I started dancing in my teen age when I watched a dance class in jazz with the amazing dancer Douglas Crutchfield. He danced like a God to me to songs by Marvin Gaye. It was in my home town Lund in the south of Sweden. I wanted to move like him and I started to study dance, taking evening classes to start with.
The dance in three words Engagement, sensitivity, giving meaning in the sharing.
Dance that fascinates me is when the body is the messenger, dancing with all your attention, the physical poetry of the body. When I get moved from the inside, discovering new sides of myself and my surrounding.
The nude in the dance bothers you I think nude in dance must be something that is needed for the work, something that you want to express that demands nude dancers. I don´t have a problem with watching nude on stage but it has to have a deeper reason besides to provoke.
A dancer who has moved me are many through my dance career. One of my first teachers, Janis Brenner, New York, was the first one, because of her amazing presence, another is Gunilla Hammar a former dancer in Cullberg. Many of the dancers I have a close working relation also such as, Elisaveta Penkova, Katarina Eriksson for example.
And a dancer who has remained in your heart That is my first 2 teachers Douglas Crutchfield and Janis Brenner.
I love to teach and give classes in technique, improvisation and composition at the main schools in Sweden, Royal Swedish Ballet School, Ballet Academy and at the University of the Arts in Stockholm. I learn so much from the curious students and it gives me a reason to find words and tools helping them to become individual, strong dance artists. It´s also important to give to the young students and pass on the knowledge I have invested for so many years.
What is it like to express yourself through dance nowadays It´s more important than ever I think, to express yourself through dance , through your body. Our society is so obsessed with the digital world and forgetting all about the body language and the power it has. My mission to share movements and dance is growing stronger the more I work. I think especially young people need to find their way to express themselves through their bodies not just through a screen.
Dance and cinema, how do you combine them Dance and film is such an interesting combination how to express dance to a wider audience. The film media has such a potential to widen the way you can express and share choreography. The space and time parameters are so rich and give so many possibilities.
What inspires you in our time I get inspired from relations with human beings, from the power of being in the woods, from different artists, literature and musicians. I can make choreography from simple rythms, from a line in a book, from the texture of a tree…..
Helena Franzén, dancer and choreographer
”Few Swedish choreographers are so generous, stimulatingly inventive and physically
intelligent as Helena Franzén.” Dagens Nyheter
Helena Franzén was educated at the Ballet Academy, Stockholm 1986-1989 and at Stockholm University of the Arts 1996-1998.
Helena has choreographed nearly 90 works and toured in Europe and in the USA. Helena has been commissioned to create works for Göteborgsoperans Danskompani, Skånes Dansteater, Norrdans, Danish Dance Theater in Copenhagen, the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, The Edge at the Place in London and 59 North at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.
She regularly teaches technique classes in contemporary dance and repertoir in Sweden and abroad.
In her work, Helena Franzén focuses on the dancing, musical body. Anatomical structures, dynamic progression and physical functions are recurrent themes in her artistic pursuits. She has developed a personal movement vocabulary, charged with intricate, physical challenges and explosiveness –
“a special poetry of the articulated body”.
Helena has developed a close collaboration with the musicians, specially with the musician Jukka Rintamäki with whom she has created over 15 works. The last 10 year, Helena Franzén has a collaboration with the photographer Håkan Jelk. In their filmwork, they emphasize the relationship between space and time for the physical body. All their films are characterized by a particularly stripped-down aesthetic, which strives to provide a subjective experience for the viewer on a universal level. All their seven films have been presented at various dance filmfestivals such as: Torshavn filmfestival Faroe Islands, Loikka Dance filmfestival Helsinki, Thessaloniki Cinedance International Greece, Screendance festival Stockholm, Cinematica Video Dance Competition Ancona Italien, InShadow filmfestival Lisbon Portugal.
In 2007 Helena Franzén obtained a 10-year grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. In 2014 she was awarded The Gunnevik prize, the Swedish Art Grant Committee “A choreographer who´s artistic work appeared as mature and detailed already from the beginning. She is uncompromisingly and consistently investigating in the eternal possibilities of the movements in her dance. She is a dance artist that together with her dancers create the poetry of the articulated body”.
Dance and film workshop on line Education for Contemporary Dance, Folkhögskolan
i Härnösand, 11-15 Jan
teaching professional training Danscentrum Syd, Malmö 18- 22 Jan
New work From Now on/ Från och med nu Lidingö Stadshus 30-31March 27 Sept- 3 Oct
Residency, 3 short films Jönköping region, Gnosjö kommun 19 April – 9 May
New Work Flocks, Royal Swedish Ballet Dansens Hus, Stockholm 27-29 May
Dancefilm Dream Catcher Recorded at Dansplats Skog, Gävle 6-12 Sept
Workshop, Embodied Awareness Danscentrum Väst, Gothenurg 11-15 Oct
Trio solo – Tanssivirtaa Tampeerella festival, Tampere Finland 12 Dec Tampere, Finland.