Rising star Lisa Teige toplines Norwegian youth dance film Battle
by Vassilis Economou
- The first-ever Nordic take on the modern dance genre aims to have the same impact as Teige’s cult teen series Shame had, by overcoming generation gaps
The Norwegian teen-drama web series Shame (Skam) has achieved cult status, and not only in the Nordic countries. Young actress and dancer Lisa Teige, known for her role as Eva in the series that ended in 2017, is the first member of Shame’s cast to break into cinema by making her debut in the world of feature-length films – with the youth dance-drama Battle [+see also:
Directed by Sweden’s Katarina Launing (Cool Kids Don't Cry [+see also:
film profile]), Battle is an adaptation of Maja Lunde’s novel of the same name, and the author herself also wrote the script. The film centres on Amalie, portrayed by Teige, a girl who wants for nothing in her life. She lives in the rich part of Oslo, is beautiful and is very talented at modern dance. When her father’s company goes bankrupt, she is forced to move to a poorer suburb of the city, and her life consequently changes. She will meet street dancer Mikael, played by hip-hop dancer Fabian Svegaard Tapia, who will introduce her to her first dance battle. Amalie, who also falls in love with Mikael, now has to find a way to nurture her talent and discover how to strike a balance in her underprivileged new life.
Drawing its inspiration from 1980s dance classics like Dirty Dancing and Flashdance, and attempting to tap into recent franchises of the genre, such as Step Up, Battle is the first Nordic feature to attempt to depict modern dancing, targeting primarily a young audience but also aiming at a broader viewership of all ages, as Shame also did. Lunde was also inspired by the series: “I saw Lisa Teige in Shame while writing Battle, and I immediately thought she could be Amalie; she is a talented actress and has just the vulnerability that the role requires. When I also learned that she could dance, it was clear that she was the one.”
Producer Pål Røed of Norway’s Storm Films says he has high expectations for the production: "With mesmerising music and great dancing, Battle deals with topics such as identity, social differences, ambition, pride and prejudice. It harbours high-octane emotional conflicts, teenage hormones, hopes and dreams."
Battle is a Norwegian-Swedish-Danish-Dutch co-production by Storm Films and Friland Production AS along with Zentropa Sweden, Adomeit Film and Phanta Basta!. It has received the support of Denmark’s FilmFyn regional fund and the Nordisk Film & TV Fond. The film has recently wrapped shooting in Odense and is now in post-production, with a Norwegian release set for 28 September, courtesy of Nordisk Film Distribution.
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