“...wonderful to be invited to participate in a playful cultural event; one that is giving and generous in it’s form. Thank you!”

“...incredibly, extremely cool! Wow. Why haven’t I seen something like this before?”


The Idea behind Peep Show

Several years ago, I was watching a rather boring dance performance, which nevertheless moved me, because of the great music. This made me think about numerous movies that I have seen, that have worked thanks to the music and lighting but no thanks to the script and acting. It made me very angry to be manipulated this way, because I want my feelings to come out of more than just pure manipulation! Or else, I want to do the manipulating myself.

My vision is that the audience are given more power over their experiences and their own interpretation of events, making them aware of their feelings and what sparks them, rather than becoming passive observers in the power of the artistic creator.

I designed Peep Show in 2011 to explore these ideas, together with the audience, letting them manipulate their own experience and letting the performers feed off the audience’s choices. I then developed the installation through workshops and performances in public spaces in Copenhagen.

Meetings in the North

As humans, meetings are important to us and seeing dancers meet in duets, gives rise to countless interpretations, where a single movement can be loving, aggressive, pensive etc.

In the Scandinavian countries, we have many things in common, but equally many things make us extremely different. Being one half Swedish and one half Danish, these differences and the resulting meetings between Scandinavian cultures have always fascinated me. So I wanted to go deeper into this, using Peep Show as a platform.

In 2012, I collaborated with other dancers/performers to create 10 minute long duets based on meetings between the Nordic countries, as if theses countries were individuals. Through research into how inhabitants of Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland and the Faroe Islands see their country, where a questionnaire was sent to several hundred Scandinavians, characters were created with everything from the colour of the hair and eyes to the political views and physical preferences.

I chose performers who have different ways of moving, from strong contemporary dancers to physical actors specializing in Dance-theatre. These performers were given a character each, to use for developing a body-language.

The characters were then put together to create duets, based on their meeting.

Through this work, the audience experiences strong love-hate relationships, where easily interpreted clichés meet abstract moments of uncertainty where both joy and tears are possible.

The music for this was created to give 4 different possible moods, with both folk and techno influences.

Audience Experience

The duets are presented inside Peep Show, with only 11 audience watching at a time. Each member of the audience has their own booth, with their own mixer and headphones, from which they view the dancers. Whilst watching the performance, they can switch between or mix the 4 soundtracks in any way they want to, thus creating their own personal experience.

Idea, concept, design:

Jens Bäckvall

Dance & Choreography:

Christian Adelhorst Rossil

Jens Bäckvall

Margôt Kuiper

Tenna Wig


Jens Bäckvall

Daniel Vinther

Puljen Moderne Dans på Turné in cooperation with Aarhus Festival

The creation of Peep Show was funded by:

        Gl. Valby Områdefornyelse      

Peep Show at Århus Festuge 2012