Talking Head as an exercise

Theatre Academy has published an excellent book: Performance Artist’s Workbook, On teaching and learning performance art – essays and exercises (number 61 in the publication series). It is edited by professor Pilvi Porkola and it consists of five essays and 44 performance art exercises written by artists from various countries. To me the excellence of this book lies in the combination of exercises, that show how tangible and fun performance art can be, and analytical essays by professor Ray Langenbach, Dr Annette Arlander, Dr Hanna Järvinen, Dr Tero Nauha and Porkola. It is a very practical and inspiring book.

I’m honoured to be one of the artists invited to write an exercise to this book. It’s nothing new, I must admit. “Stream of Consciousness Exercise – how to verbalise all thoughts running through your mind in front of an audience” is based on my Talking Head performance that I’ve been performing for ever. But it’s a good one and worth trying. Now you can do it yourself by following simple guidelines – or developing your own.

If you want to see me doing it, there’s a chance to see Talking Head on Saturday 18th November in Roskilde, Denmark at OoPS Festival.

photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

Talking Head in Kiasma Theatre in 2015. photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

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Wedding cake rehearsal

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Angela, Leo and Viesturs in the heat of the fight about freedom. Photo: Paula Koivunen

Yesterday we were rehearsing a cake fight, a scene that’s becoming central in Normal Cake, Please performance. Tomorrow evening it’s time to show a selected audience what have we been able to come up in ten days in Copenhagen. I’m so happy that Agate Bankava, Taisija Frolova, Modris Opelts and Rudolfs Gedins from ARA Dance Company are with us because they are such amazing young professionals and very nice people to work with!

photo: Paula Koivunen

photo: Paula Koivunen

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Normal Cake, Please

Viesturs, Leo and Angela messing with a cake. Is it normal? photo: Valdis Broze

Viesturs, Leo and Angela messing with cake. Is it normal? photo: Valdis Broze

What is normal today and are we free? Besides all the practicalities, these are the questions I’ll be thinking hard with Nina Larissa Bassett and Ivo Briedis in Normal Cake Workshop in Copenhagen the next couple of weeks, and we are not alone. Four dancers of Latvian Dance Company Ara will join us and PhD Pilvi Porkola and set & costume designer Paula Koivunen will be there too!

Normal Cake, Please is a staged wedding party dealing with current issues of political, sexual and personal freedom from Nordic perspectives. It is a liberating site-related performance by theatre professionals from Denmark, Finland and Latvia. Produced by Uneasy Listening Society (DK) in cooperation with dance company ARA (LV), Nordic theatre festivals, practising churches and LGBT activists. Subject to take place in Riga, Helsinki and Copenhagen 2018-2020.

Check the previous Normal Cake post.

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Immersive farce about the state of freedom

Photo: Valdis Broze

Photo: Valdis Broze

Greetings from Riga! In 2008 and 2009 I was touring hotels with a site specific performance In The Nude with writers and performers Nina Larissa Bassett from Denmark and Ivo Briedis from Latvia. The charaters we created and performed then (Angela, Viesturs and Leo) to portray europeans of the time will have a new reunion. This time it will be Leo’s wedding that brings them together. Wedding takes place in a real church and then there’s a party. Thanks to Kulturkontakt Nord moblity grant, I’m in Riga right now to plan it with Nina and Ivo. Working title is “Just A Normal Cake”. This is what we wrote yesterday:

“Like us, our characters are now well into 40s and wonder what is happening to the world. Their generation was handed freedom on a sliver platter, and embraced all it had to offer: virtual reality, cheap air travel, casual sex, party drugs, easy credit and much more. They can talk their way out of most things and find commitment completely stifling.
Fast forward to 2016. Europe faces tremendous changes. Warfare is randomly executed by terrorist cells, people are migrating in vast numbers to escape devastated regions, nationalism rears it’s ugly head in unexpected places and the ecological damages caused by human interference is out of control. People are taking sides between global liberalism and patriotic conservatism.
Our three (anti-)heroes have different stading points in this clash. In the wedding performance they will take the audiences in the middle of it all.”

Genre will be an immersive farce.

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