Sydsvenska Dagbladet 15 May 2009

One of choreographer Malin Hellkvist Sellén’s role models is the photographer Cindy Sherman and I suddenly realise what the faces are that sprang to mind during the performance of “Pink promises”. Sherman’s clowns, classically painted with large red mouths yet serious beneath their make-up, dignified in noble sorrow.

We see Marianne Kjærsund in the same light as she enjoys the most Swedish of afternoon teas, coffee in a white china mug with a mazarin almond cake in its foil case and Lasse Stefanz on the radio. The gaze is impenetrable, the gender hard to determine – a provocative unwillingness to communicate openly.

And then the first laughter comes, at the clothes of course, that are so incredibly pink. At the small, downy moustache and the curled hair, but perhaps most of all at that seriousness and the silence. No irony, just this gravity that is heightened even more as the figure makes its way out onto the dance floor, alone in a partnerless dance for two.

Dance band music streams from the speakers, the banal lines also fired with seriousness by the burning gaze of the dancing figure. Explicit and simple, in desperate rhymes, if required, they speak of longing and love. With Erik Westerlund’s lighting the floor becomes a dance palace with Kjaersund as its only star, sublimely acting out.

A “never-ending fight” is what Hellkvist Sellén calls her attempt to shine a spotlight on the world from a queer feminist perspective. In previous works such as “A christian evening” and “Better people” she approaches visible and invisible power structures in the world around us and now it is the turn of dance band culture to be the scapegoat for cast-iron heterosexuality.

Or not. Because rather than take aim at the obvious target and ironically focus on the modelled gender roles, she seizes on the fundamentally universally applicable aspects of the lyrics. A longing for love that everyone shares, even the odd character in front of us.