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RUIJA - A FOLK DANCE (2015-2017)

A fusion of folk music, contemporary dance, ritual and techno rave. A meditative performance where synthetic bass meets archaic strings and the intense rhythm of breath.

Ruija – A folk dance is inspired by a migration wave from Finland to the region of Ruija in Northern Norway in the 1850s, when thousands of Finnish residents packed their belongings and left their homes in search of a better life.

Created in 2015, the piece is strongly affected by the European refugee crisis that dominated headlines worldwide during the rehearsal process. Surrounded by constant images of human tragedy and chaos, the theme of migration suddenly became more acute 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 a forceful, ongoing pulse. Ruija takes us on a powerful journey, the destination of which is left 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/Saara Mikkola-Ylitolva, Outi Markkula, Tuomas Mikkola, Gustaf Svensson, Jukka Tarvainen, Katriina Tavi
Music: Jon Brodal (hardanger fiddle), Elina Lappalainen (double bass)
Sound design: Mitja Nylund
Lighting design: Erno Aaltonen
Costume design: Joona Huotari
Production: Co-operative Väkevä, Outi Markkula & Tuomas Mikkola

Premiere: October 3rd, 2015, Tanssimania Festival, Tampere, Finland
On tour 2016-2017: February 11 – 13, Helsinki Finland; April 23, Oslo, Norway; Reykjavik, Iceland 24.7.2017
Duration: 40 minutes
Supported by: The Nordic Culture Fund, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Helsinki City