Swedish choreographer and performance art professional Jenny Larsson spent her childhood in the northwest mountains of Sweden before eventually making her way to Fort Lauderdale – where, in 2016, she launched her first collective of interdisciplinary artists, Wild Beast.
Larsson’s creative side has been around since childhood when she explored her passions by putting on plays, performing in front of friends and family, and by writing scripts thanks to the amount of freedom she had in her school magnet program. Larsson began her professional dancing career in high school and went on to attend dance school in Sweden.
After researching different dance residencies across the United States, Larsson realized there was not much opportunity to create work that combined multiple disciplines. Particularly, this aspect was missing in South Florida.
“It’s hard to form a universal company,” Larsson said, “I would rather have an artistic collection of people I love to work with and be able to attract more opportunity.”
The diverse and talented team at Wild Beast are from different backgrounds and focus on everything from graphic design or editing, to composing or performing.
“I wanted to build a platform for visual and performance art within the community. It’s difficult to find a program that doesn’t only focus on one thing. I thought: If nothing is happening, you’ve got to make it happen. So, I did,” Larsson said.
To bring visual and performance arts together and to showcase the complexity of collaboration and expression, Larsson started Fågelbo (The Nest), the artist residency program which is now on its third year of projects.
Larsson and her residency are part of one of the Cultural Division’s grant programs, the Creative Investment Program, and was chosen along with six other artistic productions to receive additional support provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Fonda and H. Wayne Huizenga Jr. Family Trust Fund, Gary J. Scotto Fund and Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund.
Due to the support from the Community Foundation, Fågelbo’s third annual call to artists is up and open for application until September 1st. Apply here.
A team of two artists apply with an idea or concept to bring to life. The artist team selected by the committee are given three weeks to research, install and present their collaborative project at the annual culminating event which takes place during late December at a space in FAT Village.
In addition to presenting their project, the selected artists will also coordinate two workshops with schools, a college group, or arts organization interested in creating performance art to learn more about different mediums and styles of expression.
“All thanks to this grant, everything was possible.” Larsson notes, mentioning her vision can often become greater than the budget because of her desire to work with several different talents and perspectives on a project.
“This time we are much better equipped. We funded the production stipends for the artists, rental fees, the selection panel and photo, video and writing documentation for this year’s residents. We’re now able to accomplish our goals since the beginning,” Larsson said.
Having the idea to build a new platform for performance and visual arts (from scratch) brings awareness to more experimental methods of expression and is another realm of opportunity that South Florida can explore.
Larsson has also been working on producing the Fågelbo Film Festival which will be an opportunity for short, experimental films to take the screen and captivate audiences at what she hopes will become an annual event. Films of animation, documentary, art, dance and any other interdisciplinary creations will be the focus.
Apply for this years project here