Scope of Control

On Sundays I attend an aerobics class at my local Friskis&Svettis, an excellent non-for-profit health club. It’s a dance class where we move to a very varied string of tunes: hip-hop, tango, Eurovision Song Contest melodies, house, Robbie Williams, Michael Jackson, Sonja Aldén, Bollywood songs, Latin American rhythms, Swedish pop...

I’m as agile as a safe, as we say in Sweden, but I like it a lot. And I’m not alone in this, which means there is a whole room full of rather stiffly moving people with happy grins on their faces trying to move gracefully to the music. Partly because of our non-agile condition and partly because of our instructors’ choreography this looks rather comical and the children looking at us often have a huge laugh.

Surely neither the composer nor the artist had this application in mind for their music. They might even become upset could they see us. But how much influence can you have on your work once it is released to the public?

Samuel Beckett gave very precise instructions on how his play “Waiting for Godot” should be played. He even took legal action against a group of women for playing the characters, since Beckett was very strict on that only men should be in the play.

I saw the play a month ago, at the premier at Göteborg Stadsteater. My uncle Henric is the director so of course I’m a bit biased when I say I thought it was really great. However, not only the audience thought so too but also a string of critics from newspaper such as Svenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter, and also the national radio Sveriges Radio. The local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten was a little cooler in the response, claiming a lack of reference to modern day society. I find that a bit strange since I think the play is very much about general aspects of what it is like to be a human being in terms of our need for relations and recognition, but also since Beckett does not leave much room for such references.

Another key message is that in the unknown there is hope. Thank you Henric for making me see that!

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