RUIJA – A FOLK DANCE
A meditative performance where synthetic bass meets archaic strings and intense rhythm of breathing.
Ruija – a folk dance is inspired by a migration wave from Finland to Northern Norway, Ruija region, in the 1850s. Thousands of Finnish residents packed their bags and left home for better living.
Created in 2015, the piece is strongly affected by the European refugee crisis, that during the rehearsal process dominated headlines worldwide. Surrounded by constant images of human tragedy and chaos, the theme of migration suddenly became more burning than ever.
One possible way of relating to the crisis was found in the state of physical exhaustion and fatigue. Pushing the limits of their physical capacity, the performers must keep up with the beat and each other.
Ruija is an invitation to experience togetherness through the forceful, ongoing pulse. Ruija takes us on a powerful journey, the destination of which is up to the spectator to determine.
Ruija is a commissioned work from Swedish choreographer Martin Forsberg. The performers come from Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Choreography: Martin Forsberg
Dance: Hilppa Herd, Outi Markkula, Tuomas Mikkola, Gustaf Svensson, Jukka Tarvainen, Katriina Tavi
Music: Jon Brodal (fiddle), Elina Lappalainen (double bass)
Sound design: Mitja Nylund
Lighting design: Erno Aaltonen, tour adaptation by Sofia Palillo
Costume design: Joona Huotari
Premiere: October 3rd, 2015, Tanssimania Festival, Tampere, Finland
On tour 2016:
February 11 – 13, Helsinki, Finland
April 23, Oslo, Norway
June 24, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 40 minutes
An open discussion with the audience members who wish to stay after the Ruija performance
VäkeväCollective is an ensemble consisting of Nordic performing arts professionals: dancers, musicians and stage designers. Within their artistic work the collective asks how could folk dance be seen in today’s art. The tradition is not understood as static, but as dynamic material that reforms itself constantly. How does the tradition communicate to us, today?
The Nordic Culture Fund, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Helsinki City