THE MEANING OF ZERO

Created for five dancers and two musicians, our latest work The Meaning of Zero is a furious cross-disciplinary exploration into zeroness. The concept of zero has been fundamental to human development and it has formed the basis of all modern technology. Our piece fuses mathematical thinking with flourishing, impulsive movement energy.

The art of Petri Kekoni Company has always revolved around fundamental human questions. In this work, we continue our excavation towards the ground truths and concrete mental foundations of the society we have constructed. The planned stage design reflects this idea with a foundation-like base that underlies everything that is on top of it.

The concept of zero is basic to all animals and is not exclusive to humans. According to research, crows have been able to recognize the concept of zero, which has led us to select the image of a crow as the visual identifier of the piece. The way that the idea of zero permeates the living world tells us something essential about our universe and of understanding; in order to have something, first we must have a not-something.

The Meaning of Zero marks the first collaboration between Petri Kekoni and composer Ville Aslak Raasakka. The music is realized in collaboration with Avanti! chamber orchestra.  In addition to choreographic content, we also seek the meaning of zero through sound, approaching the whole as a synthesis of music and movement.

Over my 25-year career as a choreographer focusing on the refinement of movement, I have developed a particular movement method in which one can identify a kind of canon that is carried along from one work to the next. From this collection of kinetic gestures, one can identify the “zero” movement, the basis of all. It doesn’t need to be a single defined movement, but instead I believe it to be more of a physical attitude and quality of being. The floor is always important, especially now, it is an interface in a life´s coordinate system. Above you mark positive things and below negative things, in between we´ll find zero.

  • Petri Kekoni

The musical significance of zero is realized through a bold compositional approach in which the extremely quiet sounds of the cello and bass flute combine with the electronically captured and processed movement sounds of the dancers to create a massive, multilayered space. Before even the sound of instruments and footfalls, there exists the white noise of the bow, the breath, and movement. These concrete sounds travel from their natural domain into digital, hyperactive incorporeality and back, growing ever more powerful through the transformation.

  • Ville Aslak Raasakka

Premiere 27.10.2023 at 19:00 at Pannu Hall, Dance house. Helsinki, Finland. Other performances 28.10. and 31.10. at 19:00. Discussion with audience after 28.10. performance.

ENSEMBLE:

Choreography, scenography and concept: Petri Kekoni

Electronic and acoustic music: Ville Aslak Raasakka

Dancers: Tanja Illukka, Meeri Lempiäinen, Anna Stenberg, Pekka Louhio, Saku Koistinen

Musicians:  Iida-Vilhelmiina Sinivalo / Cello, Martta Jämsä / flute, Livia Schweizer / flute recorded, Anders Pohjola, Tuukka Tervo / mixing / Chamber orchestra Avanti!

Lighting design: Anna Rouhu

Costume design: Joanna Weckman

Set construction: Mikko Orpana

Costume realization: Joanna Weckman, Eeva Varmola

Photos: Pasi Orrensalo

Graphic design: Jukka Kuisma / Iasy Oy

Video capture: Thomas Freundlich / Lumikinos Production Oy

Duration: 50 min.

Production: Petri Kekoni Company / Liikkeen puolesta kannatusyhdistys ry

In collaboration with: Dance House Helsinki, chamber orchestra Avanti!

Supported by: Arts promotion centre Finland, Helsinki city, Finnish cultural foundation.

CRITICS:

“The meaning of zero is highly succesful, compact and fully reflected one hour long art work. It´s diversely whole body using, abstract movement language is energetic and at the same time extremely easy to approach. Music and dance are in excellent balance and supporting each others.”

Annikki Alku / Demokraatti 30.11.2023