Highlights from the Third Press Conference
The final press conference of the festival week concentrated on the creating processes of the Main Programme’s performances. The makers of the pieces told about the themes of their performances and also wove them into the public discussion: how is for example nationality shown in the pieces and what kind of significance does political art have in societies and communities? At the end of the press conference the new composition of Tampere Theatre Festival’s artistic team was announced. The leaving members are Milja Sarkola and Erik Söderblom, and the replacing members are Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen and Aleksis Meaney.
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Natalia Kaliada & Maria Alyokhina: Burning Doors
The first to be interviewed at the press conference were the director of the political Burning Doors, Natalia Kaliada and collaborator and performer Maria Alyokhina. Kaliada emphasized that Burning Doors is based on true events and stories.
”Our aim is to bring something new to theatre and at the same time tackle great political problems and questions”, Kaliada said.
At the end someone from the audience asked, if Alyokhina or Kaliada are ever afraid.
”To us it’s life”, Kaliada answered calmly. But she also added that her family and friends have become victims of political repression because of Belarus Free Theatre’s art.
”Yes, we are afraid, but not for ourselves but for the suffering our parents and children had to experience because of our actions”, Kaliada added. Maria Alyokhina had an unequivocal answer: ”No”.
TTT Main Stage
Fri 11.8. at 19.00
Sat 12.8. at 13.30
Elina Izarra Ollikainen: The Deported
Burning Doors is strongly based on true events, but according to director Elina Izarra Ollikainen The Deported has fictional narration beside its documentary material. The Deported has only been performed in Pori, so the audience in Tampere Theatre Festival is in a special position in that sense.
Izarra Ollikainen and her working group have been thinking that they might update the play, if they continue to tour with it. They might for example change the video recordings seen in the play.
”The play stays now on an authoritative level. Unfortunately I haven’t challenged the government in the performance. In that sense I could have taken the play even further”, Izarra Ollikainen said. However she doesn’t believe that the performance will be developed in a direction, where they would also handle the government.
”Now I’m going to take a breath with this theme for a while”, Izarra Ollikainen commented to the plays further development.
Fri 11.8. at 19.00
Sat 12.8. at 16.00
Atro Kahiluoto & Reija Hirvikoski: Arctic Hysteria
After Izarra Ollikainen it was director Atro Kahiluoto’s and set designer, projections and costumes designer Reija Hirvikoski’s turn to be interviewed. Their performance, Arctic Hysteria, is the dramatization of Marko Tapio’s novel by the same name.
”Arctic Hysteria sets on one hand against Väinö Linna’s works that, in Marko Tapio’s point of view, are romanticism of misery and poverty, but on the other hand Arctic Hysteria also takes a critical stand with relation to the white Finnish historiography”, Kahiluoto stated.
The themes of being a Finn and nationality spoke also to Hirvikoski: ”In my opinion it’s important to tell and discuss of the past and of being a Finn, so that we don’t end up in the same situation that for example The Belarus Free Theatre is talking about.”
The piece isn’t however about being a Finn, according to Kahiluoto and Hirvikoski. It is a piece between the pressures of past, which is open to various interpretations, and future, which is filled with uncertainties. According to Kahiluoto, Arctic Hysteria tries in these pressures to raise a question of how people will end up.
TTT Eino Salmelainen
Fri 11.8. at 19.00
Sat 12.8. at 13.00
Elina Snicker and Matti Arnkil: Military, My Love
The last to speak were Elina Snicker, the director of Military, My Love, and Matti Arnkil, the CEO of Riihimäki Theatre.
Miko Jaakkola from Tampere Theatre Festival’s artistic team commented, based on his own viewer experience, that the first half of the performance is storywise more harmonious than the following half and that the second half of the performance is stylistically completely different from the first. Snicker echoed:
”I thought that the first half is as if the military or society system, and the other half the system of the human body: breathing.”
Sat 12.8. at 20.00
Sun 13.8. at 14.00