Foreword 2016

Moving in November festival proudly celebrates its 30-year history, assured of the richness and diversity of dance as an art form, and its vibrant future.

Throughout the years, the festival has transformed itself several times. And so has contemporary dance. The current multiplicity of dance and the richness of its performative forms are matters of fact. We cannot make one absolute claim about the art of dance anymore; artistic ideas, embodiments, and forms of performance are shifting and changing. The mission of this festival is to present our audience with artistic proposals and works that have gained attention and evoked discussion in the international scene. Thus, Moving in November strengthens and enriches the art scene and its audiences in Finland.

Art escapes delimitation. This escape from certainty and effortless recognition is one of the characteristics of art. The international art scene is not fundamentally an industry of import and export, where universal experiences are produced, but rather an attempt by individuals to understand the world as bodies, actions, and unique artistic visions. We are living in times of heated global debates concerning humanity and societies; with issues of gender, ethnicity, and nationality. We want to take part in the unavoidable redefinition of the stage, the articulation of the unfamiliar, and challenge our perception and thinking. The present moment is an interesting opportunity for unfolding, for opening up to the new, for learning, and for taking part in the discussion that is often bypassed in art and society. André Lepecki poses similar questions in his text, which has been translated into Finnish for this catalogue*.

To ensure that this thematic richness is accessible to our audience, we have kept the price of our festival pass at a moderate level. Not because we think the performances are cheap, but because the true value of the programme is created in the spectators’ possibility to access and encounter the whole range of artistic propositions. In our times, there are many political and ethical undertows concerning the societal and cultural status of art. Superficiality and shortsightedness often clash with the timespan and dimensions of art. We have to believe that the possibility to follow a polyphonic, voluminous artistic discourse is most valuable, in the long run.

Our anniversary year programme reflects these questions and aspirations. We have invited artists from Lebanon, Iran, Canada, USA, Italy, Switzerland, and Finland for this year’s festival. Their works provide a rich and multifaceted view into the international performance scene and its aesthetic, ethical, and political questions. To celebrate this anniversary, we also want to highlight our Finnish premiere works of recent years, and their importance in the evolving and international environment. They have been made possible by our important collaborator, partner and co-producer, Zodiak – Center for New Dance.

We want to extend our gratitude to all festival artists, funders, supporters, partners, board members, production staff, and technical crew, and foremost to our brave and critical audience.

Thus – here is a toast to art, to dance, and to the future of the festival!


Mikael Aaltonen ja Ari Tenhula

Artistic Directors



* This is the foreword of Moving in November festival catalogue 2016.