How do ecological poetics perform between dance, site and image? Nature Untitled is a new work by choreographer Veli Lehtovaara, visual artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila and sound designer Jani Hietanen with an international group of artists. The work is presented in the form of a triptych – each of the three movements discharges on stage in a particular mode.

The first movement, inside an empty oil silo, dances out the ghosts of exhaustion and energies consumed. The bodies fold and crackle, the steel structure purrs, the phantasms of the oil era burn only to vanish.

In the second movement, we traverse on a field road and in interstellar space. The stage is both enveloping and infinitely extending vacuum, space and ship at the same time, governed by the sound of artificial intuition. Dance wobbles and weaves, recalls and regrets the earth and its beings.

The third movement juxtaposes a primeval forest with a shopping mall. The human-made technological environment plunges into the restful depths of the old growth forests. Dancing bodies graph the divergence of forms and minds emerging within this border zone.

One can see all three parts or decide to just experience a single one. The second part is a choreographic installation organized in loops of 45min each, starting at every full hour: 15h/16h/17h on the 6th and 18h/19h/20h on the 7th. One can enter and exit the performance whenever one likes.

The work is part of Veli Lehtovaara’s artistic research (PhD) at the Theatre Academy Helsinki.

Veli Lehtovaara

Veli Lehtovaara is a choreographer and performer working in the international field of dance and experimental theatre. He lived and worked in Brussels in 2010-2018 after graduating from P.A.R.T.S. Lehtovaara’s stage works and choreographic installations have been seen in central venues and festivals around Europe, as well as in North and South America. For the last five years his work has been focused on the interstices of choreography, ecological thinking, and diversity of corporealities. Lehtovaara conducts his artistic doctoral thesis at CfAR in University of the Arts, Helsinki. He also works as a visiting teacher, mentor and expert at Theatre Academy Helsinki.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Visual artist and filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila experiments with narration and form in her works that address the gendered, colonial and anthropocentric structures haunting the everyday and its representations. During the last decade she has explored what an ecology of drama could be, that includes also more-than-human actors and their perspectives: how to allow another animal than human, or a tree or the wind, to take the centre stage in cinematic narratives? Works such as Horizontal (2011) and Studies on the Ecology of Drama (2014) experiment with expanding representation and narration towards these coexisting diverse temporal rhythms and spatial scales of lived experience. Ahtila’s current work is concerned with how to depict and make sense of reality at the time of urgent ecological crises. How can art and moving image adapt to the changing world? What kind of shifts in perspectives and perceptions could align with the ongoing transformations in worldviews and in our interdependent relations?

Jani Hietanen

Jani Hietanen is a sound designer, musician and media artist who’s practice extends to different fields of sound art and performance; to dance, installation works, cinema, radio, contents of extended- and virtual reality as well as the interfaces of auditive and visual media. His interest in immersive strategies, self-generating systems in sound computing and interplay with sound and other media is valuable for this creation.