The Prize of Hope to Kitt Johnson, X-act Copenhagen.

The Prize of Hope 2019 - 30th Anniversary.
The Institute for Public Theater & Dell'Arte International invites you to an anniversary party with The Prize of Hope [Håbets Pris] at Aasen Theater in North Jutland, Whit Sunday 9th of June 2019. The party starts at 14.00 and lasts with a feast dinner, awards ceremony, theater, exhibition, music and bonfire until sunrise.

The Prize of Hope will be given to a person or a theatre who has worked for human hope; daring, loving, vulgar, serious, poetic...with sparkling energy against habitual thinking, which is the gravest threat to our culture: For a world where people use their own eyes, ears and voices.

The Prize of Hope is an international award. It has been given in Denmark since 1989 and in the US since 2008. The prize is given every second year at Aasen Theatre and every other year in the US at Dell’Arte Theatre in California. The vision of The Prize of Hope is to promote a living, vital, sharp and innovative popular art.

Kitt Johnson is a shaman of our time
Kitt Johnson seeks with her body, her dance and her whole self towards the very foundation: the common human primordial history. This is what she conveys so that people from all over the world may meet it: From the hometown of Hjallese to the world's metropols and beyond into the universe. In fact, it would be no surprise if indeed someone out there is taking notes from Kitt Johnson's dance.

Kitt Johnson is in her art so many things. She may be grotesque, a distorted old woman who had just stepped out of a Käthe Kollwitz etching as a martyred woman from World War I? Stigmatized. She is simultaneously a youngster and an old woman in magical transformations. She is amoeba, insect, monkey - yes, a reinventor of man on his way. She is the inner urges of the sex. She is the seer in times of crisis and the defender of the lonely existence in an alienated, totalitarian world which could be mistaken for ours? She is…

In the halls of theater and dance, Kitt Johnson creates dialogues beyond the spoken word with her audience regardless of origin, as the expression of Kitt Johnson’s art is so present and original that it always asks for the attendant's participation, images and response. It's not just the artist's story, not just the recipient's, it's something else – a living bridge between the two: one person may see a squatter in the "Post No Bill", another sees a terrorist. A third a crisis disguised.

The performances are deep-water wells into the cultural history of a collective memory, and they insist on being guides to humanity. Through her dance, a path opens to a deeper I for the person who meets her on the stage: Is the insect in "Stigma" after all not the forerunner of man - a head of a capital fund?

Kitt Johnson is, in her own way, very Danish. Crucial moments in her development date back to her grandparents' farm on Funen. To a childhood with nature and grain fields, where she was allowed to be completely alone for hours. Here she could suddenly feel that she became one with something bigger, from the most local to the universal. Such experiences have become the guiding principles for her work.

First she becomes an elite athlete, then a dancer at the age of 24. Spents 6 years to overthrow her body from sports body to dance body. Botanises in different environments of the dance: listens, sees, coaches, notices, and then chooses her paths in a dialogue with the traditions she meets. She is open like the poor confirmand in the "Bell" by another child of Funen, H. C. Andersen.

Being true to what you feel is a sign for the creative artist. Kitt Johnson walks the path that has not previously been entered - and she continues. Now she is the master of the dance metier, where she within seconds can transform her body and create the most marvelous stories; She picks up movements and expressions deep within the root of her feelings.

Kitt Johnson is a giant in modern dance, calling for a popular dialogue with each spectator's receptivity, which can be more organic and profound than the one the word art offers. She is like the old Nô masters said: A dancer in her full flower.

At the same time she gives back in "Open Training", where new generations can come and seek nourishment on their way. With the site-specific works in "Intermediate Space" she creates meetings and performing arts that give local eyes in Ærøskøbing, in Seoul, in Québec .. a new and surprising look at what they thought they already knew profoundly.

Precisely in our time, when the earth trembles so that children must become anxious, there is much reason to see Kitt Johnson dancing, experiencing the warnings she gives us as a new time shaman.

These are works that mark and move us in a quivering silent hope: THE CRY OF A DANCER!
Congratulations to Kitt Johnson on the Prize of Hope 2019.

On behalf of The Institute for Public Theater & Dell`Arte International
Lars Olsen & Birthe Rosenfeldt


Prize of Hope for a living, popular theatre.

29.  Kitt Johnson, X-act Copenhagen, Denmark 2019
Kitt Johnson is a shaman of our time.

28. UNIVERSES Theater Company 2018, New York, USA.
They are a source of change, a continuing struggle for equality on the theater scene in the United States.

27. C:NTACT & Henrik Hartmann 2017. Frederiksberg, Denmark.
C:NTACT creates intercultural encounters between people who otherwise would not have met: Every person carries a hope and a wish to succeed.

26. Cornerstone Theater Company 2016. Los Angeles, USA,
Cornerstone Theater Company creates theater art, which brings people together regardless of race or background.

25. Théâtre du Solei & Ariane Mnouchkine 2015. “La Cartoucherie”, Paris, France.
For 50 years, as an independent theatre collective, to have shared life, work and art, and together created a world class popular theatre.

24.  Clowns Without Borders 2014. Bringing joy and hope to needy children in the shadow of war.

23. Christian Lollike 2013. Dramatist. Copenhagen, Denmark. For a radical reinterpretation of popular theatre with taboo as the means and dialogue as the aim.

22. Geoff & Dan Hoyle 2012, San Francisco, USA. Individually, they are amazing performers and as father and son, they are a multi-generational force for good. 
21. Eugenio Barba and The Odin Theatre 2011, Holstebro, Denmark. They have created an important contribution to the cultural heritage of the world and have been a cornerstone in Danish and Nordic theatre for almost half a century.
20. David Simpson, Jane Lapiner and Human Nature 2010, Petrolia, USA, received the Prize of Hope 2010. They have created original theatre pieces about significant environmental and climate change.

19. Suzanne Osten, Unga Klara 2009, Stockholm, Sweden, received the Prize of Hope 2009 because she has worked with theatre from the perspective of the child and other vulnerable groups all her life. She is part of the reason that Scandinavian children's and youth theatre is amongst the best in the world.

18. Tim Robbins and The Actors' Gang 2008, Los Angeles, USA, received the Prize of Hope 2008 for leaning into the wind with their combination of contemporary immediacy, public engagement and great theatrical craft created with a profound hope for changing the course of life for better. The event was hosted by Dell'Arte International in Blue Lake, California on June 21.

17. Set designer Poul Fly Plejdrup 2007, Odder, Denmark, for his magical open theatre. The open theatre is the space of living theatre and the theatre of hope.

16.  Dell’ Arte International 2005, Blue Lake, USA. They have created a physical theatre school of an international standard in the far North of California's Redwood district, which attracts students from all over the world. 

15. Finn Hesselager 2004, Nørre Snede, Denmark. For his significant contribution to the development of  Danish theatre, television and film, through his teaching of an entire generation of Danish actors.

14. Bådteatret (The Boat Theatre) The Prize of Hope 2003 went to Bådteatret, with its three brave captains Tue Biering, Rolf Heim and Emil Korf-Hansen 2003 because they insist on performing. In spite of financial cuts, they continue to perform political theatre in the spirit of our era.

13. Helle Ryslinge 2002, film director, Copenhagen, Denmark. For pioneering work within Danish film, uncovering societal taboos with her microscopic attention to detail.

12. Klaus Hoffmeyer 2001, Artistic Director at the Royal Theatre Copenhagen, Denmark. For keeping his core intact whether on the student scene or at the Royal Theatre of Denmark.

11. Åsa Simma 2000, Sámi theatre and film, Sápmi. Through her art, she awakens resources hidden in the rituals and images of the ancient mountains of Sámi culture.

10. Randi Patterson 1999, Living Movement & Nyt Dansk Danseteater, Copenhagen. Founder and pioneer of modern dance in Denmark.

9. Chris Torch 1998. Intercult, Stockholm, Sweden. Founder of Earth Circus & Shikaste. A pioneer in intercultural scenic art in Sweden, the Nordic countries and Europe.

8. Grenland Friteater 1997, Porsgrunn, Norway. For twenty years of pioneering work in group theatre in Norway - in a continuous search for identity in modern post-war Norway.

7. Hans Rønne 1996. Teatret, Odder, Danmark. For his solo performances as a distinguished landmark of Danish children's and youth theatre in the year of the cultural city.

6. Hans Hellberg 1995. Narren, Stokholm. Sweden. Founder of group theatre in the Nordic countries and its first important architect.

5. Arne Aabenhus & Asger Hulgaard 1994. Dansk Amatør Teater Samvirke. Founder and creator of Dansk Amatør Teater Samvirke (Danish Amateur Theatre Cooperation) for many years.

4. Iben Nagel Rasmussen 1992. Odin Theatre, Holstebro, Denmark. For being a pioneer of new acting in Denmark and for the performance ITSI BITSI.

3. Tage Hind 1991. Institut for Dramaturgi, Aarhus University, Denmark. For being a pioneer in the establishment of a new vision of theatre and founder of Institut for Dramaturgi at the University of Aarhus.

2. Aleksander Jochwed 1990. Theatre workshop Den Blå Hest, Aarhus, Denmark. Because the theatre breaks down barriers in the mind and between the East and the West.

1. Trevor Davies 1989. Festival of Fools, Copenhagen, Denmark, for creating a popular space for theatre and the Festival of Fools, as a cultural mediator and force to be reckoned with.

Institut for Folkeligt Teaters teater- and institutional members:
Odin Teatret, Holstebro, Aarhus Teater, Aarhus, Sort/Hvid, København, Grenland Friteater, Porsgrunn, N, Teater Nordkraft, Aalborg, Den Danske Scenekunstskole, Skuespillerskolen, Odense, Aalborg Teater, Aalborg, Vendsyssel Teater, Hjørring, Holberg Teatret, Sorø, Dansk Amatør Teater Samvirke, Rødekro, Kaospiloterne, Aarhus, BAS, Brønderslev,  Teatret, Hans Rønne, Aarhus, Danseteatret NordenFra, Hjortshøj, Teater TT, København, Dell'arte International, Californien, Brønderslev Erhverv & Turisme, Brønderslev, Det Flyvende Kuffertcirkus, Bælum, Vrå Højskole, Vrå, Kulturhus Kappelborg, Skagen, C:ontact, Frederiksberg, Musikteatergruppen Ragnarock, Espergærde,