUE
herStay future vision China

herStay "Forever/ Yong/ EWIG/ Toujours" performance in NY Gramercy Park:
Conflux City Festival, NY:
Quote, sited in Scenekunst: author Bertrand Besigye on Monica Emilie Herstad, in NY, September 2009:
"...and there, she, the blackly dressed, black shadesly wearing slowmotion film dancing queen of athmospheres, enters that NY park, hurling her arms, slinging out, singing out the most quiet floating movements, she radiates the pedestrian daily life rush, with her dance, dance as the fracture differing from the monothony of the street-life factor, dance such as like the darkest layer of a fruitful glass of purple red ..."
Scenekunst, September 2009
- Scenekunst, September 2009

Monica Emilie Herstad feature in TimeOut:
herStay in TimeOut India Theater Festival Golden Jubil�e
-Suhani Singh

herStay "Forever/ [Youngyuan]/ EWIG/ Toujours" in NY Gramercy Park:
Conflux City Festival, NY:
"The performance was outstanding. It was fresh and inspiring. New York needs more of this kind of innovative work."
-Errol Rappaport, West Coast Editor, and photographer, Black Tie Magazine

As you like it
�During the performance, herStay truly opened Oslo out in �Oslo Open� by making the world a stage, and the unknown yet common pedestrian its player: The silhouettes freely moved in and out of the dark in the uncaged stage which allowed for the participation of the accidental passersby who unknowingly had �their exits and their entrances�, bringing home Shakespeare�s:
�All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances...� (As You Like It)�
- Research Sajad Rahmani, UiO, on herStay "Forever/ Yong/ EWIG/ Toujours" performance in Slottsparken, in front of Litteraturhuset, The Royal Castle and Kunstnernes Hus, at Oslo Open 26/09/2009

"Success of the Strange"
"Monica Emilie Herstad experiences to be accepted and embraced by a large scale audience even if her art is concidered niche." Success of the strange
- Grundere: S�r Suksess, Musikk & Kultur, Mfo/ LO, March 2009

On Monica Emilie Herstad�s oevre "Forever/ Yong/ EWIG/ Toujours":
"- I was first very interested by the use of the space. In a park of the popular part of the city, which is usually a place of transition and of transaction, a place of dealing and prostitution as well of wandering, (which remind me somehow on the dramaturgy of B. M Kolt�s theater plays, like the "Dans la solitude des champs de coton") there were placed some figures of dancers. I use the term figure on purpose: they were very hieratics and almost abstracts because of the quality of their concentration, the purity of the body and the sharp relation they had together. Through the figures of the dancers, the urban space was saying something else. "I" was not seeing something new, but the Thing, the urban space was watching me differently. As Bergson says "quand les artistes regardent une chose, ils la voient pour elle, et non pour eux." (When the artists look at one thing, they see it for itself, and not for themselves." It can apply to what Monica Emilie Herstad has done.
To say it shortly and in other words, in that "corrupted" urban space, this dance provide a certain "transcendance", not in a mystic way, but like a body before the body and a landscape before the landscape. Somehow, an idea of "Ewig".
- In the same order of idea, what was very sharp was the relation between reality and fiction created by the performance, which allow a very original "friction" of those two elements. The border of the stage were structured by the architectural space, and eventhough the performance occured for the main part in an "all�e" of the parc, under trees, its narrative power spreads out. The public, the people passing by, the light of the street lamps and windows, the different type of stones used for the building around, the sounds (very particular hybridation between the "music" of the performance and the everyday life sounds : cars, wind, muffling voices) were as if engulfed by the artistic performance. Here, a soldier walking by in his costume, going out of the military barrack close by, suddenly slow down his step, his body became more "here", present, he was interpreted somehow by what was happening. At every external event the spectator was lead to new range of associations, of interpretations.
- What was finally very beautiful was the ending, when those figures went out of the "imaginary circle" and continue their walk for two hundred meters until they turn at the angle of a building. I was focusing my attention on something which was now in a distance, changing my position, changing the perception. So, the vanishing of those figures takes some time, eventhough the performance was short it already triggers some remembering of them, of who they were when standing in front of me, and I felt that mixed feeling of loss when they disappeared.
I know that a performance is good when analysing its effect on me.
After seing a (good) film, reading a book, watching dance of theater, the reality has a new density, new order and "correspondances" (to quote the title of the poem of Baudelaire) thanks to this esthetic experiment. That was the case of "Ewig"
- Jonathan Chatel, Sorbonne, November 2008
Author, and editor in Geste

September 1st 2008 Monica Emilie Herstad receives the International Ibsen Award Stipend 2008.
The Norwegian Association for Performing Arts says in a statement:
"It is a pleasure that the Norwegian choreographer Monica Emilie Herstad/herStay is offered this grant for her upcoming work Movers and shakers - Tangible channeling the existence of nature (earlier working title TWIRL), based on Ibsen�s Rosmersholm. This is the third herStay performance inspired by Ibsen�s literature."
-http://www.danseogteatersentrum.no/?lang=eng

herStay wonderful reviews from Delhi and Mumbay
herStay in New Delhi at LTG Auditorium the 11th of January at 2.30 and 6 pm, and in Mumbay, at Nehru Centre, the 14th at 6.30 pm, all at The India Theater Festival Bharat Rang Mahotsav, 10 Year Golden Jubil�e, organized by NSD in 2008, with the herStay performance Past is simulation - The ladies of the sea vs Nora, and other stories of the society, playing.

"Monica Emilie Herstad is bringing a new discourse to stage"
- Ajit Rai, Jansatta/ Indian Express January 12th, 2008

"A study of the postmodern woman on the stage"
"To escape the feeling of unease, a woman flees to the seashore, repeatedely. For hours she gazes at a flying bird. As another female character seems to search for reason, in the darkness, through dance gestures. While leaving, a third is suddenly startled. The fourth attempts a suicide. The fifth shudders abruptly with fear. The sixth, the seventh, the eight, and, in similar manners, innumerable women appears, with patterns of actions since times immemorial. For example: doing housework, loving someone, rearing children, quarrel with husband, being whipped, or shedding tears.
These female characters, who emerges out of the dramas of Norway�s famous dramatist Henrik Ibsen, came together on stage in the presentation directed by Monica Emilie Herstad in her Past is Simulation: The Ladies of the Sea vs Nora and other Stories of the society. The staging took place at the ninth day of the India Theatre Festival at the LTG Auditorium. Enacted in New Delhi and Mumbai, and with generousity of the Norwegian Embassy, this play is important from several points of view. The woman director searches for a new stage language by new ways of acting, light-designing and presenting music, for the dance performance. It succeeds way beyond words. This is not Physical Theatre, where, through the agency of body language and the language of gestures, a script assumes shape in a formless manner.

This is a total experience of dramatic art beyond words.

The audience sees a new kind of dance performance in a new space. It comprises the full potential for a transformation of the imaginativeness of the audience.

The performance is so attracting, that one is not getting aware of the time at all.

This is a postmodern global text on stage.

Monica Emilie Herstad is � instead of promoting a rather acerb image of the women or of showing protest � performing a deep examination, from the ingress into the innermost core.

She is creating an ironic disguise of the texts of Ibsen�s dramas. It is exactly this ironic disguise which develops into a comment on the images of women in the present milieu.
Her actresses appear on stage with high heeled shoes, contemporary hair-do, and hyper-modern dresses. They show in ironic disguise different matters of concern of the women, and their emotional expressions and body movements, in deep, white, faint light, together with mystical music. These matters of concern are selected from the lives of Ibsen�s women.

The performance has its background mainly from the lives of the protagonist Ellida and her two coeval stepdaughters Hilde and Bolette, from the drama Lady from the Sea, and of the heroine Nora from A Doll�s House.
An evaluation of Ibsen�s texts is done by the German feminist writer Elfriede Jelinek in her book What happened after Nora had left her Husband, including the text Pillars of Society. In one scene it is the aura of the unforgettable world famous author Susan Sontag, in which she presented the character of the heroine Ellida of Lady from the Sea.
The performance with its latent meanings raises, however, several questions at the level of script and style. On the one hand she disturbs the acerb images of the biographies of the women of the dramas, but at the other she succeeds to overcome the acerb images on the stage by employing the medium of artistic explanation. Words are not presented here. And the music appears slightly segregated. Together with an examination of the relevance of Henrik Ibsen for the present times, the performance investigates in addition the question whether our world has really changed for women during the one hundred years after Ibsen. The decision rests with the audience."
- Ajit Rai, Jansatta/ Indian Express, January 12th, 2008

Tantalising
"The play opens with a complete surprise, with a mechanical bird winging its way over the proscenium, and hovering the dancer on the large stage.
The tantalising conjectures are woven around the splendid solists, who seem to express the ambivalent emotions of Ibsen�s women when their bodies move, fall, strech, and bend.
Dancing as mirror-images, or the captivating trio moving in unison, they bring out rich associations with Nora, or the steph-daughters Hilde and Bolette, of Lady of the sea, or the eponymous heroine of Hedda Gabler, or even the youthful Hedvig of The Wild Duck." - Dr. Utpal K Banerjee, Pioneer, New Delhi, January 15th 2008

Monica Emilie Herstad vs Pina Bausch
"From the European segment of the festival, two were dance theatre performances � Pina Bausch�s �Bamboo Blues� and Monica Emilie Herstad�s unwieldily titled �Past is Simulation: The Ladies of the Sea vs Nora and Other Stories�.
The Norwegian performance piece was dense with references which became significant only if, besides Ibsen, you also knew the work of the director Elfriede Jelinek and the late Susan Sontag�s reading of �Lady of the Sea�. Otherwise what you saw [in Past is simulation] were incredibly flexible female bodies that posed, contorted, writhed and grew slack to express a whole spectrum of emotions, dark to bright, between male-constructed women and women as they are and want to be. Pina Bausch�s �Bamboo Blues� was more accessible than Herstad�s piece. The piece was built bit by bit from impressions that she and her dancers had gathered when they travelled through the streets of Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata."
- Shanta Gokhale, The Hindu Magazine, February 10th 2008

Fan mail from audience internationally: "Regarding your performance in New Delhi of Past is Simulation - The Ladies of the Sea vs Nora and other stories
Hello There, Greetings from India.
I'm a software professional based in New Delhi. Today I happened to view your performance 'Past is simulation - The ladies of the sea vs Nora, and other stories' at LTG theatre.
I have been watching theatre for almost 10 years now and I must admit that I have never before seen such a unique poetic artistic creation. A performance that keeps on coming back and striking one's mind again and again.
Right from the start, from the airplane movements, one is gripped by the slow meaningful expressions of the performers, their perfect synchronization and subtle motions. So much is conveyed in so simple terms with minimal sets, costumes and very appropriate light design.
The simultaneous movements of the twins, the picturization and lighting of the echo scene, the whip aspect all express the message they are intended to convey. Finally the coming together of the three performers, the sea and tranquility give an pertinent climax to the excellent performance. The use of the airplane, the chairs and the small duck convey a deep message with minimum effort. The captivating music matches the equally powerful performance. The best part is that the universal message of the play gets conveyed without any language barriers.
My congratulations to herStay, the director, all the performers, the music compiler, the light designer and the makeup and styling artists.
It was indeed an unforgettable presentation. I hope and wish that you people soon come back again to India with more of your artistic productions.
With warm regards and thanks again,
God Bless You all.
Rajan."

2008, January 17th - 18th
at Patravadi Theatre, Garden Theatre, opening the Bangkok Fringe Festival, in Thailand:

herStay, front cover picture Cultural magazine, Bangkok News, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008
"PHANTOM PERSONA OR MONICA EMILIE HERSTAD:
--Last Friday I went to Patravadi Theater to see some performances, including PAST IS SIMULATION -- THE LADIES OF THE SEA VS. NORA, AND OTHER STORIES OF THE SOCIETY, directed by Monica Emilie Herstad from Norway. The performance is inspired by the writings of Henrik Ibsen, Susan Sontag, and Elfriede Jelinek. I like it a lot. It is now one of my most favorite stage performances of all time. I don't know how to describe it. I think I can say that its power is like the power of PHANTOM LOVE (2007, Nina Menkes) mixing with the power of PERSONA (1966, Ingmar Bergman).

This is a clip from PAST IS SIMULATION:
http://vids.myspace.com/herStay
This is a short film called THE LITTLE CHAOS (1966, Rainer Werner Fassbinder).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjDh0gF2ExA"
- Celine Julie, Thailand 2008

herStay - THE UNFORGETABLE PERFORMANCE
NRK Radio, P2, Scenerom January 2nd, 2007

Review in NRK, Scenerom:
herStay performance Past is simulation - The ladies of the sea vs Nora, and other stories of the society, is pointed out as The theater experience of the year, described as the performance that NRK/ P2 Scenerom conciders worth of remembrance, from the year 2006, for it�s excellence in performing elements
- P2,Scenerom, January 2nd, 2007

Kunstkritikk, December 8th 2006
Read the exciting review Feministic Melancholy, on Monica Emilie Herstad�s oevre Past is simulation, The ladies of the sea vs Nora, and other stories of the society
(...) "Herstad is herself performing a solo as the entrance of the performance, in communication with a motorized paperplane, circling in the air. Her movements are like locked-up in an unfree body, in strong contrast to the liberatedly performing airplane. It is a poetic and heartbreaking start, a comment on the female situation in today�s society"(...)
-Elisabeth Leinslie, http://kunstkritikk.no/article/11415

Review in Norsk Teater & Shakespeare Tidsskrift issue no. 1, 2007:
�Monica Emilie Herstad, herStay` Past is simulation is a unique contribution to the Ibsen Year 2006. (�) The choreographer Monica Emilie Herstad is confident with style, creating a performance on the faith of these female characters. (�) Herstad uses a source material enriched with feministic approaches and suggestions. This suits the profoundly defined herStay expression well: feminine expression, feministic view, stylish appearance, and butoh inspired movement. (�) Herstad is interpreting analytically the female characters of Ibsen, and his plays, in a visual and physical language, rather than critizising his characters radically. (�) The movements represents immediacy, longing, resignedness, and na�vity. She draws scetches of Nora, Ellida, Hedda, and maybe even of Hedvig or Hilde. (�) Herstads scenography is simple and powerful, the stage is shared between the mystique of nature, and the conventions of the society. In an athmosphere of twilight, and a sheer, green textile, associating sea and fjords, enframed with some tired, still elegant, chairs along the wall.�
- Melanie Fieldseth, January 2007

Feature in Aftenposten, Oslo 30.april: herStay tolker Ibsens kvinneskikkelser

herStay at NRK1 L�rdagsrevyen, herStay filminnslag, 29.april, 2006

January 2006, FAVORITE ACTRESS, Limitless Cinema, arts blog Bangkok
1.MONICA EMILIE HERSTAD�SLOWFLY/V.I.C.T.O.R.I.A.
2.MISSING YOU
3.ISABELLE HUPPERT�THE LACEMAKER+ AMATEUR
4.ELINA LOWENSOHN�AMATEUR http://drumz.best.vwh.net/Hartley/Images/Fullsize/amasnd03.jpg
5.MAGGIE SMITH�KEEPING MUM
6.KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS�KEEPING MUM
7.AVA GARDNER�THE KILLERS http://www.leninimports.com/ava_gardner_gallery_1.jpg
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_celinejulie_archive.html

August 2005, herStay in Le Monde Diplomatique:
"In her choreography the ideal body of classical ballet meets the introspective quietness of the dance of Min Tanaka"
-Truls Lie, Le Monde Diplomatique

Monica Emilie Herstad is presented at Brown University, US, at Performance Studies International Conference, March 30th - April 3d, 2005, at the panel discussion: "Becoming Uncomfortable/ Troubling Dance", in the paper: Feminism and Fashion?: The Choreography of Monica Emilie Herstad
�Herstad has developed her choreography into a form of self-analysis, a hyper-responsive mode motivated by decisions to move. (�) I think of her dance as a form of �deep play,� a term from Victor Turner, to describe an activity invested in spontaneity and profoundly meaningful to the participants. Within a frame of choreography, Herstad explores her unconscious and responds with clear choices. Like psychoanalytic practice, Herstad focuses awareness upon the immediate moment and repeatedly responds to the space, the sound, the audience, the video screen. (�) Rather than a dancer�s body representing an idea or metaphor, Herstad�s body in performance investigates that immediate time and space. (...) Consequently, there is no one answer to how her movements interrelate; the dance generates an analytic experience for the audience � without an answer, the meaning lies with the questioner and his/her formulation of questions and interpretations. This matter of interpretation, however, is shaped greatly by Herstad�s exploration of an idea of femininity and style�
-Leah Garland, NYU, Eugene Lang College, New School for Social Research, in her paper on Feminism and Fashion?: The Choreography of Monica Emilie Herstad, March 31, 2005

Portrait interview with Monica Emilie Herstad, situated in Gramercy Park, with The Norwegian National Television, NRK 1, Safari, February 2004:
"The dancer and performance artist Monica Emilie Herstad is representing innovation within her field through several years. As her artistic fundament is expressed at the crosspoint of classical ballet and butoh, she creates her own, genuin expression with video art, dance and music. We meets her just before her performance in N.Y. in December 2003 " -The National Television, NRK 1, Safari 2004

Feature on Monica Emilie Herstad in Morgenbladet in "She is teached from the origin by the butoh master Min Tanaka through several years. Butoh is a Japanese performance expression. Still deeply connected to this tradition, she adds renewal to the tradition, its ritualism and monotony, with a just as eastern orientated hipness and surface esthetics. " - Jon Refsdahl Moe, Morgenbladet, 2003 - now artistic leader at Black Box Teater, Oslo, in 2009

New York Art Magazine and Berliner Kunst, 2003 on Ms.Monica Emilie Herstad�s solo performance in Los Angeles March 1st, 2003:
"On the opening evening, Norwegian performance and video artist, Monica Emilie Herstad executed a version of her performance Comewhatmay. She combines a mix of dance techniques with video and throbbing trance sounds. This version of her performance made attempts to close the gap between two and three dimensions. Her movements influenced by classical ballet, modern and butoh become its own sample of order and chaos. Herstad moved with simultaneity to the projected images of herself performing, closing distance between cerebral and sensational. Her decision for costume is to iterate couture critiquing the desire and desired. Her choice to project onto the corrugated metal roll-up door paralleled the sensitivity and installation site specificity of "Re-Kreation" at POST."
-NY Arts Magazine and Berliner Kunst, April issue 2003

"herStay border breaking art:
herStay and Kreuzer kompani, are two of the ensembles that in the recent years brought the art of dance into new directions.
Gaining large respect, in international media for their way of integrating new media into stage expressions, which makes them efficient for being the first to be portrayed in our new serie on successful artists. A young, innovative and border breaking generation, is entering the stage. This stage is not neccesarily Norwegian, and - as you see, there are others than Jo Str�mgren to be represented here. " - Jon Refsdahl Moe, Morgenbladet, 2003 - now artistic leader at Black Box Teater, Oslo, in 2009

 


" Her ideas belongs to the international performance scene:

The Norwegian identity is not the dominant factor in Monica Emilie Herstad´s oeuvre; rather her ideas belongs to the international performance scene, with its conceptual mix of dancetechniques, video, advanced lightdesign and music- and soundpicture. Herstad has studied both classical ballet, modern dance and Japaneese butoh, traces of butoh occurs in the concentrated slowlyness that dominates the piese Comewhatmay;. Comewhatmay; mirrorizes the lack of illusions, and social bewilderness, of our time - a wonderful monotony, tranquil and graceful"
-Anna Ängstrom, writing for Svenska Dagbladet, and for Ballet Tanz International, 2002
Monica Emilie Herstad at Moderna Dansteatern, Stockholm, Sweden

On herStay performance at The National Theater, Torshovteatret June 2004, and Soria Moria Festival April 2004:
"The dance performance SLOWFLY/ V.i.c.t.o.r.i.a.. by and with choreographer and dancer Monica Emilie Herstad, with her ensemble herStay, was recieved by an amazed audience in standing ovations.
- Program of Action, Oslo Municipality 2005

herStay dialectics:"Comewhatmay is created from a dialectics between inner movement and outer aesthetics, and is guiding the audience to enter a meditative condition, wherein the spectators meets their own pulse" -Grete Indahl, Klassekampen 2001 - now a senior advisor at The Norwegian Ministry Department of Culture

"The fragile and still graceful way of performing gives an esthetic and clean totality. At the same time, the dancers and the music express chaos and insecurity. Taken in all, they are performing with an incredible engagement, and gives the audience value for their money. The audience vitnessed an alternative dance-performance at Avant Garden, with herStay [BeMyGhost]. Using music, performance, video and dance, herStay expresses something new and urban" - Ida Siem, ISFIT/ NTNU, 2003

Bangkok Post 3d of April 2004, review and feature in Thai on Ms.Monica Emilie Herstad� solo performance at Siam Center in Bangkok, the city of angels, March 18th 2004

On Monica Emilie Herstad vs Fransico Clemente:
"Further elucidating the impact of Kant` s term of �indifference�, we can look up the previous edition of Wintuition were Monica Emilie Herstad says of [her] dance group: �This is of course not entertainment.� Other memorable moments include Francisco Clemente saying that he was �more interested in what I don` t know, than what I know� or Frans Widerberg saying that the goal of a painter is �to be released from knowing what you are doing� (...) Kant: the genius has no rational grasp of his working procedures"
-http://www.nerdrum.com/kitsch/index.php?id=8

"With [BeMyGhost], herStay creates an athmospheric performance that generates emotions and thoughtfulness, for audiences who are interested in early 21 century art. herStay belongs to crossover art, between dance, drama and new media. Her performances expresses poetic sence and scilent athmosphere, the one hour performance proceeds intensely. We`ll have a look also next time she is on tour"
­ Trygve Lundemo, Adresseavisen, 2003

"Rather discreet, the dj [Hicham Boudd�n] reigns in a corner with his instruments, creating lasting, comfortable soundscapes to the ones on stage, contributing to the athmosphere including the chilliest, to the most shivering heartbeats " -Aftenposten on The fetish is the observer, and DJ Hicham Boudd�n, February 2003

"Clinical, still delicious - unexpected feminine"
-Aftenposten, on Comewhatmay;, September 2001

"herStay`s _INvisible _planet, a solo that lies between the expressiveness of butoh, and Robert Wilson`s minimalistic visual concretizing "
­ Danjel Andersson, Dagens Nyheter, 2001, now artistic leader at the festival Perfect Performance in Stockholm

"�rets program har meget h�y kvalitet. F�rst ut, den 29. mars 2001, er herStay fra Oslo med forestillingen _INvisible_planet. Dette er en visuell solo-performance med danseren Monica Emilie Herstad.
� Et raffinert samspill mellom videoprojiseringer og ut�ver, karakteriserer Engeness _INvisible_planet"
Silje Engeness, Bastardfestivalen Teaterhuset Avant Garden, til studentavisen Under Dusken 2001

"herStay in St.Petersburg: A meditation on high-frequency urban life. Perhaps this is what art connoisseurs in St. Petersburg need at the moment, faced as they
are with a series of impossible choices during The White Nights Festival"
­ St. Petersburg Times, 2000

Ground breaking artistic qualities:
On the solo, _disturbed _id: "The production confirms that Ms.Herstad`s performance language contains groundbreaking artistic qualities"
-Grete Indahl, Klassekampen 2001 - now a senior advisor at The Norwegian Ministry Department of Culture

"High quality dance performance. Ms.Herstads multi artistic project and it´s convincing strength, confirms itself as a vivid installation, a performancework of rare substance. Ms.Herstad`s organization of all the elements is impressing, it is urban, but also something else, a melancholic, yet a breathing organism. A state of mind, under the concrete, under the skin, deep down in earth, inside the feet, you become aware" -Inger Margrethe Lunde, Dagsavisen, 1999, now critic in Aftenposten

"herStay in dance curriculum:
Now, wherever I go I learn about butoh-influenced dance and theater; in Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Brazil, and most recently in Norway, the Butohinspired group of Monica Emilie Herstad. Susannah Akerlund carries on the tradition in Sweden and San Fransisco hosts an annual international butoh festival through d-net"
- ­Professor at New York State University, Sondra Horton Fraleigh, in her book Dancing into Darkness, Pittsburgh University Press, 1999

On Monica Emilie Herstad in the dancework The Dance of Life of Min Tanaka during The Tokyo International Festival of Performing Arts: "[She]comprehends butoh and presents the movement as an end in itself"
- Gilles Kennedy, Tokyo Times, 1997

On "herStay Recollection of an Unlived Life" / herStay 1998: "A performance filled with beauty, poetry, and refinement. It is stringent and worked through to the last detail"
­ -Morgenbladet, 1999

Du Nord vient la grace:
Monica Emilie Herstad performing at the 5 live opening events at the Nordic-Baltic screenings and reception, at the Annecy Animation Film Festival, with modern fiddle player Nils �kland: "Du Nord vient la grace (...) elle offrir au public un moment d`emotion et d`enchantement"
­ Le Quotidien, Annecy, 1998

Monica Emilie Herstad at the front cover of FLUX: See also presentation, including several pictures and an double page interview with her, in Flux, a magazine on philosophy, science and arts
-http://www.flux.no/13/ForsideStor, eternal perspective

"Questions and philosophical moves: What is the essence of dance?"
(...) Then Monica Emilie Herstad, the young beautiful founder of herStay, a performance group which is altering views on what modern dance is all about, see www.herStay.net, showed me the essence of relating thought to body: attention can guide it. Through a movement which is as much, if not more, a movement of mind than body, the sensation, whether of pain or joy, can be converted to a cognitive structure, expressed
- Independent research, Stein von Reusch, April 2005, http://www.yoga4d.com/dance.htm

"Similar discussion-series with long- legged dancer and founder of dance group, Monica Emilie Herstad led to new explorations of movement, the concept of movement earlier on explored in science with the notion of the so-called "Flux" magazine -- and taken further in my development of a new approach to physics, entitled supertext or supermodel theory -- spelled out in informal philosophical terms but inspired by works also in computer language"
- Independent research, Stein von Reusch, September 2009, http://www.yoga4d.com/a_tiny_but_complete_painting_course.htm

Photo this page: Monica Emilie Herstad, herStay, Silver Prize Winning August 2011, South Korea

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