EI AIKAA / OTID / UNTIME
Petri Kekoni Company’s site-specific Ei Aikaa | Otid | Untime performance project seeks an alternative form for a stage production. The work examines our complex relationship with time and its organization. The premise of the work is that it is possible to encounter a performance in a way that is comparable to a nature experience, in which we come into contact with something permanent that exists independently of us. As in the long run of time, our performance doesn’t have a single start and finish, instead featuring a series of beginnings and endings. As the human race, we are in transition; our sense of time is in flux; and our work is an Utopian experiment about an imaginary society without boundaries on its sense of time. The viewer can dive into the flow of the performance, and then exit at the next bend of the river, having changed.
In order to create this sense of continuity, the duration of the performance is four hours, within which a spectator is free to choose a random time window for the experience. With 12 dancers alternating in groups, we can maintain the intensity of the performance indefinitely, comparable to a relay race. The work builds on experiences from the company’s previous works that have utilized a modular structure, including Closer to the Heart (2012), Non-Linear (2014) and 369⁰ (2019).
The work can be compared to pieces floating in the air that land into changeable arrangements on each performance date. The individual pieces are highly polished in their internal and external motifs, so in this work, unpredictability does not equal a lack of clarity.
In the project, the austerely beautiful hangar of the defunct Malmi airport serves as the frame for choreographer Petri Kekoni’s movement approach that parallels robust, primal impulses with an architectural sense of space. At times highly physical and even furious in its qualities, the piece is a continuation of 22 years of refining work that aims to combine movement abstraction with primitive monumentalism. Even though Untime has been born from a desire to build on and challenge the structural elements of the performance tradition, at its heart it is not coldly analytical, but a view on the state of the world made manifest in the movement and encounters of the performers.
”Throughout my career as a choreographer, I have been troubled by this performance convention, in which we as an audience arrive at a certain location at a given time, follow a preset dramaturgical arc from start to finish, and are then given permission to leave the performance. It feels as if this mode of presentation robs the performance of the randomness inherent in our world, which in my opinion lends all the wonder and misery to our human lives. I want to create a work with a sense of time that feels like it has always existed, granting the viewer a random slice of this continuity. I have often compared my pieces to a continuously evolving sculpture in a gallery, and so it is in this case as well.”
– Petri Kekoni
Premiere 8.9.2022 from 18.00 to 22.00. Other performances: 10.9. / 14.9. / 16.9. / 17.9. from 18.00 to 22.00. Open matinee performance as part of audience outreach project on 15.9. at 13.00.
Choreography and concept: Petri Kekoni
Music and sound design: Antti Nykyri
Costume design: Joanna Weckman
Lighting design: Anna Rouhu
Set design: Petri Kekoni and Heikki Rosti
Dancers: Tanja Illukka, Olli Lautiola, Meeri Lempiäinen, Anna Stenberg, Jenna Broas, Esete Sutinen, Sampo Kerola, Saku Koistinen, Terhi Vaimala, Jukka Tarvainen, Maija Kiviluoto, Kaisa Niemi
Set construction: Heikki Rosti / Verstas Helsinki Oy
Costume maker: Eeva Varmola
Photos: Pasi Orrensalo
Space collaborator / Malmi: Merja Sorakari, City of Helsinki
Producer: Merja Pylkkänen / Petri Kekoni Company
Production: Petri Kekoni Company / Liikkeen puolesta kannatusyhdistys ry