About the work
With Erratic Block, choreographer Petri Kekoni returns to solo work after over ten years and the creation of several ensemble pieces. Premiered in Helsinki, the production opens a new direction in Kekoni’s work. The characteristic movement language and strong visual design seen in Kekoni’s earlier productions find a different, unfiltered form that integrates the choreographer’s body, the performing space, and an organic set design element. The piece blurs the boundary between the animate and inanimate; a person can become an element while the element can take on a human form. The performer’s lumped, non-human presence is paralleled by the anthropomorphic images evoked by a sculpture that has come to life.
Erratic Block is an interdisciplinary artistic collaboration. Kekoni’s unembellished movement is given a frame by costume designer and researcher Joanna Weckman’s sculptural, shifting and multilayered costume design that obscures the border between the human and the inorganic. The sound and lighting of the piece is by spatial artist and performing arts sound and lighting designer Mikko Hynninen.
“One day, as I was contemplating a new solo piece, I was sitting on a big rock – a glacial erratic block – in southern Finland. I began to think about my own age in relation to that of the rock, and wonder, did the rock have any feeling of its own life cycle? Would it be possible to move like the sensations of this block of stone? At the same time, I realized that this was just about the most baffling subject for a dance piece that one could possibly come up with! However, I do think that this same difficulty has led us on an interesting journey towards some kind of hard-to-define hybrid between a person and an “inanimate” object.
As an unforced form, there is something interesting in the concept of a block or lump (‘möhkäle’, the title of the piece in Finnish). As an artist, it has always delighted me how nature shapes materials through inexorable polishing and stress over long timeframes. I feel that my dance pieces are, in some sense, organic lumps; they are formed from the ideas and thoughts of a given period, and then find their final shape in ways dictated by the work itself. As the piece takes its final form, I try to be just an intermediary. A lump or block is never shapeless, as it always includes precise cuts and fissures shaped by time. But the concept of a lump is always, by definition, somewhat imprecise. So the main question in creating this piece was, what could the movement of a lump be like? Is it internal or external, defined or undefined? This work has made me rethink the performative concept.
In Erratic Block, I want to objectify myself and humanize an object. I’m also interested in performing without the ballast of personhood. This has led to a kind of aesthetic of hiding and veiling; the movement of the ‘lump’ is movement at its purest, open to all interpretations of meaning.”
Choreography, dance and concept: Petri Kekoni
Lighting and sound design: Mikko Hynninen
Costume design: Joanna Weckman
Costume execution: Joanna Weckman + Anni Konttinen, Suvi Turkki / Sankariliiga
Set design: Petri Kekoni, Mikko Hynninen
Set building: Jyri Suominen
Photography: Erno Soralipas
Producer: Anne Peippo
Lighting fixture partner: Several Oy
Duration: 50 min
Premiere: October 5th 2018, Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland
Production: Petri Kekoni Company / Liikkeen puolesta ry
Support: City of Helsinki Culture Centre, Arts Promotion Centre Finland
“A person is a chip floating in the stream of time in Petri Kekoni’s great dance work… the piece is full of beautiful metaphors.”
– Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, October 8th 2018
”A simultaneously meditative and refreshing work that both calms and gives strength to the viewer.”
– Annikki Alku, Demokraatti, October 9th 2018