Efva Lilja

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Curriculum Vitae

Efva Lilja
Gammelbodavägen 14A
139 71 Stavsnäs
SWEDEN

info@efvalilja.se
www.efvalilja.se

This CV is written in chronological order. Lists of my works are presented in my online archive. The Swedish Royal Library has an archive on my work 1979–2009, acc.nr 2009/20. The archive contains photos, reviews, articles, project descriptions, scores, texts and drawings as well as the full documentation of my company E.L.D. 1985–2005.

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Education
Work as a Dancer
Art Works
Awards and grants
Artistic Research Projects
Pedagogical Experiences
Position of Trust
Lectures
Writings
Leadership
Language skills
Drivers licence
Archive
More information
List of works
Exhibitions
Documentaries
Bibliography

Education

I was born 1956 in Huskvarna, Sweden. I studied dance at Jönköpings Gymnastikförening and Vätterstads balettförening from 1970. Active cross-country skier 1968–1971. Left home in 1972 to continue dance studies in Malmö 1972-1973 and Örebro 1973–1974, focussing on jazz dance, classical ballet and rhythmic dance. Started teaching and making choreography for student performances and theatres in 1974. First contract as a dancer in 1975. Trained at the National School of Dance in courses for pedagogues in ballet, dance and mime during 1975–77. Professional dance training at the Ballet Academy in 1976–77 and parallel to that the NBV Theatre School. Was awarded several grants during this period.

In 1977 I began to study dance-pedagogy at The National School of Dance (renamed The University of Dance 1978). I graduated in 1980. During this period I also received grants for two months of ballet, syllabus and repertoire studies at The Royal Academy of Dance, London 1978, one month at The International Ballet Seminar in Copenhagen 1979, one month of composition studies at Le Stage Grenoble 1979, as well as summer courses in Cunningham techniques by Jeff Slayton, Albert Reid, Meg Harper, Miriam Berns and Karen Levey, 1975–1979. The education at the University of Dance included dancers training and choreography.

During these years of formal training I was also performing as a free-lance dancer and completed my practice as a dance pedagogue at the Royal Opera Ballet School. I engaged in the dance community as a board member of Danscentrum and represented the students in the board of The University of Dance.

In 1980 I was awarded an artist grant from the Sweden-America Foundation, which I used for training at Merce Cunningham Foundation in New York. I took company classes there, with Viola Farber as well as ballet classes with Zena Romett and Haynes Owens, 1980–1981. For three months I also studied choreography at Columbia University with Meredith Monk, Anna Sokolov, Margareth Beals among others and I studied choreography with Robert Dunn. During this very intensive year I was engaged in several performances and I started writing about dance.

Training has continued throughout my career. During the 80’s I took courses for different European choreographers. At The University of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre I studied Dance for the Screen in 1988 and 1989. My training has also involved a number of seminars and lectures in philosophy, theories of creativity and sociology as well as leadership. I regard artistic work and life itself as a continuous learning process.

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Work as a Dancer

My first experience as a dancer was during my early study years. The very first performances were two pieces by choreographer Aase Dyrting. It was a ballet piece, En afton i Wien (An Evening in Vienna) in cooperation with the Norrköping Symphonic Orchestra and historic dances, En dag i medeltiden (A Day in Medieval Times), both pieces were toured by Svenska Rikskonserter in 1975. There after I performed in Vara, Falköping, Stockholm and in London where I danced Valse de Fleur, choreographed by Ronald Emblen in 1978. Toward the end of the 70’s, I also took part in more experimental performances in Stockholm.

In 1979 I was engaged by choreographer Margaretha Åsberg in her company Pyramiderna. During a very dynamic period, I appeared in the following works: Pyramiderna 1979 and 1981, Fragment av en kub 1980, TER(R) 1881, Organon 1982, Gaturepetitioner, Rörelseinstallationer, Ryskt Avant Garde, Down Stairs 1983, Arsinoe 1984 och Aniara at the Royal Opera in 1985, which was our last collaboration. The company performed mainly in Stockholm, with guest performances in Oslo, Helsinki, Caen and Aix en Provence in France.

In New York 1980–1981 I danced in works by choreographer Richard Schlossbach, Death Hunted, The Open Eye Theatre, studio performances by Susana Hayman Schaffey and a piece for the Swedish Church by Mats Isaksson. I also did spend a month with Jeff Slayton and his company in Los Angeles. When I came back to Sweden, I took part in such performances as: Floden av glas, a multimedia piece by Composer Åke Parmerud, choreographed by Irene Hultman, Kerstin Lindgren and myself 1981, Åå Gash by Irene Hultman 1983, Lammas by Per Johnsson 1985 and Frun på golvet by Björn Elison 1985.

During my first ten years as a dancer I appeared in a number of TV productions and danced in my own works, touring internationally.

I participated in three movies: Amorosa, directed by Mai Zetterling, 1985, Kvinnorna på Taket by Carl Gustav Nykvist, 1988 and Dansen by Jan Troell, 1996.

My own company E.L.D. was founded in 1985 and since then I’ve mainly danced in my own productions, in later years more sparsely and only in solo performances. In the year 2000 I made my one and only appearance in my home-town, Huskvarna. I have on occasion since 2001 performed as a soloist in Paris, Moscow, Kiev, Mumbai, Bilbao, Athens, Visby, Stockholm and other international venues.

A comprehensive description of me as a dancer and choreographer in the 80’s was authored by Swedish Academy member Horace Engdahl in an article for the magazine Danstidningen: Efva Liljas väg, 1990. I have written about dance in Sweden during the period from the late 70’s until the early 90’s in an article called ”Ett fredat rum”, Fylkingens jubileumsbok, 1993. My dancing career during the 80’s–90’s is broadly described in articles and reviews available in the archive of the Swedish Royal Library, acc.nr 2009/20 and in my own online archive.

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Art Works

First and foremost I am a choreographer. I do performances, site specifics, exhibitions, installations, films and I write books. My artworks have been performed in more than thirty-five countries and my films in yet others. Most of the works have been documented on video or recorded by Swedish Television. There are a number of articles, essays and dissertations written on my art. There is a chronological list of written documents in my online archive. There is also other information on my work with photos and video excerpts available under Artwork.

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Awards and Grants

I have received a number of awards and other recognition for my contribution to the art of dance. A complete list is available in my online archive.

My Company E.L.D. was supported by The Arts Council 1983–2005, by The City of Stockholm 1988–2005 and by The Region of Stockholm 1990–2005. As an independent choreographer I am often supported by The A rts Council and The Arts Grant Committé.

I have had research grants and financing from The Swedish Research Council 2003–2006 Centrum för barnkulturforskning in Växjö 1998, The University of Dance in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003 and from the Polar Research Institute 2002.

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Artistic Research Projects

I regard my artistic work as a continuing study on how meaning is created in human communication and how insights gained from these studies can be applied in the choreographic process. I do research projects in my artistic practice, document and present in specific fora as well as to a wider audience.

E.L.D. carried out development works on artistic processes and on organization/leadership with particular regard to the artistic process. The lecture series ÖM 1997–2004 helped develop a state-of-the-world analysis with invited guests such as philosopher Bengt Brylde, pataphysicist Frans Lettenström, autor Göran Hägg, brain researcher Matti Bergström, visual artist Jan Håfström, art professor Jörgen Svensson, composer Ivo Nilsson, dance scholar Cecilia Olsson and choreographers Björn Elison, Jens Bjaerregaard, Virphi Pahkinen among others.

The research project: Fittjaprojektet 1996–1999 involved a study of children aged 13–16 and their dancing with particular regards to how meaning is created through movements of the every day life.

Det Brinnande 1998 was a project aimed at developing methodologies for applying the art of dance in the compulsory school system.

Danskonst i språkets utmarker 2000 was a project presenting ideas about the linguistic dimension of movements.

The Art of Dance in a Frozen Landscape 2002. Was a three-year study of cultural factors and their impact on movement and gestures in the extreme cold of the Arctic. The research was carried out during an arctic expedition, Arctic Ocean 2002, Swedish Polar Research Institute, when I was able to work in the vicinity of the North Pole for seven weeks. The project was documented on video and in text, and it resulted in several artworks for the stage, for Swedish Television, and in a book.

Movement as the Memory of the Body 2003–2006 was a project carried out within the realm of my professorship in conjunction with other artists and researchers from areas such as social gerontology, sociology, philosophy and economics. The project was documented in a book with additional DVDs, and presented through several performances.

My art works has been in focus for other researchers. There is a list on these projects in my online archive.

I was engaged by the Norwegian ”Stipendprogrammet for kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid” (a PhD programme for artistic research) as Professor and Supervisor 2003–2006. During the same period I was engaged as Professor and Supervisor in Artistic research at TEAK, Teaterhögskolan in Helsinki.

2005–2006 I worked as a choreographer in the artistic research project Holds No Memory, led by Choreographer/lecturer Ana Sanchez Colberg in London.

2008–2010 I was a member of a working group at the Ministry of Education and Research with the commission to work out strategies for an artistic research school in the arts, a new exam: Doctor of Art as well as new research strategies for the arts.

2010–2013 I was in the board of Konstnärliga forskarskolan, the Swedish national research school in the arts.

2009–2014 I was a member of International Board, Program for Arts-based Research, PEEK, Austrian Science Found FWF.

2010–2014 I was a member of the board of ELIA, European League of Institutes in the Arts were I among other things work on artistic research and research education, specially within the project Artesnet Strand 3 and SHARE.

2013–2015 I was in the board of SAR, Society for Artistic Research.

2014–2015 I was the Expert Advisor of Artistic research at the Ministry of Education and Research in Sweden.

2015 The Norwegien Government appointed me member of the board of The Fellowship in the Arts Programme.

2015 I was a member of the International Scientific Board of the Academy of Fine Arts in Lisbon.

2015–2017 The Danish Government has appointed me Chair of the board for Artistic research.

The assignments I have or have had within the field of Artistic research are numerous. Beside the above mentioned, I have worked for the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education on several tasks 2007–2012, for RUT2 on funding systems 2006–2007, Report of the Swedish Committee of Inquiry on Cultural Policy, on education and research 2008 among others. For a complete list, see Commissions of Trust.

I am continuously engaged as a lecturer to present my research, my thoughts and theories on artistic research around the world. During the last ten years I have presented 19 keynotes and 11 papers on conferences and I’ve presented a number of articles on the subject in Swedish, English, Greek and German. The articles have been published by ZHDK in Zürich, University of Patras, In Formation, Universidade de Lisboa, Intellectual Press, SAR, DOCH and the Swedish research Council to mention a few.

I have lectured on artistic research at Dancelab in the Haag, at ZHDK in Zürich, TEAK in Helsinki, Sensuous Knowledge in Bergen, The Place in London, Universities in Reykjavik, Nottingham, Winchester, Tibilisi and more, at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, at the Art University KUG in Ghent, Conservatoire Cherubini in Florence and Frankfurt Academy of the Arts and Frankfurt Lab (University of Giessen) to mention a few internationally. In the Swedish context at the universities of Gothenburg, Umeå, Växjö, Luleå, at the university of Opera, of Fine Arts, Music (Malmö) at SADA, DOCH, Ballet Academy and more...

I’ve written a book on artistic research, published by the Swedish Government 2015: Art, Research, Empowerment.

More on my research and work in the area of artistic development under Research.

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Pedagogical Experiences

I do not particularly wish to separate pedagogy as an area apart from my other activities. For me it is a natural part of the process that always takes place between choreographer-dancer, teacher-student, artist-artist and other forms of human intercourse. I see pedagogical skills as a developed ability to communicate and teaching methods as part of the artisanship of dancing.

Here is a short resume of my activities in teaching:

Courses for various organizations (contemporary dance and ballet): UNF, ÖAGEA, Hagaby and Athena in Örebro, Jönköpings gymnastikförening, 1974, NBV Skaraborg 1975–1976, Söders barnteater, 1977-1978, Vätterstads balettförening, 1983, Kulturama and Studiefrämjandet in Stockholm, 1981-1983.

Free standing courses for actors, directors and students of theatre.

Workshops at Jönköpings Läns Teater, 1982, Studiefrämjandets Teaterlinje in Stockholm, 1982, NBV’s theatre festival at Wendelsberg Folkhögskola in Mölnlycke, 1982–1984, and dance technique, movement, analysis and improvisation at NBV’s 3 year theatre school in Stockholm, 1981–1987, movement as a scenic technique with actors from the Swedish Television Stockholm and actors from the Gothenburg City Theatre, 1991.

Assistent to Birgit Grefveberg at the Royal Opera Ballet, 1979. Lecturer in contemporary dance at University of Dance, 1982–1984, 1986–1987. Guest teacher of contemporary dance and ballet at the Fine Arts and Cultural Academy in Bergen, Norway 1983. Contemporary dance and composition, KODA 7 Stockholm, 1986 and TBV Jönköping 1987.

Since the mid-70’s I have, parallel to my artistic work for the stage, engaged myself in activities for children, mainly 12–16 years of age. This has taken the form of workshops, artistic development projects and choreographic works. In these cases I do not teach dance techniques, but work to establish an understanding of art among the children, making them distinguish movement as a linguistic act – to make dance.

In Paris I have given courses in dance technique and composition at the Menagerie de Verre for professional dancers and choreographers, 1993.

I have on occasion been a guest lecturer at DOCH, University of Dance and Circus, teaching composition to choreography students in the 80’s and the 90’s and more regularly lectured also to the dance pedagogy students. In 2003 I was appointed Professor of choreography. During 2004-2005 I have been Professor in modern dance and composition at The Moscow Theatre School of Dramatic Art.

During tours around the world, I regularly gave master classes and choreography workshops. While touring with ELD, I also gave company classes.

Position of Trust

A complete list of my commissions of trust at various public bodies in the cultural sphere can be found in my online archive.

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Lectures

or staging the spoken word

I lecture nationally and internationally, always searching for words to develop the understanding of art. Lately I have started staging my lectures as events, thereby reaching a wider audience.

These events have been commissioned by schools, companies, event bureaus, University of Dance, The Royal University College of Fine Art, University of Architecture/KTH, University of Stockholm, University of Umeå, University of Karlstad, University of Gothenburg, The National Art Council, The National Research Council, The Ministry of Culture, The Union of Municipalities, Riksteatern, Assitej, Save the Children, as well as theatres and producers of musical events in Sweden.

Internationally I have been engaged by The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in Spain, Centre Culturel Suedoise in Paris, METU University of Ankara in Turkey, The International Organisation for Cultural Relations in Mumbai, India, Anatoly Vasiliev School of Dramatic Art in Moscow, Arbis in Helsinki, Finland, Dansens Hus in Copenhagen, NOFOD, University of Art in Oslo and Bergen, The Art Academy in Reykjavik, Moscow State University as well as international scientific conferences and organisations as Rencontre, IETM, ELIA and others.

Most of my lectures and seminars are listed chronologically in my online archive.

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Writings

I have published eleven books and contributed to a number of others. I have been published in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, England, Germany, France, Greece and India. Some of my books and articles have been translated into Russian, French, German, English and Greek. A full bibliography is to be found last in this document.

Leadership

Throughout the years I have received praise and a lot of attention for my leadership and for my ability to organize and develop methods serving artistic work, research and production. I give lectures on leadership. I have received awards for my leadership.

I was the Artistic Director of E.L.D. 1985–2005.

I was the Vice-Chancellor of DOCH, The University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm 2006–2013.

I am the Artistic Director of Dansehallerne, Copenhagen, Denmark 2016-

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Language skills

Besides Swedish, I read, write and speak English. I have elementary knowledge of French.

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Drivers licence

I have drivers licence for cars, motorbikes and trucks.

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Archive

The Swedish Royal Library has an archive on my work 1979–2014, acc.nr 2009/20. The archive contains photos, reviews, articles, project descriptions, scores, texts and drawings as well as the full documentation of my company E.L.D. 1985–2005.

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Additional Information

Additional information is found on this website, in the National Encyclopedia as well as at The Swedish Royal Library.

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List of works

A list of works is found under Artwork.

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Exhibitions

A list of exhibitions is found under Archive.

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Documentaries

A list of documentary films is found under Archive.

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Bibliography

I am a member of The Writers Union since 2009. My bibliography is found under Archive.

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