As the boat traveled through ice and cold water under the winter dark sky Skälva crept around in its intestines.

We met beside the information desk at deck 7. Four dancers. While most passengers of the ferry were eating dinner, taking a drink or checking best buy offers in the taxfree we travelled up the stairs as far as we could go and then down again with the elevator to deck 2 to the cabin areas beneath car deck. We started our exploration of the winding corridors, taking turns leading the exploration of space and movement. At every turn a new leader with a new focus. New impulses. New ways to respond to the space. Laughter. Surprise.

Carpet covered floors and very narrow metal staircases. Closed doors everywhere. Limited space. Just enough space for two people to pass each other running. Passing close, often touching. The ceiling above, we are able to touch it and let one body connect floor and ceiling. Or two bodies. Or three. Or four. One body could make a connection of the two walls. Or two, or three… but one body is enough to block another from passing. The others have to find  unconventional ways to pass through the in between spaces of the body blocking the way.

We slowly worked us up through the boat. Moving between fore and stern. Losing direction in the winding corridors. Sometimes blocking the way. Fake-walking1 in the ceiling until the roof tiles starts falling down. Stopping to repair. Waving at the surveillance cameras. Not knowing if anyone is watching.

People passing with their shopping bags. Smiling. Or suddenly emerging from their very small closet-like sleeping places. Ordinary looking or well dressed. Ready for the dance floor or the bar. Some people take these boats to get from one place to another but many come here for the cruise, the party, the cheap alcohol. Some come here often.

Skälva have used these boats for transportation only. We never felt at home there. The party was for someone else. That make the inside of a ferry a perfect place to explore in a Skälva event. We often chose unfamiliar places which we associate with other groups of people for our movement explorations. We take a space and make it ours. We blend in. We take part. We join. In our own way. We bring our energy. You respond with yours.

We reached the corridor on deck 6 where we lived. Fetched the camera which had been sleeping late. Some dancers left and others joined. We kept moving, letting the camera catch us. People passed. Some stopped to tell us their story. No one asked us what we were doing. They passed. Most eyes curious.


Later that evening Skälva went for a walk. Just to get the atmosphere of the boat. Suddenly we felt very much at home. Walked into the nightclub to watch the dancing couples. Discovered a Diva Singer took up the whole space. Unbelievable proud. We want to have this attitude! Our spines instantly reached for the stars. Our eyes looked for space to move. Empty bar tables in a corner! All in red! Lets go! Later we discovered that the disco-floor upstairs was lonely. We blended into the space. We continued through the boat dancing the unused space dance: the amusement machines, the bathrooms, the elevator, the stairs… and finally we danced to bed. Our last move was to explore how to hang from the bunk-beds. To let gravity stretch us.

1 Fake-walking in the ceiling: Bend as much backwards as possible. Let your hands move in the ceiling as your feet usually move on ground. Do this as quickly as possible while staying in the backwards bent position. Let your legs drag along (walking backwards). Although your legs still support your body this gives a strange sensation of moving with the hands… Try if you have a small enough space!

Exploration number: 021 + 022
5th of February 2012
Where: Amorella, on her way from Stockholm to Turku, Finland
Duration: 21.00-22.00
Participants: Anders, Gabriel, Jenny, Rebecka, Reeta, Ulrika and Vidar
Archive material: 102 raw, 18 jpeg, 2 mov (exploration 021) + video (exploration 022)