A HISTORY OF SWIMMING (in Production) 

A History of Swimming

Michael Laundry’sA History of Swimming is a confluence of three water stories flowing in entangled and parallel streams. The first water story is a stage adaptation of John Cheever’s The Swimmer (1964) on it’s 50-year-anniversary.  The second concerns the finding of an extinct Chinese river dolphin called the Baiji, and the last is a speculative love letter to screenwriter Eleanor Perry. Perry penned the screenplay for a 1968 film adaptation of The Swimmer. The work asks critical questions: what happens when we sell off our public pools? What would happen if we found an extinct baby Yangtze River dolphin? Why does the Norwegian Public Radio service advise us to pee in the shower? Why do black children drown at 5-times the rate of white kids? A History of Swimming is a 55-minute work of contemporary theatre meditating on human and non-human relationships to water in the anthropocene.

A History of Swimming is in production 2024 and has been selected for the Reykjavik Dance Festival Summer Residency (Summer 2024). The poject is a co-productions with SCEN 46 & with Slip of the Lip Productions, and is supported by BIT Teatergarasjen.

A History of Swimming swims across movements, piercing dialogues and vivant tableaux – the experience fluidly shifts between theatre to dance to performance art and back again to challenge how we see water, swimming, and our problematic relationship to a so-called hydrofuture.

A History of Swimming is the final composition of Michael Laundry’s Swimmer series, an ongoing research project on hydrochoreography, which premiered at BIT Teatergarasjen in 2018. The project has manifested as a watery body of: dance, theatre, performance art, performance lectures and installations in various exhibitions spaces, venues and pools in Norway, Germany and England. A History of Swimming builds on a hydrochoreographic oeuvre: (The Swimmer (2018), UBI SUNT 4 She-Wolf Defaced (2020) Meet Me at the Pool (2021), and River Dolphin (2023).

Slipping between personal narratives, and socio-political speculation on water, monologues are accompanied by live saxophone and electronic soundscapes and dance choreography, as well as offbeat interventions with 3D-printed floating scenography. A History of Swimming is now being adapted for the black box but is site-sensitive and adaptable for project spaces or outdoor venues.


Concept and performance: Michael Laundry

Choreography: Michael Laundry

Video Installation: Michael Laundry

3D Printed Scenography: Michael Laundry

Dramaturgical support: Joshua Wicke

Sound technician: Jonas Skarmark

Saxaphone: Jonas Flemsæter Hamre

Cello: Daniel Thornhill

Lighting Design: Thomas Bruvik

Costume design: Michael Laundry

Supported by: Reykjavik Dance Festival Summer Residency, Nordic Culture Point, Bergen Kommune, BIT Teatergarasjen, San José State University, Neon Kunst, Berlin.


Michael Laundry


Michael Laundry

+47 95 47 71 84



Michael Laundry is an artist, curator and choreographer‭. ‬Laundry is Curator at Mikey Laundry Art Garden‭ (‬MLAG‭). Laundry often uses 3D printed sculptures and digital weaving as conceptually interrelated pieces and performative actions over one discrete artwork. ‬Laundry’s artistic practice has taken shape under the name Myclef Laun or The Avalanche Boys‭. ‬Laundry’s practice includes live site‭- ‬specific performance‭, ‬choreography‭, ‬video installations‭, ‬textile and costume design‭, ‬as well as audio installations‭.  ‬Laundry’s tech-feminist approach uses technology such as drones‭, ‬VR‭, ‬and  choreography to investigate philosophical‭, ‬political and prose fiction texts‭. ‬Laundry’s work has been shown in Vancouver‭, ‬Toronto‭, ‬New York‭, ‬Plymouth England‭, ‬Copenhagen‭, ‬Oslo‭, ‬Bergen and Kristiansand by festivals‭ ‬and venues including Gallery FELT‭, ‬Gallery Knipsu‭, ‬KRAFT, ‬Ravnedans‭, ‬Alt_CPH‭, ‬BIT Teatergarasjen‭, ‬Oslo Art Weekend‭ ‬BOA Billedkunstnerne i Oslo og Akershus‭, ‬ASLE Biennial Conference‭, ‬Plymouth‭. ‬