Swedish-born Magnus danced as a teenager and soon started doing this semi-professionally. After secondary school, he focused on drama for a year at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. But the call of dance, especially contemporary dance, proved too strong and he went on to complete a three-year graduate course there in the discipline.
“By October 2011, I had danced and acted professionally in several Swedish cities,” he recalls. “But I was thinking about living and working abroad, having heard about EURES at an audition in Sweden and after seeing international dance companies in my home city.”
His curiosity was piqued by an email advertising European Job Days in Malmö in October 2011 and in Stockholm the following month. “At the first event, organised in collaboration with Germany’s ZAV agency, I did a short audition involving ballet, improvisation and contemporary dance. In StockhoIm, I performed a five-minute solo in front of more employers and dancers.”
A professional helping hand
The story is taken up by Juliane Rössler, artist agent for dance at ZAV-Künstlervermittlung TANZ!, the German government’s Placement Service for Performing Arts – Dance. “I was so impressed by Magnus at both events that I invited him to a ZAV audition in early December in Dortmund, Germany. As a former dancer, choreographer and ballet director, I saw that Magnus had extraordinary technique in dancing, acting and improvisation.”
Ms Rössler added Magnus to ZAV-KV Tanz’s database, under “contemporary dancers with a special talent for acting and voice work”. She also offered him feedback on his artistic and technical skills, plus advice on advancing his career abroad.
A few days later, Ms Rössler took a call from Jan Pusch, ballet director at the Staatstheater Tanz Braunschweig, urgently seeking a contemporary dancer who could handle floor work and acting. At her recommendation, Magnus auditioned immediately for Mr Pusch at this venue for dance, theatre and opera.
“I was hired on the spot as a performer for five months in ‘Ahead’, replacing a recently injured key dancer,” says Magnus. The theatre has twice extended his full-time contract, taking him to the end of the current season in July 2014.
“It’s great having full-time work abroad in dance, as well as speaking parts and physical acting”, says Magnus. “Some of my performances feature as videos and photos on the theatre’s website. This will help me to build my portfolio and career. What’s more, my time in Braunschweig is a great way of improving my German language skills!”