Amanda Apetrea

Amanda Apetrea (born in 1981 in Uppsala, Sweden) is a performer and choreographer based in Stockholm. In her work she integrates political theories such as feminism, sexpositivism, body positivism and queerutopism. Apetrea went to Ballet Academy in Stockholm and has a masters degree in choreography from DOCH (University College of Dance and Circus), Stockholm.

Her works are marked by her feminist point of view, calling into question larger power structures of the modern world through the performance of western classical and cultural dance, spectacle and conceptual performance. Her current works challenge structures that restrain and inhibit the microcosm of the choreographic field as a reflection of society at large.

As Apetrea has continued to critically examine, integrate and inhabit the above mentioned overlapping politically radical theoretical concepts, her work has significantly hinged on the collaborative process and ethos fostered with the ÖFA-collective that Apetrea co-founded in 2004, as well as Samlingen started in 2014. Some of these collaboratively authored works are: I Ass Jazz with Emma Tolander and Lisen Rosell, EDIE&EDIE with Emma Tolander, Beauty and the Beast with Halla Ólafsdóttir featuring Lisen Rosell and Chrisander Brun (jardin d’europe 2013 prize winner), DEAD with Ólafsdóttir, Samlingen - en danshistoria (Riksteatern) with Nadja Hjorton, Zoë Poluch, Stina Nyberg and Halla Ólafsdóttir, I’m a Very Understanding Woman, SPRINGITME and There Will Be Men with Mica Sigourney (SF, USA). Grottbjörnens Folk with Nadja Hjorton and Lisen Rosell and Stolthet och fördom with Lisen Rosell.

Halla Ólafsdóttir

Halla Ólafsdóttir is a dancer and choreographer with an MA in choreography from Stockholm University of the Arts (formerly DOCH). She always works collectively in various constellations, looking for ways to expand the notion of choreography. A big part of her work revolves around inventing new formats for dance performances and how politics and gender are projected onto body movements. Halla often uses recognizable material from art and popular culture in order to explore what happens when it is put in the context of contemporary dance.

Together with Amanda Apetrea she has toured and created the pieces Sälkvinnorna (2022), DEAD (2017) and Beauty and the Beast (2011), winner of the Prix Jardin d’Europe Awards in 2013. Halla and Eliisa Erävalo have a communal practice called bitchcraft and together they have created the works Granddaughters (2022), Bitch (2021) and BITCHCRAFT (2017). Together with Erna Ómarsdóttir Halla created The Juliet Duet (2022) and Romeo <3 Juliet (2018) which was nominated for “DER FAUST Awards” in 2019. Halla premiered the piece Sylph (2023) together with Cullberg at Dansens Hus and has an upcoming tour in spring 2024.

Halla has choreographed various international dance companies such as Cullberg (SE), Iceland Dance Company (IS), Böler Samvirkelag (NO) and Gärtnerplatztheater company (DE). As a dancer she worked with choreographers and collectives including Samlingen, Dorte Olesen, Inpex, Nadja Hjorton and The Knife. Halla experiments with various art forms and expressions and has acted in films by Ester Martin Bergsmark, Sidney Leoni and Joachim Koester.


At dusk in the darker stage of twilight, we see the outlines of their bodies. They lie there, on stage, stranded in a muddy quagmire, the seal women. At first glance, they look paralysed. They are stuck in a hybrid body of seal and woman. They grunt and snort. We do not know if these are sounds of pleasure or torment. Perhaps both at the same time…

In Sälkvinnorna (the seal women in English), Amanda Apetrea and Halla Ólafsdóttir explore horniness, desire, the body and animality/femininity. They have nurtured these physical practices through work with their rock star alter egos in Beauty and the Beast (2011) and in their latest more poetic performance DEAD (2017). The seal women give expression to bodies that are shameless, sexually aggressive, grotesque and that dare to take up space through their dance and with their voice.

Sälkvinnorna by Amanda Apetrea and Halla Ólafsdóttir is a dance performance that moves in and out of a mythical landscape within which Amanda and Halla shapeshift between seal and woman. With sound by Lune, a set design by Chrisander Brun and cinematography film by Ester Martin Bergsmark, the Seal women float weightlessly through a muffled, dark and epic soundscape.