A pas de deux drama for two girls and a piano man

The Good Review, 4 ****

"...There is humour and fun but it is also deeply emotional. At times sad, others full of pathos or anger."

"A really inspiring piece of theatre, dance, concert –choose which seems most appropriate to you."

"Such a neurotically fabulous choreography and wonderful music and so, so brilliantly performed."
Sasha Damjanovski, film director

I N S O M N I A   2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 4

Two girls are fighting sleep; or trying to find rest on the stage they enter.

Maybe they are merely two sides of one person seeking the necessary harmony between collaboration and opposition.

The balance between conflict and unity keeps them awake, whilst also being chased through fragments of dreams. 

The piano man is the one who pulls the strings.

Insomnia is a dance theatre trio with original live music composition. It plays around the themes of relationship in a non narrative way, yet images and vision of fragments of stories are weaved into what it looks like an abstract piece.

It has been conceived by Irene Cioni and Mia Theil Have and directed by Tage Larsen 


Conceived by Mia Theil Have and Irene Cioni, 


Tage Larsen 


Nikola Kodjabashia

Light Design

Stuart Glover

Insomnia has been supported by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND for a UK Tour in 2014. 


November 2014                                          UK Tour  Park Theatre, London- Home, Manchester- Millennium Theatre, Cardiff

22-27 April 2014                                         Teatro Vascello, ROME

15/16 March 2013                                       Arcola Theatre, LONDON (UK Premier)

28 February 2013                                       Teatro Fabbrichino, PRATO (Preview)

20 December 2012                                     Odin Teatret, HOLSTEBRO (DMK Preview)

3 October 2012                                           Performer's House, SILKEBORG ( Residency )

A Q U A R I U M 

'Swimming in synchronised arcs, they pushed and pulled against unseen currents, exploring why we choose to inhabit confined structures over infinite space. 

A soundtrack of breaking china anticipated the cross formation that finally ruptured their oval orbits on stage - simple yet exquisite' 

Katerina Pantelides, The Place  read full review

A Q U A R I U M   2 0 0 8 - 2 0 1 1

It is a twenty minute long dance duo. I was interested in investigating themes like attachment and distance, equilibrium and gravity, constriction and freedom, unlimited freedom. 

Like fish we gravitate towards nooks and crannies, we constrain ourselves. We enjoy unlimited freedom, but when we have it, then what? Gravity, distorted images, the distance, the proximity…. illusions.

Dana Kolesarova, dance

Irene Cioni, dance and choreography

Tom Parkinson, music

Stuart Glover, light design


1/2  September 2011  Arcola Theatre London -

16 February 2011       The Place London -

15 June 2010             The Others London -

13 February 2010       Ulita cultral centre  Prague - 

26 August 2009          Southwark Playhouse London -

14 June 2009             Shunt Vaults London 

16 November 2008     Newington Dance Space London 

S I T T I N G   T H E   L I G H T   F A N T A S T I C 

A fibre-optic textile has been devised specially for this installation, enabling it to glow at dusk. A stork is the leitmotif in both the installation and the dance; the duo travels through a ‘parallel world’.

In a site specific open air garden, it is lit only by the fiber optic material that the artist used to create her collection.We created a dance around the theme of storks and it's relationship with domestic object and furniture.

In collaboration with costume designer and artist Kei Ito on the occasion of the opening of her exhibition at Geffrye Museum ( museum for English domestic interiors design) in London. 

Art Installation and costumes: Kei Ito

Dance: Nicola Monaco and Irene Cioni

Flute: Emy Watanabe

T H E   M O N K E Y              -            E L   M O N O

The Monkey performance is a complex parable that invites the audience to question how religious commitment can foster terrible violence. Its macabre exploration of power, human savagery, sexual transgression and religious fanaticism proved too much for many readers at the time of publication

Drawn directly from The Monkey by danish author Karen Blixen (1885-1962), supplemented by other passages of other stories from Seven Gothic Tales. The author distinctive style of magic realism combines folk stories, gothic horror,romance, social comedy, religion and eroticism in a heady and thought-provoking mixture. 

The performance it is a full length piece, it has been created collectively, using improvisation, physical work and dance.

Live music is a central element of Hopballehus’ work. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, from Russian Orthodox polyphony to contemporary Spanish rock, all the music is composed and arranged specially for the production. Every member of the company combines instrumental and vocal skills, allowing the music-making and the acting to merge freely.

The Monkey rehearsal supported by UNESCO and Andean Musical Embassy in Tilcara, Argentina, in December 2006. 

The premiere performances at the Centro Cultural de la Cooperación, Buenos Aires, from 18th to 28th January 2007.


Julie Beauvais, Swiss actor and director

Winsome Brown, New York-based writer and director

Irene Cioni, dancer and actress

Magnus Errboe, musician, actor and organizer

Karin Sjöholm, swedish singer, flutist, composer, actress 

Andrew Omerod, freelance producer based in UK

Esther Pallejà, actress based in Barcelona

Wilhelm Støylen, Norwegian actor and musician

Mia Theil Have, danish actress

Nacho Vera, actor and percussionist

Max Webster, director based in UK

P H I L O M E N A    P A R A D E

In June, 2007 I began the third work with Hopballehus Theatre on an outdoor parade called The Philomena Parade, based on the history of resistance in each of our countries.

The choice of theme permitted each member to bring material – songs, music, stories, characters – from his or her home country. Two directors were charged with constructing the parade from this material. Rehearsals were at  Performer’s house, Silkeborg, Denmark, May 2007. The parade was a great success in Norway, where it received significant media coverage. Following the PIT festival, Hopballehus has been approached by several international companies for new collaborations. The parade will tour to several more festivals in 2008. 




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