WHS [Finland]

“Lähtö / Départ”
7 and 8 May at 9pm (Wednesday and Thursday)
FIMFA Lx14 opening show | Portuguese Premiere
Direction: Kalle Nio Choreography: Vera Selene Tegelman, Kalle Nio Performers: Kalle Nio, Vera Selene Tegelman Costumes: Mila Moisio, Kaisa Rissanen Music and sound design: Samuli Kosminen Lighting: Jere Mönkkönen Videos: Matias Boettge, Kalle Nio Stage technicians: Leena Nio, Kaisa Rissanen Photos: Tom Hakala Production: WHS Supported by: Les Migrateurs / Associés pour les Arts du Cirque, The Finnish National Theatre, Kone Foundation, The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Circus Info Finland Technique: Objects, video, magic, dance For audiences over: +12 Running time: 60 min. Language: Without words
There is a woman and a man, who have a complicated relationship. Confused, they stand on a stage, surrounded by clothes. Feelings and thoughts are expressed through the movement of their bodies – and the movement of the clothes, which have a life of their own.
Lähtö / Départ is the latest production of visual theatre & circus company WHS, directed by the visual artist Kalle Nio. The performance brings to the stage a couple that has drifted apart from each other and is now floating in the middle of dreamlike imagery and illusions. Inspired by the work of 19th century magicians’ stage illusions, the performance creates a mysterious atmosphere where absurd humor and tragedy alternate. The piece will provide a unique theatre experience in which circus, magic, dance, clothing design and visual arts merge. It will blow you away!
Large-scale video projections enhance the piece. Twisted black and white cinema style and cinematic tricks and effects flow from the screen on to the stage. The furniture on the stage turns into constructions that challenge the laws of gravity, creating a space of instability where the couple tries to resolve their feelings. Everything is in constant state of transformation.
The piece borrows its themes from the intense depictions of Michelangelo Antonioni’s films and asks whether it is possible to confront another person again and again as a stranger. The absurdness and miscommunication in relationships is brought into focus, as the performers communicate through the transformations of the clothing and the objects. The dreamlike, twisted soundscape of the piece is created by composer Samuli Kosminen.
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WHS is a visual theatre / contemporary circus group from Finland. The productions of the group have been a crucial factor behind the rise of Finnish new circus that has rapidly occurred in the past decade. In the performances of the group new circus has become a very modern, independent and continually changing form of expression, that other arts, especially video image, compliment. In the press the performances have been called avant-garde also in the larger contexts of theatre and art in general. The performances have been on the sharp edge of the latest developments of theatre as well as circus.
The group has taken their eight previous performances across 30 countries, visiting over a hundred world-famous festivals, circuses, theatres and puppet theatres in Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Slovak and Czech Republics as well as USA, Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
Kalle Nio is a magician and a visual artist from Helsinki. In his work he examines the new kinds of expression possibilities provided by video image and its capacities related to time and space. He has graduated from The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. As a magician Nio has specialised in developing new tricks and new kinds of magic. His inventions have been published in the most important professional magic publications such as the MAGIC-Magazine. Year 2000 he won third price in the world championships of magic (FISM) in the Inventions category. In addition to his work as a magician, Nio has worked as a director, editor and animator in TV programs, commercials and short films.
Samuli Kosminen is one of Finland’s top percussionists and sampling masters. As a drummer, percussionist, composer and producer, Kosminen has collaborated with a gargantuan array of artists such as Kronos Quartet (USA), Valgeir Sigurðsson (ICE), Jónsi (from Sigur Rós, ICE), KTU (USA-Finland), Emiliana Torrini (ICE) and many others. For the past decade his main collaborators have been Icelandic band Múm and Kimmo Pohjonen. As the Kluster duo with Pohjonen, they have performed in Europe, America and Japan. The Pohjonen / Kosminen duo were one half of the original KTU band with Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) and they composed the award winning Jade Warrior film- score. With Múm, he has toured Europe, America, Australia and Japan and recorded four albums. Originally a drummer, now an explorer of flea- market percussion, beat devices, melody-making toys, clonky/clunky machines and tuneful data processors, Kosminen has discovered strange, new dimensions of rhythm and sound.
Mila Moisio and Kaisa Rissanen are known for the Finnish clothing brand TAUKO. They make costume designs for various performing artists, theatre and new circus pieces, and installations. TAUKO builds their designs on recycled and often unconventional materials and techniques, which inspire novel ways to design and manufacture costumes. Environmental and social issues related to clothing are also present in their work.
Vera Selene Tegelman graduated in 2009 from Department of Dance in Theatre Academy of Helsinki. As a student she already worked as a dancer with various choreographers including Virva Talonen, Heli Meklin, Tommi Kitti and Teemu Kyytinen. After graduation she has been working in productions by Dance theatre Tsuumi and Dance theatre Glims & Gloms. Latest collaborations has been with choreographer Elina Pirinen ‘Tanssitaideteos’ and ‘Nonfiction’ by Milla Koistinen.

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