Noticed how people come to life

With a million dollar grant from the Culture Council, her own dance background and an original idea, Sandra Brekke Ugelstad will revive cultural life.

Orginal article: by : Sonia A. Jensen 25. juni 2021 19:16 

  • I haven’t been lying on the sofa for a second. The most important thing for me is to create jobs. I have sacrificed everything to make this happen. Now I notice how people come to life, says Sandra Brekke Ugelstad (34).

It all started with a trip to the carnival in Rio several years ago. The impressions from the atmosphere and energy were so strong, and the joy of dancing so great, that the 34-year-old wanted to be able to share the experiences. This is how Show de Vida came to be.

Daglig leder i Show de Vida
The aim of Show de Vida was to create a concept that could make it more attractive for elite dancers to stay in Norway, says Sandra Brekke Ugelstad, who herself has experience from the KGB dance company. PHOTO: PRIVATE

Sandra Brekke Ugelstad, who grew up at Bærums Verk, drew on experience from dance lessons at the KGB and a bachelor’s degree in marketing when she tailored the performance. Here aerial acrobats and flame eaters share the stage with singers and dancers. Nettavisen gave her a six after her performance at Edderkoppen in 2019. Then came the corona pandemic.

  • I had to change and worked day and night to secure my company for the future. It has been exciting and educational, says Brekke Ugelstad.

Got a million grant

From the Cultural Council, she has received NOK 3.4 million in stimulus funds for the performances. The premiere was last weekend, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week Show de Vida is back on stage in the H3 Arena in Fornebu.

Culture and Equality Minister Abid Raja believes the show can pave the way for cultural entrepreneurs.

  • I am very happy that Sandra Ugelstad and many others across the country organize concerts and performances with support from the stimulation scheme. This is an important scheme that contributes to creating activity in the cultural sector, to the delight of both organizers and subcontractors, and not least all of us who have longed for good cultural experiences, he says in a comment to Budstikka.
Show de vida was well received when the performance premiered in. Now the ensemble is back. PHOTO: PRIVATE.
When Sandra Brekke Ugelstad booked H3 Arena, she expected that there would be performances for a limited number of audiences. Before the weekend's performances, chairs are stacked for an audience of hundreds. Among the artists who stand on stage is Atle Pettersen, known for example from Beat for beat on NRK.

- This is welcome. We are an entire food chain that has had a very difficult year. Getting funds to carry out a production of this caliber is good for everyone, it has been long-awaited to be able to stand on stage again, says Pettersen.

Rebuilt the arena

The arena, which is usually used for television recordings for popular programs such as Skal vi danse and The Voice, has been converted for the occasion for the performance. When Budstikka visited, the chairs had been given elegant, white covers. A dozen professionals tested that everything is working properly before the weekend's show.

- I want to create something new and unique for Norway when I mix art from different cultures. Then Fornebu is not a bad place to start, says Sandra, who is also artistically responsible and general manager of the company.

- What does dance do to us?

- It creates joy and unity. It is rare that I see people as happy as when they leave a performance, especially now, says the 34-year-old.