Sarah Armstrong

About Sarah Armstrong

An independent artist based in Copenhagen working in the field of performance and choreography. Armstrong works in solo contexts and collective collaborations across borders and is interested in work that seek to either explore, damage or celebrate. Her works are concerned around the social and political body and queer and feminist strategies such as - failure, fluidity, chaos and silliness as another form of knowledge.

Choroegraphing failure



In short, you are basically told all your life – don’t be a loser. If you work hard you wont be a loser. If you do this you will live long and wealthy, if you do this you will be happy, if you don’t do this you…and if , if , if and if, so and so. But lets be honest, failure is everywhere and that’s how I got inspired.

In the last couple of years I have thought a lot about the concept of failure but failed to put it into something that made sense and I’ve spoken to strangers about it and I’ve felt like a loser as well as a hedonistic winner at times.  All in all – I am dying to know – the powerful potentiality of failure.

Our whole system is build around the concept of winning and losing. Success is profit and failure is linked to the inability to accumulate wealth or happiness. In order for someone to win – someone else must fail to win.  Therefor failure goes hand in hand with capitalism. Which means that failure is essentially a matter of politics and that failure has the potential to act as a form of activism when used deliberately to crush the hierarchical standard of succes.  Then failure becomes an act of resistance against the horrid regime of status quo where we all aim towards being winners. ( Status q –  that thing which is the main course for really horrible dancing ).  But maybe its too far too go… because what happens when you fail at everything,  also at being cool and everyone and  maybe also yourself is like- who is that fuck tard ?  Is that screwing capitalism over ? or did it just screw you double speed in an awkward way – because now know one want to hang out anymore? Essentially the act of losing has it own logic, its own complexity, its own asthetic, but ultimately, also, its own beauty.

Failure becomes the art of unbecoming.

The art of unbecoming. Unbecoming. Art. How to choreograph failure? How to play a losers game?  Would I still be able to move? Would it still be dance? And what about  the perverse desire to fail so badly  that it becomes good? And what if I fail at failing ?

Win – win ? Fail – fail …?


Failing to fail – is a privilege. A first world problem.

Failure is also a way of exploiting unpredictability and modifying the structure of commen-sense, a norm in which failure can be used as a chaotic flow and critic/refusal of the logics of power.  A power of history and tradition, in which we are obligated to recognise ourselves as movers and makers – and thats great but it is also un-great if we fail to see the winnings within the potential of failure.

I have only come up with a few paths towards failure and they are quite fun to do.  But sometimes failing is like- oh fuck NO !!! What did I just do?!!

  dance while you are intoxicated; drunk or dizzy or sick. the show must go on.

– dont do dance classes or anything dance related, ever.

– dance in complete darkness.

– have no creative process. have no time.

– be fearless. be fearlessly hopeless !!!!!!

– karaoke, has something to do with it. I still dont know enough….

– make everything yourself !!! Light, costume, sound, PR, venue.

– do other jobs. Ex . bartending, teaching, work at a cafe

–  avoid writing funding applications.

– only teach your choreography to others through SnapChat.

IMG_0289photocredit: Sarah Armstrong