Blog: Anybody with Any Body by Janne Weidinger Kristensen

23 August 2022

Image from Anybody with Any Body performance - photo by Bahadir Badi Berber
Image from Anybody with Any Body performance - photo by Bahadir Badi Berber

By Janne Weidinger Kristensen, PUSH+ Different Bodies Lab participant.

Anybody with Any Body – a stage performance for young audiences

Back in 2019, I applied to be a part of the PUSH+ Different Bodies Lab, motivated by our process of establishing youth classes in integrated dance in Foreningen for integreret moderne dans i Danmark (FIMD). The next natural step would be to focus on a performance either with or for a young audience.

Corona created a rollercoaster and postponed the Different Bodies Lab, but our intention was already decided.

During the first lockdown, we managed to convert dancing to online events, since we had so many activities happen in 2019, the energy couldn’t just stop. One dancer, Sandie Tange, came to me and said: I want to dance more!

Sandie and I decided to meet outside in nature, to move, dance and explore. Sandie has a plus size figure. In Denmark, for many years, society has disabled people with fat bodies. It has been a taboo, and ‘it was their own fault’. There was very little acceptance of different bodies. In the contemporary dance environment, we don’t see dancers like Sandie … neither in dance classes or on stage.

Sandie danced and moved, and came a step closer to her own sense of nature…

Already long before the Different Bodies Lab in January 2022, the stage performance Anybody With Any Body was a reality. After the second lockdown we presented the performance for a 6. Grade from one of our local elementary schools in Copenhagen. They watched the performance with Sandie, which contains dance, singing, and text related to her life experience. Some pupils were touched, and could see themselves in the theme around feeling different.

After the performance we had a conversation with our young audience about fear of fitting in, shame, weight, bodies and social media. It made them understand what they experienced through the performance more deeply. As a beautiful side effect, Sandie was drawn back to her most vulnerable point from her own time in school, and were therefor able to heal a wound, because she was bullied just around that age of our young audience.

Danish society need to see and experience more diversity, compared to how ‘the norm’ is today. Children and young people do not have a diverse palette of people with different bodies to mirror.

If we do not get exposed to different bodies, we will not be able to embrace a huge part of the population…

Who has never felt outside, different from the norm or just not feeling comfortable in their own skin? Most people, young or old, can relate to the basic theme of Anybody with Any Body!

We are interested in opening up Anybody with Any Body to a wider audience. The performance will play during 2022-24. For information contact Artistic Director Janne Weidinger

Thank you for supporting me/us in our further development of our work, through the PUSH+ Lab. By supporting us, you support change in Denmark.

Janne Weidinger Kristensen took part in the PUSH+ Different Bodies Lab in January 2022. You can read more about her here