The Wonderful and the Ordinary

Gunilla Heilborn (SE) / Theater im Bahnhof (AT)

Is it true that we remember the wonderful and extreme more than the ordinary? Gunilla Heilborn’s latest performance, “The Wonderful and The Ordinary” delves into the mechanisms of memory and amnesia.

Already in antiquity people knew the power of images. The students in rhetoric, who wanted to improve their memory capacity, were told to reshape everything they wanted to remember into colourful, beautiful or violent images. These extraordinary images would help them to retain all the information they needed in their memory. And it works, seeing as most of us remember the fantastical and the astonishing clearer than the ordinary. But why are some memories so crystal clear, while others simply disappear?

And what should we do, if we have had enough of extraordinary events? Those of us who would rather hold on to the small and seemingly insignificant details, like what colour umbrella your neighbour carried when she left the house or how the price of strawberries fluctuated last summer or what the weather was like, just as dawn broke? What images should we use to remember what we want to remember?

Gunilla Heilborn’s unique performances are well-known for how she expertly fuses dance and written word with visual materials. This Autumn she is back at Dansens Hus, this time on our Main Stage, with The Wonderful and The Ordinary. The stage will serve as a memory fortress, through which two dancers and three actors will wander: to recall, repeat and question their memories; searching all the while for the modestly magnificent.

Co-produced by steirischer herbst 2017
This performance is a collaboration between Gunilla Heilborn and Austrian Theater Im Bahnhof.


Idea and staging: Gunilla Heilborn , text: Gunilla Heilborn und Ensemble , sounddesign: Kim Hiorthøy , Costume: Katarina Wiklund , Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen , Film: Mårten Nilsson