Article by Anna Olkinuora
Finnish Translation: Soon online!
On 14th of March, a double bill of performances premiered on Zodiak Stage. Both performances were by young artists and both question what dance is as an art form and as a job.
Dance Performance at 2pm
Dance Performance at 2pm is a documentary montage of a collaboration between Anna Kupari and Outi Markkula that started in 2015. Their shape-shifting project has taken different forms during the years and has been performed in schools, care-homes and festivals.
What I really appreciated and enjoyed during the performance was to witness how much Kupari and Markkula were able to question their own art, to bring forward the problems of the form and truly dig down into layers and layers of the age-old question ‘is this art’. Having said that, the constant questioning also became quite repetitive and by the end of it, I was glad to let the questions fade away. I guess it would’ve been interesting to hear some statements too.
There were lots of clever and interesting little bits, like finding the rhythm of speech and singing censored interviews where pauses and words play a game in synch. It was also interesting to hear about the journey of their project and how it found its form in a traditional stage setting. However, at times it felt like a school presentation and a bit too explanatory. The casual, chatty style of the performance is a brave and refreshing choice and the performers were able to create a very warm and welcoming space. At the same time, the casual chatting also let the performance down in places.
Cheap was born out of Kati Raatikainen’s need to address her problematic relationship with dance as a paid job. The performance was quite interesting to experience, as it was very minimalistic, yet it addressed very big global issues. She talks about the very personal and collective experiences at the same time, linking seemingly unrelated issues to one another.
I really enjoyed a lot of elements of the performance; the stillness and minimalistic movement of Raatikainen, the sound of the plastic she wraps herself in, video material of the process projected on a plastic sheet. There is almost constant speech, both recorded and spoken on stage. At places it is very thought provoking and clever. At times it’s self-explanatory, underlining too much what the artist wants to convey.
Walking out of the theatre I thought the performance would’ve worked a much better in a gallery setting, where the audience is free to move in the space, finding new angles from which to witness the scene.
Honestly, I am not quite sure what to think of either performance. Both of them have several moments where scenes were clever and witty, thought provoking and had a nice flow to them. Then there were moments when it all felt a bit pretentious, naive and dull.
The moments I enjoyed, I enjoyed them fully. I have no doubt that all the people involved in both performances are nothing less than very talented professionals.
But! Walking out of the space, I personally was left to want something more –I just can’t put my finger on quite what that ‘something more’ is.
Photos: Press kit Zodiak,fi