On Sunday, December 13, join us for a virtual St. Lucia celebration with Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz!
The Scandinavian Christmas season begins each year with a celebration of St. Lucia on December 13, as a way of bringing hope and light during the darkest time of the year. Named for the early Roman Christian martyr Saint Lucia — who, according to Swedish legend, arrived “clothed in white and crowned with light” on the shore in Värmland to distribute food and clothing to the needy during a great famine — Saint Lucia’s feast day merged with earlier traditions in Scandinavia to celebrate the winter solstice. Today, it is celebrated with a procession in which a chosen Saint Lucia wears a white gown with a wreath of candles on her head to sing traditional Swedish Lucia and Christmas songs, joined by handmaidens and star boys, sometimes also followed by children dressed as tomtar (elves) and pepparkaksgubbar (gingerbread men).
Each year, Scandinavia House has shared in this tradition with processions from members of the Swedish Church Choir in New York, who join us in traditional Lucia gowns with candles to sing Scandinavian and American holiday carols such as the “Sankta Lucia” at various events.
This year, we’ll be taking the tradition virtual with a discussion and Q&A on the St. Lucia celebrations with Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz, a singer in the Swedish Church Choir and actress with the Scandinavian American Theater Company, who has led the performances at Scandinavia House each year. Following the discussion, we’ll present a new video of one of their 2019 performances with us on Park Avenue, featuring singers Anne Walden Widegren, Katja Otero, Maria Bergenhem, Michaela Lind, with Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz.
The event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please register at the link above to join us and watch. Questions can be shared with us in the chat during the event, or sent in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Speaker
Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz is a Swedish-born actor, singer and contemporary dancer, who worked in all the major theaters in Sweden for several years, and toured many countries in different productions, before settling in NYC. She was a member of the original Swedish cast of the musicals Mamma Mia and Chess, working closely with the composers, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of Abba fame.
In New York, Ingrid has worked off-Broadway, in film and television, (most recently in the Oscar nominated film First Reformed with Ethan Hawke) and in voice over. She is a core member of Scandinavian American Theater Company, a singer in the Swedish Church Choir and she is also an adjunct Swedish teacher at NYU. Ingrid is very passionate about her Scandinavian cultural heritage and embraces every opportunity to share it.