Icelandic music school principal takes up dancing at age 48

Music school principal Armann Einarsson walked into a modern art museum in Copenhagen and watched a short video of a male dancer.

Armann Einarsson performs Dance for Me as part of the nuna (now) Icelandic festival on May 23 and 24.

Dansaðu fyrir mig, or Dance for Me, with Brogan Jayne Davison and Armann Einarsson (Peter Armannson)

Music school principal Armann Einarsson walked into a modern art museum in Copenhagen and watched a short video of a male dancer.

​"I watched it at least three times. I found it so beautiful to see an older guy dancing," said the 48-year-old Icelander.

A few years later, he persuaded his daughter-in-law, Brogan Jayne Davison, a choreographer, to teach him modern dance and create a dance for him.

Dance for Me, an hour-long dance, is the result of that request and will be performed as part of nuna (now) in Winnipeg and Riverton.

"The piece is about dream, how to act on your dreams, no matter who you are, what you are, that's the main theme," he explained. 

Einarsson, you see, doesn't strike what we would think of as a "regular" dance figure.

"I'm fat!" he laughed. "That's the right word, don't be afraid to use it. It's just how I am. I'm not afraid if people always talk about my belly and make a joke about it."

Initially Einarsson hoped to just make a video of the dance for his own personal use. But the piece was mounted for a public presentation in Reykjavik and was a big success. The work has now been presented ten times and has been seen by 1000 people. 

The Winnipeg performance will be the first outside Iceland.

Einarsson has his own dreams about taking the piece further. Next month it will be performed in Germany, then in Norway.

"My dream now is to show it in ten different countries," he said, laughing.

Armann Einarsson performs "Dance for Me" with Brogan Jayne Davison on May 23 as part of the Nuna (now) festival at the Rachel Brown Theatre in The Exchange. On May 24 the show moves to Riverton's Community Hall. Both programs will also include a reading of a short play called "The Ring" by the beloved bard of Riverton, Guttormur J. Guttormsson.​