Animal Magnetism 1 (2009)















«Animal Magnetism 1» is the first part of a trilogy about hysteria.

«In every generation there are quite firm rules on how to behave when you are crazy.»
-Ian Hacking

Traditionally, hysteria has been closely associated with women, and originally one believed that hysterical outbursts happened as a result of uterus moving about in the body. Amongst the symptoms were cramps, deceitfulness, doubtfulness, alcoholism, disillusions, aggression, fickleness etc.

The methods of treatment varied from hour-long hot baths through Bayern beer and straight jackets to stimulation of clitoris and vagina. The period around the turn of the 18th to the 19th century is considered “the golden age of hysteria”. One of the leading researchers in the field of hysteria, and possibly the most renowned, was Neurologist and Professor Jean-Martin Charcot (who was later apparently given the nickname ‘Napoleon of neurosis’).  During his work at the mental hospital Salpêtriére in France he conducted research on female hysterics.  Once a week, the hospital arranged an open day, and the public were invited to see the hysteria for themselves. Apparently, artists such as Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson were amongst the visitors.

It’s this ‘golden age’ that has been the source of inspiration for Animal Magnetism I. Like in previous projects Henriette is cooperating with composer Lars Petter Hagen, and costume director Ellinor Sröm is responsible for the aesthetic expression. The hysteria is personified by Marianne Skjeldal, Kristine Karåla Øren and Marianne Kjærsund.

Read more about Animal Magnetism Trilogy.

Review of Animal Magnetism 1 – intimate from Animal Magnetism 1

25.02.09 – 01.03.09 Black Box Theatre, Oslo (NO)
27.03.09 – 28.03.09 Teaterhuset Avant Garden, Trondheim (NO)
22.10.10 – 24.10.10 Access&Paradox, Paris (FR)
26.03.11 – 27.03.11 Atalante, Göteborg (SE)
24.08.11 – 27.08.11 Stockholm Fringe Festival (SE)

In June 2009 it was transformed into a site specific performance («Animal Magnetism 1 – intim») and performed at Galleri Maria Veie in Oslo.

Henriette Pedersen (choreographer) Lars Petter Hagen (composer) Elinor Ström (scenographer and costume designer) Anette Therese Pettersen (producer) Kristine Karåla Øren (performer) Christine Kjelberg (performer) Marianne Kjærsund (performer) Sidsel Pape (dramaturg) Inger Johanne Byhring (light design)

Photos by Sveinn Fannar Johannsson and Evelina Dembacke

Animal Magnetism 1 intimate (at Galleri Maria Veie):