“For this kind of artwork we are impressed, touched and moved towards each other.”
One Next To Me explores the relationship between tenderness and violence and
how these different states manifest in our bodies and in our encounter with other
people and bodies. Rather than seeing aggression and tenderness as polar
opposites, these are perceived as intertwined states where the transition and change from one state to the other may be barely noticeable. It follows that our choice as to which state we pursue and act upon is also determined by specific circumstances, situations and the encounters we have with other people.
In his book Crowds and Power Elias Canetti proposes an interesting paradox
relating to human beings’ behaviour within groups and crowds: we tend to avoid the
touch of other people when navigating public space yet paradoxically it is the touch
of the crowd, or other people, which will bring us closer to one another.
The crowd, however, can also be coercive as it seeks to coopt and absorb anything
in its way and people can lose themselves in more ways than one. When a crowd
gains momentum gestures become contagious as bodies respond and react to
other bodies. Gestures are passed on and transmitted from one body to another,
from one group of people to another until the crowd is a pulsing organism. One
Next To Me explores the complex nature of the crowd where gentleness and
violence, subordination and resistance, empathy and aggression become
entangled. One Next To Me has a mixed cast of dancers and non-professional performers of
One Next To Me is Off/Balance’s first international dance co-production. The concept and choreography was created by Milla Koistinen, who has an international up-and-coming career in Berlin. In addition to Jyväskylä, the show will be seen in the same spring in Riihimäki, Turku, Kuopio, Salzburg and Berlin.
“Because of such works, we are affected, moved and moved towards each other.”
The work is built for a core group of four dancers and five changing professional performers and a group of local non-professionals. The dance work deals with the relationship between tenderness and violence, their physical manifestation in the human body and how they are transmitted from one human body to another in different situations. The work reflects on the choice between two opposite states, and what guides us to make these choices. The focus is on body reactions; how does tenderness manifest itself in movements, what happens in the body when it encounters violence? The work explores the spread of physical behavior in crowds, how contagious people’s behavior and physical way of being can be, and what happens in us on a physical level when we interact with others.
The work breaks down polarization and explores it through physicality. The dance piece relies on art’s ability to shape our thinking and generate hope even in the midst of conflicting themes, making the viewing experience unique.
Concept and choreography: Milla Koistinen
Performers: Elina Häyrynen (Off/Balance), Terhi Kuokkanen (Off/Balance), Virva Torkko (Minimi), Nathalie Baert (4.15), Fanny Didelot (4.15), Àngel Duran Muntada (4.15), Elton Petri (4.15), Eino Heiskanen (Jyväskylä City Theatre) ja Antti Lahti (guest)+ 7-9 non-professionals from each venue
Music: Paul Valikoski
Set and light design: Ladislav Zajac
Dramaturgy: Synne Behrndt
Costume: Lee Méir, Judith Förster
Production: Milla Koistinen.
Production management: Jana Lüthje (M.i.C.A. – Movement in Contemporary Art)
Production assistant: Emilia Oebel
Premiere 17.01.2019 in Uferstudios Berlin.
Production partners: 4.15 Performance Platform (Salzburg, AUT), Dance Theatre Minimi (Kuopio), Off/Balance, Barker-theatre (Turku)
In collaboration with: Theatre of Riihimäki
Funding: Hauptstadkulturfonds Berlin, Kone Foundation, STADT:SALZBURG
Magistrat, Kultur, Bildung und Wissen Land Salzburg, Abteilung Kultur, Bildung und Gesellschaft and Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
Support for the Finnish tour: NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance (funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media), Arts Promotion Centre Finland and City of Jyväskylä.
Duration: 55 min.
Photos: Matti Häyrynen and Ladislav Zajac