Per Roar : Embodying an unfinished story of grieving as a griefscape



The proposal is to present a case study dealing with “Representing the Un-Representable”: the choreographic-research project that led to the performance An Unfinished Story. The performance premiered in Vijecnica, the old national library in Sarajevo, in June 2006 and addressed the socio-political situation of loss and grieving in the aftermath of the Bosnian War (1992-1995) in former Yugoslavia. Through a contextual and fieldwork-based approach to choreography conducted on the ground in Belgrade and Sarajevo, the objectives of the performance were to search for a way to create a rehearsal situation for dealing with the irretrievable. In the presentation, I will focus on how this process resulted in a movement exploration that drew on knowledge about our ability to maintain physical balance and psychosomatic reaction patterns when coping with post-traumatic stress. The work drew among others on Hal Foster (1996); Cathy Caruth (1995); Susan Sontag (2003) and Judith Butler (2004).

Technical needs: A projector with speakers


Per Roar is an Oslo based choreographer who currently is a doctoral researcher in choreography and artistic research at the University of the Arts Helsinki. His artistic work merges socio-political interest and contextual enquiry with somatic approach to movement, particular influenced by Gindler-Jacoby work and Klein Technique. He studied choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, contemporary dance and performance in New York, and gained his MA in Performance Studies from New York University, but draws in his artistic work also on his background and earlier studies in history and social sciences at the University of Oslo, supplemented by graduate studies at Corvinius University, Budapest and Oxford University. His artistic works include: White Lies/Black Myths (1995) – on the construct of ‘the other’ (see: Anne Britt Gran, 2000); Shot in the Recliner – the art of camping (2000) – a low-tech interactive camping happening that toured caravan sites in Norway; and the trilogy Life & Death (2006) in which he – by looking at grieving – explored a contextual approach to making choreography. Issues he is presently addressing in his doctoral work.

Per Roar is a recipient of US-Fulbright scholarship (1998-1999), the Norwegian Government fellowship for artists (2000-2003) and was research fellow in choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2003 – 2006). In 2012 he was awarded the Norwegian Government’s Guarantee Income for Artists.