The Artistic Director’s Confession 2020
This is the third and probably the last Festival of Instant Choreography that we at Höyhentämö will be organizing. The festival is a part of the artistic program Dances to a Beat that will come to an end this year. This year’s festival is also a celebration for the 25 years of Höyhentämö’s existence! As my program finishes, it will be a possibility for new beginnings to arise.
Since the founding of FIC festival in 2017, different kinds of improv festivals have been popping up around Helsinki area. This year I also discovered a new festival called Festival Instant Composition in Zürich. This have made me extremely happy – it’s in the air! On the other hand, it has also felt a bit funny, and a bit lonely – everyone searching for these marginal audiences on their own.
My passion has never been taking a stand on what is instant choreography and what is not. I don’t feel competent to define that. Instead, with every festival’s curator group, we have been challenged as we’ve tried to figure it out. This year the group consisted of a dance artist Elina Hauta-aho, choreographer Soili Huhtakallio, Höyhentämö’s producer Heini Tuoresmäki and myself. It seemed that we found some of the program suggestions we received to be more instant choreography than others! Apparently, our thinking was based on something; maybe every selection, including this years’, is an answer to what (we think) instant choreography can be.
From the program suggestions that have been sent to us yearly, there has always risen a theme for each year’s festival. In 2017 it was the personal and in 2018 different social spaces. This year, topics about the workplace wellbeing, acceptance and kindness. as well as questions of shared authorship, were seen in the applications. However, we did not curate works based on these fragile signals: We chose the suggestions that we thought were the most interesting and suitable.
FIC festival didn’t receive any grants from anywhere, any year. It’s ok. Three years of persistent volunteer work is worthy of a thank-you, and I wouldn’t choose otherwise, even if every year we had challenging moments. Each year we could use about one fourth of Höyhentämö’s yearly budget. Openness and transparency are the key values that this festival was built on: As in previous years, we sent personal feedback to every applicant, and we will also publish the festival’s budget on Höyhentämö’s website after the festival.
Festival of Instant Choreography, as it is now, has come to an end. In the beginning of the year we also gave up our theatre space at Korkeavuorenkatu. So the winds of change are blowing from many directions. This year’s festival is happening at the gorgeous Theatre Universum in Punavuori. In the festival program there are two workshops, three performances and one open get-together event. The ticket prices depend on everyone’s conscience and resources.
As we started the production work for this festival, we decided that we’ll work from a place of rest and that we will treat each other well. My hope is that from this gentleness, as well as from these amazing artists’ works, something interesting and beautiful will resonate with you, our beloved audience.
Warmly welcome to the festival!
Artistic director of FIC festival