© Owen Fiene
WHEN THE BLEEDING STOPS
When the Bleeding Stops is a performance work by Lovísa Ósk Gunnarsdóttir. In this work Lovísa addresses the silence and taboo that seems to engulf menopause in Western society, as well as her personal experience of aging as a dancer.
After suffering an injury four years ago, Lovísa was forced to reconsider her relationship with dance and the body. This process opened her eyes to the silence around menopause and her own lack of knowledge on the subject. She began researching and interviewing menopausal women, as well as posting an open invitation online where she invited middle-aged women to participate in her project. Before she knew it, she was working with a large number of middle-aged women from across Icelandic society.
When the Bleeding Stops invites the audience into a world of vulnerability, shame, empathy and humour. The work transports us into the privacy of the participants homes, and dives deep into the many layers of the female experience associated with menopause and invites us to laugh, cry and celebrate with these women.
The work was premiered at Reykjavík Dance Festival in the City Theatre 2021. Following the premiere in Reykjavík, Lovísa was invited to bring the performance to the Rosendal Theatre, Norway. Before arriving to Norway she worked with local women online and gathered stories and videos from them which she incorporated into the performance. She then hosted an onsite workshop and invited the women to join her on stage.
The performance got excellent critical reviews and a very strong reaction from the audience, both in Iceland as well as in Norway. The menopausal women participating in the project described the experience as empowering and life changing.
Lovísa is now on a mission to travel with the performance internationally, connect to local, menopausal women in each place, gather stories and videos from them, introduce them to her artistic practice, host an onsite workshop and invite them to join her on stage. At the same time, Lovísa wants to create a social movement around menopause and take part in changing the narrative on menopause in Western Society.