Baltic Circle’s 2022 programme focuses on building togetherness and exchanging information
The 19th iteration of the international theatre festival Baltic Circle is set to take place from the 18 to the 26 November 2022. The lineup includes a total of eight premieres, as well as Arctic and European guest performances. The performance venues represent a range of untypical spaces, from Villa Salin on the Honkaluoto islet, to the RTI-talo house in Ilmala – where the festival club will also take place.
Baltic Circle 2022 has been organised in the midst of crisis. This said, the festival promotes togetherness, and creates action towards taking radical care of the environment and its communities. The general themes of encounter and community echo throughout the programme. This can be seen in Tea Andreoletti’s YELLOWCAKE , in which the audience is invited into a fisher’s cabin to share stories of protest, and in Biret & Gáddjá Haarla Pieski’s Starting from Staring, a dance piece in which the artists investigate belonging to a family and belonging to a place through dance.
Constructions within the world of art will also be reassessed through works produced as part of Baltic Circle’s Coming Stage initiative. The rampa associations working group, mobilised by Isa Hukka, questions the ethos of constant productivity, and invites the audience to observe the group’s examinations on care, radical accessibility, and agency. After a full house last year, UNDERTONE – spearheaded by Geoffrey Erista – will create a stage performance in this festival edition with an aim to defuse the power of surveilling others using technology. Coming Stage is a four-year initiative funded by Kone Foundation. The intention behind the project is to transform stages into more diverse ones, and to establish more sustainable practices in the field of performing arts.
The festival programme chronologically:
rampa associations: inviting precarious perspectives
Created by an international working group of chronically sick artists, “inviting precarious perspectives” is a more accessible two-day event. The group’s starting point this year has been questioning the systematic demands of productivity and performing. Each artist seeking for their perspective, they together create a performance-event of contradictory voices. The group practices collective art-making, care-taking, connecting, access-creating, and consenting, in the time of COVID19. You’re warmly invited to join them.
Working group: Isa Hukka, Aku Meriläinen, Ar Utke Ács, Sunna Nousuniemi, Hang Linton, Laura Lulika & Sal Reis Trouxa
Henriikka Himma & working group: I was living in a strange place
I was living in a strange place is a stage work on the history of shared and private spaces, time, architecture, and home. The work engages in dialogue with author Helmi Kajaste’s collection of essays Rakenna, kärsi ja unhoita (“Build, suffer, and forget”). Taking inspiration from the essays, it examines what kinds of spaces and architectural worldviews our life is formed through.
Working group: Henriikka Himma, Kaisa Karvinen, Julia Lappalainen, Nicolas “Leissi” Rehn and Sofia Palillo.
Biret & Gáddjá Haarla Pieski: Starting from Staring – Čalmmiid Čađa
A dance piece by Biret & Gáddjá Haarla Pieski, Starting from Staring addresses encounters and belonging. In this place, in this state, with these people, today, now: the Sámi word “čalbmat” means “to start to see”. The work was first premiered at the Beursschouwburg in Brussels in 2022 as part of the Art & Land – EU Sámi week.
Working group: Biret Haarla Pieski, Gáddjá Haarla Pieski, Antoine Dupuy-Larbre, Nicholas Francett, Katarina Barruk, Arnljot Nordvik, Meri Ekola
Cris af Enehielm: The Scapegoat
The Scapegoat by established artist Cris af Enehielm navigates beneath the layers of expectation and reason. The performance is based on the working group’s own dark and destructive thoughts, which they try to keep hidden from the light of day. Combining dance, literature, video, and sound art, the performance explores the human being as a multi-personal and fragmented entity with many overlapping self-images. It asks: what are the sins of Western people today – or, on the other hand, the virtues?
Working group: Cris af Enehielm, Jonna Eiskonen, Antonia Henn, Meri-Anna Hulkkonen, Sue Lemström, Carl Lindgren, Antti Seppänen
Pia Sirén, Mirella Pendolin & Ilona Valkonen: Plant Based Stories
Plant Based Stories is a three-year project examining the human relationship with nature. At the Baltic Circle festival, Plant Based Stories will collect plant-related memories and anecdotes at the Riistavuori assisted living centre. The stories will form the base of the performance to be shown at the ANTI festival in 2023, as well as serve as material for a living plant and story monument to be constructed at the Hangö Theaterträff festival in 2024. Plant Based Stories will travel from Kuopio to Helsinki and Hanko as part of the three-year Kulkue initiative funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Janina Rajakangas: Venus
Made in collaboration with a group of teenage girls, Venus is a work about the eroticisation of young people, and what it is to be a girl in the 2020s. The multidisciplinary project examines growing up as a teenage girl on terms outlined by the patriarchy. Venus discloses the part outsiders play on the ideas that girls have when it comes to beauty and meaningfulness.
Working group: Janina Rajakangas, Maija Reeta Raumanni, Volta Rajakangas-Moussaoui, Natalia Foster, Mea Holappa, Seela Merenluoma, Alina Pajula, Kirsi Gum, Tuuli Kyttälä, Ulrika Vilke
UNDERTONE: Traces of Imminence
UNDERTONE – Traces of Imminence zooms in on the phenomenon of surveillance culture, and on how we manage our fellow species via technology. Combining experimental theatre, dance, and installation, the work takes the audience on an exploration into an imaginary reality that layers the temporalities of the past, present, and future.
Working group: Eric Barco, Geoffrey Erista, Aju Jurvanen, Selma Kauppinen, Amita Kilumanga, Iiris Laakso, Mikki Noroila
Chiara Bersani: Seeking Unicorns
The unicorn is a mythical creature with an undefined form: in some accounts, the unicorn takes the shape of a bull, and in others a horse. In her work Seeking Unicorns, the choreographer Chiara Bersani wishes to compensate for the wrongdoings experienced by the unicorn by offering herself to it fully. She wants to grant the unicorn love, a story, and the power of choice: “You do not interpret me, I will show you a way to understand me. I will accept responsibility for the image that the world paints of me.” The performance is inspired by northern light, and will be presented at the foyer of the Kiasma museum at sunrise.
Working group: Chiara Bersani, Fra De Isabella, Paolo Tizianel, Giulia Traversi, Valeria Foti, Eleonora Cavallo and Elisa Orlandini
Tea Andreoletti: YELLOWCAKE
For Baltic Circle, Tea Andreoletti will construct a mountain cabin, a shared space that is reminiscent of her hometown in the Upper Seriana Valley in northern Italy. The valley is situated atop the world’s biggest concentration of uranium, and is experiencing depopulation and a conservative attitude that is dampening any collaboration between villages. The last shared actions uniting the villages of the area took place in 1979 in the form of protests against the uranium mines.
Andreoletti’s mountain cabin aims to strengthen the moments of community and belonging that are often left outside of popular narratives. She will invite in visitors such as experts, members of different communities, and the festival audience to share and hear stories on uranium mining, their central characters, the interlinked communities, and the spectators of the production. Andreoletti will moderate the discussion through a performative narration creating a shared experience.
Fridaymilk: Inversia in Exile Showcase
Baltic Circle 2022 ends with a club night curated by Fridaymilk, a Murmansk-based independent group of curators. Fridaymilk brings RTI-talo to life with live audiovisual performances, installations and music.
Read more: www.balticcircle.fi/english