Esitys – A Performance (English)

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Concept and realization: Valtteri Raekallio

Performers: Mirva Mäkinen, Eero Vesterinen ja Valtteri Raekallio

Light design: Jukka Huitila

Poetry: Eino Santanen

Translation: Thomas Freundlich

Set design assistant: Aino Koski

Production assistant: Anni Leino

Premiere: 19th February 2016, Oulu, Finland

Production: JoJo – Oulun Dance Center & Raekallio Corp. / Pohjoinen liike ry

Duration: 60 min.

The Performance is not suitable for children.

Esitys – A Performance subverts the relationship between performers and audience, fusing contemporary dance with experimental performance and questioning the power structures of the stage event. Who ultimately watches whom, and who holds the position of power in a performance?

The production continues Raekallio’s lauded collaboration with poet Eino Santanen, and is based on Santanen’s upcoming poetry collection Yleisö (Audience). Their previous joint work was the critically acclaimed Edustaja (The Representative), which premiered in 2014 and was performed 26 times to sold-out audiences. The Representative was also nominated as one of the top productions of the year by the cultural departments of YLE broadcast news and the Helsingin Sanomat national daily newspaper.

In Esitys – A Performance, two different performances, built on contrasting conventions, happen simultaneously on the same stage. The finely wrought movement-based duet by Mäkinen and Vesterinen explores the changing dynamics of a couple’s relationship. At the same time, Raekallio’s performative solo, based on Santanen’s text, continuously redefines its own basis for existence and asks the audience, what do they see when they look at dance? The representations of the different performances take place concurrently and leak into each other.

What are the limits and possibilities of dance on the stage and in an audience relationship? How many “social performance contracts” can be in force at the same time? If the performance looks at the audience, who has the power? Can the divide between rhetorics and motorics be bridged? Can this gap be performatized?

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