Performing New Europe

Erna Ómarsdóttir (ISL) & Jóhann Jóhannsson (ISL)

IBM 1401 – A User‘s Manual

  • SZENE Salzburg
©Erna Ómarsdóttir
©Erna Ómarsdóttir

Erna Ómarsdóttir aroused international attention in 2002 with her intense dance solo IBM 1401 – A User’s Manual, her first independent piece. The evening was created in close collaboration with the celebrated musician Jóhann Jóhannsson, who composed the soundtrack for laptop and electric Hammond organ and performed it live. Fifteen years later the two of them planned to take their duet back on tour, however, Jóhann Jóhannsson died shortly before this could be achieved. Now Erna Ómarsdóttir will present the current version of the work for the first time in Austria, together with a musician and friend.

IBM 1401 – A User’s Manual deals with the complex relationship between humans and machines. Its looped melody is based on an ancient Icelandic hymn that is played through one of the first computers, the IBM 1401. The choreography represents the body as a machine on the one hand and as a mysterious, immaterial energy, similar to electricity, on the other.

Erna Ómarsdóttir is one of Iceland’s most successful dancers and choreographers and has received worldwide acclaim for her boldly visual creations. In 2018 she directed the ballet ensemble of the Gärtnerplatztheater Munich for the first time in Romeo and Juliet.

Concept: Erna Ómarsdóttir & Jóhann Jóhannsson Choreografy & Performance: Erna Ómarsdóttir
Composition: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Music Arrangement: Jóhann Jóhannsson & Arnar Bjarnason
Music Performance: Ólafur Björn Ólafsson aka ÓBÓ/Úlfur Eldjárn (altering)
Lightdesign: Sylvain Rausa
Production & Distribution: LÓKAL – Performing Arts Reykjavík (Bjarni Jónsson)