Voguing with Beethoven

Emilie Norenberg

Willy Nikkers

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In connection to Beethoven’s 250th jubilee, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra approached me wanting to create a visual piece that would introduce Beethoven’t music to a younger audience, while also showing how his music is still relevant today. Beethoven is often described as an outsider – a man that did not belong to traditional conceptions about how one should think and behave. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, he became one of the greatest classical composers in history. As a humanist, Beethoven was strongly devoted to equality and the right to freedom. Taking inspiration from his life, and drawing parallells to the current social climate, I ultimately wanted to create something that felt joyous and empowering about celebrating your own uniqueness. I've always admired the ballroom culture - no one teaches self-love and inclusiveness the way they do. As the style originated in an environment where oppression was common, this has naturally invited the force of freedom into the dance. The voguing community's expression and message are in many ways equivalent to the values that preoccupied Beethoven’s life, namely equality and freedom. Our film is about substituting isolation and rejection with freedom and acceptance, and the importance of acknowledging that you are exactly the way you should be.

Emilie Norenberg is a commercial and music video director based in Oslo, Norway and represented by Einar Film. She graduated with a degree in film production from the Arts University of Bournemouth in 2014. With a background in casting, she has an exceptional ability to uncover compelling humanist stories, and she confronts challenging subject matter with charm and heart. In 2018 she made a film for International Women's Day highlighting the wage gap which caught the attention of 70 million people worldwide. She's worked with several International artists like Sigrid, Sports Team and The Big Moon, and in May 2020 she directed the Norwegian National Ballet's first live streamed premiere from the Oslo Opera House. Her first short film "Voguing with Beethoven" premiered on Nowness in September 2020.