Television, 1976

The Dance of the Damned Women

Damned women dance in this film by Ingmar Bergman and Donya Feuer.

About the film

The film is described as a play for dancers rather than as a ballet. Four women are shown moving round a narrow and closed room. They represent 'generational' women, i.e., women who live by performing roles imposed upon them by women of earlier generations. Two of the dancers are damned souls coming alive, the third is death and the fourth a child, born unspoilt but forced into the pattern of role playing. The dancer who personifies death wears a black hood, not unlike the one Death wears in The Seventh Seal.

The Dance of the Damned Women was shown out of competition at Prix Italia in 1976. When broadcasted in Sweden it was shown twice in the same program spot with a commentary by Swedish art critic Ingela Lind. The idea was to let the viewers assess the dance play first without commentary and then to watch it a second time in a kind of silent dialogue with the commentator.

During shooting Donya Feuer did warm-up exercises with the Fårö-men, among them Bergman's long time associate Arne Carlsson, who were part of the team. The photographer, Lars Karsson, documented this and a selection of his photographs can be seen here.


  • The Ingmar Bergman Archives.
  • Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide (Amsterdam University Press, 2005).


  • Helene Friberg, The child
  • Nina Harte, Dancer
  • Lena Wennergren, Dancer
  • Lisbeth Zachrisson, Dancer
  • Sven Nykvist, Director of Photography
  • Donya Feuer, Choreography
  • Maggie Strindberg, Costume Designer
  • Måns Reuterswärd, Producer
  • Siv Lundgren, Compilation
  • Anne Terselius-Hagegård, Production Designer
  • Cecilia Drott, Make-up Supervisor
  • Dorothy Dorow, Singer
  • Ingmar Bergman, Producer