/theatre.now is a lively festival that offers a new vision or new perspectives on the performing arts.The event emphasises the creation of social context: the coming together of people and interaction are at the core of the programme.
Various performance encounters, discussions and demonstrations are an integral part of /theatre.now's programme. The new cooperation partners of the festival, the Espoo City Theatre and the Finnish National Theatre, open up an avenue to institutional theatres and the Finnish theatre world.
An impressive array of Finnish theatre professionals has been involved in creating the programme, whose ideas and discussions will provide the basis for this year's event as well. The festival is an open zone for different encounters: instead of imposing different definitions or limits, the festival collects makers, seers, talkers and debaters to performances, panel discussions and informal meetings. /theatre.now reflects the change in the field of art, which has resulted in more active and dynamic participation by artists and other people in the field.
The Belgian collective PONI questions the various definitions of theatre. In their performance Soma Sema, they ask how to dismantle the rituals and conventions of theatre. And what is the illusion to which we cling, at all costs? PONI challenges hybrid theatre comprising performance, live music, dance and theatre to a furious duel.
STARTING POINT REALITY
Even though individual performances vary stylistically, they all have something in common. Many of the performances examine the relationship of theatre, performing and text to reality. How is the reality concretely, politically and socially present?
The Reality Research Centre will present two performances at this year's festival.The Politics of Silence examines the possibility or impossibility of silence in society. Pilvi Porkola's LURE is an art exhibition comprising imaginary works of art. The subject matter covered by the work includes the transformation of work and working life.
The festival programme contains many performances that have taken as their starting point documents, real conversations, minutes and speeches. They are used for creating historical and social parallels, glimpses of the past and an understanding of the present. Understanding and presenting are always questions about the nature of reality and the ways in which theatre aims to be real and to nurture its relationship with the surrounding world.
Sanna Kekäläinen's solo dance piece Puna-Red-Rouge is based on her own texts about her personal memories which are expanded to cover the general and recent history. The performance by the Texan Rude Mechanicals theatre group is a political satire based on comics by David Reese. It is a funny and sarcastic portrayal of today's key political questions, such as the Bush administration and the War on Terror.
ANIMAL AND HUMAN
One of the festival's international guests is the dancer-choreographer Kate McIntosh from New Zealand, who in her piece All Natural examines the quest for naturalness and the myth surrounding it. In the performance, a Las Vegas showgirl emerges from a month of being lost in the forest - more animal than human.
Also Maus & Orlovski group's Mr Nilsson addresses the relationship of humans to other animals and nature. The performance, written and directed by Tuija Kokkonen, was first premiered at the Kiasma Theatre in the autumn of 2006, and is now performed in an English-language version.
Dirty Stories by the Venus Theatre scratches at the relationship between repulsion and morals while tracking down actions, which turn into dirty and forbidden acts in the polished urban consumer environment.At the same time, questions emerge about connections between aestheticisation and ethics as well as aestheticisation and the performing arts.
REVEALING THE PROCESS
/theatre.now does not merely present things but also reveals the processes of making art. The Demo Market is a one-day event, providing artists with an opportunity to bring their work-in-progress, ideas, and process or performance demonstrations to a public forum.
The writing workshop Parallax observes the events of /theatre.now, noting down the conversations and preparing texts from the performances. The participants represent a variety of viewpoints and philosophies.