About the work

The dance installation Closer to the Heart was realized at Pyhäsalmi mine in 2012, in collaboration with Pyhäsalmi’s Full Moon Dance Festival and Inmet Oy. 11 dancers created five gallery-like performance spaces 1,400 metres under ground, and viewers could experience the scenes at their own pace on a kind of orbital path that began with an imposing elevator descent into the cavernous mine.

The work Closer to the Heart was a literal step towards the heart of the Earth, so the work had geological and planetary connotations. We also explored the idea of the Heart, both as the seat of emotions and as the physical, visceral engine of life, a lump of flesh. At the centre of the piece was this parallel between the heart of the Earth and the human heart, a kind of play between the micro and macrocosmos. Even though we know it intellectually, we seldom remember that the heart of the Earth is bubbling lava; the Earth lives and breathes. We penetrated the bedrock with reverence.

Throughout the one and a half hour duration of the piece, all five stages were in constant action. The choreography, lighting and sound design were designed to permit the random arrival of viewers at all stages, which looped choreographically in approximately 20 minutes. As a viewing experience, the work could be compared to an art exhibition, in which the viewer can engage with a stage event for as long as they find it interesting. Viewers also had the option of circling the route more than once. As the events on the five stages were slowly evolving respective to each other, a second viewing offered a slightly different perspective.


Choreography and concept: Petri Kekoni
Lighting and sound design: Mikko Hynninen
Costume design: Monika Hartl
Set and spatial design: Petri Kekoni, Mikko Hynninen
Dancers: Janne Aspvik, Soili Huhtakallio, Petri Kekoni, Jaana Kovanen, Meeri Lempiäinen (ent. Altmets), Tuomas Mikkola, Viivi Niiniketo, Sofia Simola, Satu Rinnetmäki, Elisa Tuovila, Ulla Väätäinen.
Producer: Akseli Kaukoranta
Technical realization: Suneffects Oy
Costume sewing: Miia Säde
Set construction: St. Elmus ry.
Performances: July 21st 22nd, 2012

Tuotanto: Petri Kekoni Company, Täydenkuun tanssit, Inmet Oy
Supported by: Finnish Cultural Foundation, Laguna Research, State Council for Dance, Culture Centre of the CIty of Helsinki

Thanks: Joanna Weckman, Theatre Academy Helsinki, Zodiak – Centre for New Dance, Pyhäsalmi mine staff