Symphony of Silence
Premiere 2010

World war I. A soldier, deeply affected by the war, seeks into a worn out hotel on his way home from the front. Sounds reaches the soldier in the tiny hotelroom, including notes from a composer who attempts to create music for the future, a new style. The soldier observes a cabaret dancer in the dark from the hotel room. The atmosphere and sounds slowly enters the mind of the soldier. Through intoxication, longing, nightmares, hallucinations and encounters with the composer and cabaret dancer the soldier reveals scenarios from the war; Blood, mutilated bodies, a dying friend, running soldiers, exploding bombs and rain as cold as ice.

The soldier gradually shows symptoms of shell shock evoking fear and chaos. The war has left its marks upon the soldier but the cabaret dancer and the composer are also deeply affected. SYMPHONY OF SILENCE is a story about losing control when everything you know is falling apart. A story about losing identity and the massive consequences of war.

Symphony of Silence is my interpretation of what happens when a soldier returns from war and the reactions that follows. For some years ago I watched old footages from World War I of soldiers suffering from Shellchok (PTSD today). The physical wounds, tics and mental damages that the soldiers did incurred left a strong impression. The footages appeared without sound and it was an even stronger experience to watch so brutal images in silence; this is where the title Symhony of Silence origins from. Today (2010) Denmark is at war in Afghanistan, where people are being killed and even kills. Soldiers also today returns home from war with serious psychological problems. 

A former soldier from Balkan explained it to me with these words:

“Everything normal is destroyed, it's surreal, extreme, adrenaline-pumping, a death experience and survival. I'm not the same as I was before. I have changed and become another person."

Lille Carl, Dansehallerne
17 - 25 April 2010 
Duration 60 minutes 

Artistic & production team
Idea, choreography and staging Pernille Garde Dancers Bo MadvigTiziana Fracchiolla & Alexandre Bourdat Dramaturgical ass. Kristoffer Møller Hansen Music Greatmusic/ Tin Soheili og Niklas Schak Set design and costumes Julie Forchhammer Set ass. Sara Vilslev Lightdesign Michael Breiner Videodesign Mikal Bing Technician Jonas Corneliussen Production leader Hanna Grue Pr photos Natascha Thiara Rydvald & Freddy Tornberg Grafic design Mette Kaspersen & Robin Neil Hart Pr Rikke Rottensten Administration Projekt Centre, Dansehallerne/ Jens Christian Jensen.

Supported by
Scenekunstudvalget, KODA dramatik, Toyota Fonden, Københavns Scenekunstudvalg, Augustinus Fonden, BG Fonden, Oda og Hans Svenningsens Fond og Knud Højgaards Fond. 



Weekendavisen 2010 Majbrit Hjelmsbo:

"[...] there are not at all silent in Pernille Gardes Symphony of Silence. The bullets whistles and bombs still explodes inside the head of the soldier. Apparently the perverted show does continue. A brave and hartcore statement from a choreographer who has something important to say."

Bo Madvig awarded by Albert Gaubiers fond in 2010 for his role as the soldier in Symphony of Silence. Erik Aschengreen motivated the decision with these words:

"In spring 2010 Bo Madvig once again created an interesting character, this time, in "Symphony of Silence" by Pernille Garde. He left a strong impression as the traumatized soldier returning home from war. It was clear that after seeing him in this role he now had to receive Albert Gaubiers grant."








Pernille Garde