May, 2017
White Elephants, The Dance of the Three Arenas

White Elephants, The Dance of the Three Arenas is a 45 minute long choreography in silence for three dancers by Anna Källblad, serving as Chapter 7: White Elephants in the interdisciplinary art project Ett rum med utsikt (A Room With A View). It was performed on a stage measuring 40 x 60 m in front of 13850 empty seats at one unique occasion on January 16 2013 in Globen, which currently supposedly is the largest hemispherical building in the world. The audience was seated in the V.I.P. Arena Restaurant overlooking the entire stage and inside of Globen. The dancers Sophie Augot, Magdalena Ericsson and Maryam Nikandish wore costumes in the architectural shapes of Globen and the neighbouring arenas Hovet and Tele 2 Arena.

Ett rum med utsikt is directed by architect Adriana Seserin and the artists Eva Arnqvist, Karin Lindh and Maria Andersson. Its starting point is the Stockholm Meatpacking District and through a series of public events chapter by chapter (1-10) it tells the story of a major shift of a place from small industry production to the city’s vision of Stockholm Entertainment District 2030, an area for exclusive living and entertainment.

The white elephant is a concept in economics picked up from South East Asia where white elephants are regarded as holy. The white elephant was long a sign of a peacefully ruled monarchy and could be given as a gift by the monarch. The animal demanded great care but could not be used for work, sold or butchered since it was holy, and meant a great financial burden to the new owner, even financial ruin. Thus white elephants as the impossible gift. Shiny, valuable and prestiges for the receiver but also problematic to use. How did the arena become a ”holy object” with plenty of investors? Is it possible to transform the gift from holy to worldly and ”make to use”?

Supported by Swedish Arts Grants Committee and The City of Stockholms.