In The Waning Light

“Swifts don’t make these flights alone. They ascend as flocks every evening before singly drifting down, while in the morning they fly up alone and return to earth together. To orient themselves correctly, to make the right decisions, they need to pay attention not only to the cues of the world around them but also to one another.” - Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights, 2020

In the Waning Light is a multi-phase project that consists of an outdoor performance in late summer 2023 and a stage performance in 2024. The project is based on the essays on birds by author Helen Macdonald and scientific knowledge by ornithologist Mia Rönkä. In her essays, Helen Macdonald describes a sense of community among birds; the care for one another, different roles inside the flock, paying attention to each member, listening, and exchanging essential information in order to survive. She writes: “We can speak to each other. Swifts have no voices, but what they can do is pay attention to what other swifts are doing. And in the end it can be as simple as this: they follow each other.”

The nature trail prepared by the working group invites people to follow one another, to look for small clues along the way, to let their gaze lead them closer to the ground or towards towering trees, to listen and sharpen their senses. A curated walk for the public ends with an energetic farewell party in the fading light of late summer. The first part of the work explores themes of migration, decision-making, orientation and departure. The work continues the research of Milla Koistinen on combining choreography, music and visual arts.

Concept and direction: Milla Koistinen
Choreography and performance: Elina Häyrynen, Anna Virkkunen, Milla Koistinen 
Sound design, music and performance: Paul Valikoski ja Tatu Rönkkö
Visual artist, spatial design: Salla Salin
Ornithologist: Mia Rönkä
Costumes: Kaisu Hölttä
Photos: Matti Häyrynen and Paul Valikoski
Production: Off/Balance, Milla Koistinen
Supported by: Arts Promotion Centre, City of Jyväskylä, The Finnish Cultural Foundation

27.8.2023 at 19.00 (premiere)
28.8.2023 at 19.00
29.8.2023 at 19.00

Performance location:
The performance takes place in the surroundings of the Haukanniemi nature trail. During the performance the audience walks approximately 1,5km distance.

Haukanniemi nature trail, Kortesuo, Jyväskylä. Before the performance, gathering near the Lyhdekatu parking lot at the nature trail guide board at 7 p.m

The show is free of charge. With a place reservation, we ensure the number of people who will come to the place and, if necessary, we will notify you of changes, for example, cancellation in case of rain. Reserve your place using the form at

Additional info: (producer)

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