What is it like to be a girl in the 2020s? In her performance Venus, Janina Rajakangas explores together with teenage girls the erotization of youth. The piece delves into the role that outsiders play in shaping our perceptions of beauty and the value placed on a girl’s life. By addressing the everyday feminist battles had by youth, Venus forces the ghosting needy subject to fall (for a moment) and draws outlines of Venus again.
Venus is honest, humble and kind, but also dopey, problematic and loud. The portrayal of Venus in this piece is multifaceted, because girliness itself is. Girls don’t fit one mold. What began as a project between a mother and daughter has blossomed into a creation comprising poems, songs, and dance performed by four teenagers. Janina Rajakangas has crafted the text for this piece in collaboration with the performers, based on their shared conversations. The development of Venus primarily took place outside of regular school hours, during evenings, holidays, and weekends.
After having shown Over your fucking body in 2019 at Moving in November, Janina Rajakangas is back at the festival with Venus that premiered in Baltic Circle in 2022.
Janina Rajakangas is a Helsinki-based choreographer, performer, and teacher. Rajakangas creates detailed choreographic material and large-scale scores for groups. Her work revolves around understanding how dance emerges from everyday experiences. In her current trilogy, the Janina Rajakangas Project deconstructs the structures of patriarchy by examining everyday power dynamics. The trilogy explores themes such as paternal relationships (Meadow 2021), the sexualization of teenage girls (Venus 2022), and inclusivity as choreography (Dancer 2023). The Project’s pieces have been shown at Moving in November, Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Kiasma Theatre and The Place Theatre London.
Mad House Helsinki, Lintulahdenkatu 3, 00530 Helsinki
Soup Talk 11.11. klo 12
Please note: The piece deals with sexual harassment. The lines used in the harassment scene are documentary, meaning that each message spoken out has been sent to a child online. The piece contains loud noises caused by shouting. Earplugs are at your disposal.
Choreographer & director: Janina Rajakangas
Choreographer’s assistant: Maija Reeta Raumanni
Founding idea: Volta Rajakangas-Moussaoui
Co-choreographers & performers: Natalia Foster, Mea Holappa, Seela Merenluoma, Volta Rajakangas-Moussaoui
Spatial- and lighting design: Alina Pajula
Costume designer: Kirsi Gum
Sound designer: Tuuli Kyttälä
Producer: Ulrika Vilke
Partners in premiere season: Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Davvi – Centre for Performing Arts, Regional Dance Centre of Western Finland, Ehkä-production
Partners for the tour: Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Kari Mattila foundation, Moving in November, Ehkä-production, Cultural services of the city of Porvoo
Photo: Tani Simberg
Visit in collaboration: Mad House Helsinki