Friday, May 13, 2005

"Art without Borders"

Last Wednesday Óskar and I went with my sister to The Reykjavík City Theatre to see a show staged by a group of mentally disabled people. It was the closing part of a great Arts Festival arranged in the cooporation of disabled and able artists in Reykjavík, May 5th-13th, named
Art without Borders.

My sisters son, who has got Asperger Syndrome, is a member of a singing group consisting of six young people that call themselves "Blikandi stjörnur", in English "The Twinkling Stars". And twinkle as stars they did, in numbers from "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Grease", assisted by professional actors from The Reykjavík City Theatre and a group of kids from one of the secondary schools invited to participate in the show.

They also had a play about a prince and princess, based on mimicry with the voice of a narrator from tape, which worked really well. The leading role of the prince was in the hands of a young man with Down´s Syndrome, who gave a very lively and amusing interpretation of is part!

The show opened with a band of four people playing some popular music, starting with an Irish song. It was rendered very convincingly by an overseized guy, who in fact looked quite Irish and was not in the least inhibited by the dimensions of his corpus, but really let loose and gave his heart out to the audience, which got the show going from the first moment.

The Twinkling Stars are well known in Iceland and are quite often asked to perform at various events in Reykjavík and other places as well. They have been on tours abroad, participating in concerts in Copenhagen, Denmark and in the Ruhr-District, Germany.

And some more about the musical triumphs of the Twinkling Stars:

From Reykjavík´s official website 3.10.2003:
"Blikandi stjörnur" win in Brussels

An Icelandic-German project was rewarded as the best in their category. The directorate of the European Council announced yesterday in Brussels which projects would be rewarded as the best that had been produced by the project "Youth for Europe" in the last 3 years. The choice was between 40.000 projects, therefore the result of the German-Icelandic cooporation is outstanding.

The project is called "Music in my Life, Music is my Life" and was done in Germany in 2001 and in Iceland in 2002, by the groups "Blikandi stjörnur" and "The Rockers". The two groups made a CD, produced a music-video and performed at concerts. They also visited protected workplaces for the handicapped and discussed the rights of disabled people in Iceland and Germany.

The CD:

Rockers & Blikandi Stjörnur:
- It´s normal to be different -

Title list:

* Iceland Blues
* German Reggea
* Blikandi Stjörnur/Twinkling Stars
* Punk more never this
* Lifi Ijósið/Let the Light live

* Yesterday
* Sandy
* Lifum allt að nýju/Let´s live it all again
* Jesús guð/Jesus God
* Maístjarnan/May Star
* Sumarást/Summer Love

* Hallelujah baby
* Rockin´ in the summer
* La Rocka
* We are the Rockers
* Radio Rockers
* Hot for Love
* - Hymne

Album by The Rockers:
- Hallelujah baby -

Title list:
* Hallelujah baby
* Rocken in the summer
* la rocka
* we are rockers
* radio rockers
* hot for love
* muezzin one
* you are thereby
* motorway hero
* - hymne

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