Conversations - Peltotiekeskustelu


Living is a form of movement – from seaweed to birds, from trees to snakes, and from bacteria to human beings.

In Veli Lehtovaara’s new work, Conversations, three dancers converse through movement with other forms of nature, their contemporaries, their ancestors, each other, and the audience. The register of the group conversation oscillates between what’s logical and poetic, what’s philosophical and practical, and what’s imaginary and actual.

This is a dance of gradual transformation. The passage of steps and thoughts unfolds in circles and waves. It is a performance of letting go of that which will not stay without a holding: Falling, drifting, floating, and flying, singing within and dancing without, breathing and walking together, it is a conversation with three distinct voices that entangle as they form circular paths in time. A dance where words become what they once were - trees, stars, and substance of primeval environments - writing turns back to traces of movement.

The choreography incorporates forms from the natural development and evolution of things, cyclical change, and the ebb and flow of objects or events from different environments and living systems. Breathing, seeing, walking, and conversing are the basic materials for the choreography, and human complexity is countered by this simplicity.

How does the passage of energy and information appear as thoughts between transforming and transformed bodies in a dance? What is waiting, in thinking, while dancing? How can we see dancing as the movement of nature and choreography as a natural phenomenon? What happens when the mind falls to where the heart is?

The performance combines choreographic, philosophical, and visual forms of thinking. It gives attention to what unites human beings with other living beings in different stages and scales of life especially from the perspective of corporeality, perception and movement. Becoming a member of choreography is an event of belonging.

The visual scenography of the performance is created by Eija-Liisa Ahtila. The moving images intend to create signs of the presence of a place and suggest a region for the dance to take place. Together with the moving image, the light design by Luc Schaltinin, and the sound design by Jani Hietanen form an audiovisual entity, which comprehends the dance.

The work is inspired by a text of Martin Heidegger’s written in 1944-45: A Triadic Conversation on a Country Path between a Scientist, a Scholar and a Guide. The text is a philosophical and poetic contemplation on the relation between human beings, nature, and technology.




Choreography: Veli Lehtovaara, yhteistyössä esiintyjien kanssa | in collaboration with the performers

Performers: Mikko Hyvönen, Veli Lehtovaara, Elisaveta Penkova

Lighting design: Luc Schaltin

Sound design: Jani Hietanen

Moving image: Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Costume design: Heide Vanderieck

Assisting dancer: Kevin Fay

Dramaturgical assistance: Merel Heering

Cinematography: Arto Kaivanto

Editing: Heikki Kotsalo

Producer: Riikka Thitz

Production intern: Riina Laine

Production: Zodiak – Uuden tanssin keskus, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, SpaceTimeLove

Residencies: Zodiak – Uuden Tanssin Keskus (FI), Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek (BE), STUK – House for Dance, Image and Sound (BE), Kunstencentrum BUDA (BE), Château de Monthelon (FR), wpZimmer (BE)

Supported by: Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Flemish Community, Koneen Foundation, TelepART

The performance takes place in the frame of the project [DNA] Departures and Arrivals which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the EU.


Photos: Clara Hermans

Premiere: 22 February 2018, Zodiak - Center for New Dance, Helsinki (FI)