The performance

Jo Strømgren Kompani and Anja Garbarek in an exiting new collaboration comissioned by Bergen International Festival. THE ROAD IS JUST A SURFACE is a music-based theatre work which explores the experience of being trapped in an emotionally locked life situation and the longing for moving on from that place.

Legs are aching /
 As he’s faking /
 The will to walk this day /

Anja Garbarek is one of Norway’s most interesting artists, and has since her debut in 1992 been provoking the musical tension between art and pop, with her visual and theatrical expression and uncommon richness of detail. She gained international acclaim for her albums ”Balloon Mood” (1996) and ”Smiling & Waving” (2001). Her musical universe has been described as profoundly visual.

Now she is launching brand new material for the first time since 2005, and, together with choreographer and director Jo Strømgren, she is developing this work of musical theatre, combining her iconic sound landscape with video material, choreography and text.

The collaboration between Anja Garbarek and Jo Strømgren started with a desire to put the music into a theatrical setting, where audiovisual images, choreography, and interaction between the performers on stage will be important elements. For both Garbarek and Strømgren the genre of musical drama is new. This allows the possibility of developing material without regard to genre conventions, as well as experimenting with new dramaturgical impulses.

Performing on stage are Anja Garbarek herself, violist Bergmund Waal Skaslien and dancer Line Tørmoen.

The end is never aware of a beginning
And the road is just a surface

Duration: 70 minutes, no interval
Language: English
Premiere: 24 May 2018, Den Nationale Scene/Bergen International Festival, Bergen, Norway


© Bjørn Opsahl
L1008857 webpage
© Bjørn Opsahl

Upcoming tour dates

May 24 2018 Bergen International Festival/Den Nationale Scene, Bergen, Norway
May 25 2018 Bergen International Festival/Den Nationale Scene, Bergen, Norway
Show full schedule…

Previously touring



Concept, music, sound design, text: Anja Garbarek
Direction and choreography: Jo Strømgren
Performers: Anja Garbarek, Line Tørmoen, Bergmund Waal Skaslien
Videodesign: Åsmund Bøe
Light design: Stephen Rolfe
Scenography and costume: Kristin Torp/ graa hverdag as
Make-up and hair-design: Aase Lund Mathisen
Music producers: Kåre Chr. Vestrheim, Anja Garbarek
Sound design and music: Nils Jakob Langvik
Mix: Kåre Chr. Vestrheim, Mike Hartung
Photo: Bjørn Opsahl
Produced by: Jo Strømgren Kompani
Co-produced and commissioned by: Bergen International Festival/Festspillene i Bergen
Supported by: Arts Council Norway