Photo: Kimmo Karjunen
Jenni-Elina von Bagh: Posthuman

Uniarts Students' Works on ELIA Neu Now festival's Online Series

ELIA - European League of Institutes of the Arts organises annually a festival called NEU NOW. It is devoted to presenting the work of exceptional creative talents from art academies across Europe and beyond.  After the stage festival, the NEU NOW Online Festival features all of the artists that showcased their work in Amsterdam, in addition to a selected group of 35-50 outstanding emerging artists. Three pieces from the University of the Arts Helsinki were selected for the Online Festival 2017:  Jenni-Elina von Bagh's choreography Posthuman, Elina Pirinen's (guest) choreography KOSTO I-IX  (Revenge I-IX) for TADaC (Theatre Academy Dance Company) and Jenni Ristilä's opera Jääkausi (Iceage).

Watch the works on  festival's web page . Filter artists by: "online", "2017" and "Finland" to find these pieces mentiond above.

About the works

What would it mean to surrender and leave the hegemony of human? What is Posthuman? Where are we now? Inspired by philosophical discourse around Posthuman, this piece, performed by two male-performers and one drummer, is asking the possibility for shaking existing categories and stable identities. The work is ambitiously questioning the dichotomy of subject and object, living and non-living, culture and nature, man and woman. It also asks: How does it feel to stay with these questions? On stage we see different colorful objects, performers, drums. Through planned and spontaneous actions, through composition of text, body in action and body in question a whole newworld of potentialities is opened up. The work tests the limits of absurdity in an attempt to search the quality of not-knowing and off-tracking.Posthuman is an artistic collaboration between choreographer, scenographer, costume designer, lighting designer, sound designer and two dancers. 

Kosto I-IX (Revenge I-IX) is a recitative fantasy directed by choreographer Elina Pirinen for dance company TADaC, made up of MA students of dance at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Kosto I-IX sings forth visions of revenge in linguistically, visually and corporeally subtle and direct ways. The singing on stage is surrounded by nine bodies incorporating rest and festivo. The tableau vivant, in turn illuminated and extinguished, brings forth the beautiful inner tumult of humanity. Welcome to a desert of glowing light and flaming darkness.

The opera's dreamlike libretto tells the story of a relationship gone wrong. It starts as an apocalyptic image of the future after climate change where people fight for survival, but in the end Ice age turns out to be a metaphor of the protagonists own state of mind. The story centers around how people act towards each other in today's society: the increasing divide of people into us and them; and how the current egocentric way of life affects our relationships. Itzam Zapata's music embraces the dreamy absurdity of the libretto: his musical language is an unprejudiced collage of microtonality, gregorian chant, jazzy duets and mad cabaret, bringing out the dark humour of Juho Gröndahl's text.