Gaytime (1969):  Scenographic showtime -dancing Gothenburg.


Day 10. Sunday evening. I am pondering what I discovered Friday afternoon in the media archive: a televised dance program from 1969, featuring some thrilling dance and scenographic interactions.

Monday September 8, 1969, Swedish television sent a program called Gaytime - musik för fem par fötter (music for five pair feet), in color, and lasting for 28 minutes. It features five dancers from the Stora teatern in Gothenburg taking the city with dance: Charlotte Assarsson, Conny Borg, Ulf Gadd, Eva Irestad and Carina Jarlemark. 

The dancers performed in the harbor, at a fish market and a shipyard, in a pond, at a football arena and in a discoteque, at the city's major avenue, and on a large bridge. The choreography encompassed neoclassical work, jazz dance, social dancing, operetta features, disco dancing and some playful Spanish movement. Equally broad, the music featured jazz rhythms, pop-rock, experimental sound art, and classical tones. 

Particularly exciting is that all sections draw on advanced camera work co-choreographing space, architecture and all sorts of details in an intriguing scenographic dialogue with the dance.

Gaytime is important because it brings us directly into the expanding and mediatized dance context of the late 1960's, and provides an example that is firmly anchored in Gothenburg in Sweden (not the mainstream city to be chosen in scenography and dance history). It demonstrates how a dancely version of Nordic scenography is vibrating with international relations and how these are acted out in intense exchange with the local environment. 

In a not too distant future I will, I hope, be able to return to Gaytime and explore it more thorougly.

Picture: A visual note from the archival session. Apologized for very bad quality. You see the dancers at Älvsborgsbron. From left to right: Carina Jarlemark, Eva Irestad, Charlotte Assarsson, Conny Borg and Ulf Gadd. The choreography was made by Brian Macdonald, Conny Borg and Ulf Gadd (not sure who created the dance at the bridge). Producers: Bengt Berglund-Thall, Dag Stålsjö. Film team: Kjell Gustavsson, Göran Blomquist, Göte Karlsson. Oddly, there are no music credits, and nothing is mentioned about the costumes.