BOWER (2021/2022)

Interdisciplinary work 40-45’


Concept, direction and composition: Kristine Tjøgersen
Scenography and costumedesign: Maja Nilsen
Choreography: Julie Desprairies
Light design: Evelina Dembacke
Field Recordings: Marc Anderson/Wild Ambience

Written to: ensemble soundinitiative

BOWER (excerpts) from Kristine Tjøgersen on Vimeo.

In BOWER you can experience an extraordinary bird's perspective through the innovative new performance piece BOWER. The interdisciplinary work is inspired by the unique behaviors of bowerbirds. These remarkable birds are admired for their cultural and artistic abilities, building architecturally complex structures, called a Bower.

With few natural enemies and a habitat rich in resources, the bowerbirds pass their days developing their dance oriented courtship and working on their bower; carefully arranging their found objects in a sophisticated system of optical illusions.

Benjamin Soistier as Scarab

Male bowerbirds spend most of their year constructing the bower, in the hope that it is impressive enough to woo a partner. The bowers therefore represent the status and the genetic fitness of their owners. Their behavior may even shed light upon the origins of artistic creation and aesthetic sensibilities.

Szymon Kaca as a nature spirit

Gwen Rouger  as Satin Bowerbird

Shao-Wei Chou as Golden Bowerbird

Winnie Huang as Flame Bowerbird

We have placed this bower in a deep forest from the distant future, and it becomes unclear if it is birds or humans that are in the center of attention. The space will be a haunt for both performers and the audience, where movements, sound and music is directly translated and inspired by the birds' daily routines, habitat, sound world, interaction and behavior. The bower can be a sci-fi nightclub or a forest theater, recreating the extraordinary courtship, rendered in physical format.

Bird behavior has always fascinated humans, as we try to find meaning and reason in something mysterious. Through seeking original methods of interdisciplinary collaboration, the visual elements propose new premises for musical innovation, and on stage the performative and absurd meet the lyrical and existential. Through observing the bowerbirds’ behavior we recognise ourselves.


Commissioned by Borealis – en festival for eksperimentell musikk.

Commission supported by Arts Council Norway.
Stage design and costumes supported by: FFLB

Premiere at: Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains, Paris 05.03.22
Norwegian premiere at Borealis 2022.