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Tuesday, October 25, 2022



(Above: Finnish dancer and choreographer Virva Talonen in rehearsal with Durban's FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY on “Portable Home”. Photo by Val Adamson.)

Finnish choreographer Virva Talonen works with Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY.

Portable Home, a global dance project by Finnish choreographer Virva Talonen comes to Durban, South Africa! The project has already been presented in various artistic versions in three countries. For its fourth instalment and first in Africa, Talonen has collaborated with Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company. Portable Home will be showcased at The Courtyard Theatre for three performances only on November 4 and 5, 2022.

In a bold move to support cultural collaboration and partnership between Finland and South Africa, the Finnish Embassy in Pretoria, with support from Dance Info Finland, offered an open call to South African dancers and dance companies to apply to work with - and host - Finnish choreographer Virva Talonen. The call process was efficiently facilitated by South African Dance Arts Alliance (SADA).

After a slew of applications and interviews, Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY was finally selected and, according to Flatfoot Dance Company’s Artistic Director Lliane Loots, “it has been a love project from day one!”

(Right: Durban's FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY in rehearsal for "Portable Home". Photo by Val Adamson)

In her artistic dance work, Talonen often focuses on the contradiction between the fragility and strength of the human self, and her free-flowing and grounded dance technique is both deeply meditative and deeply mesmerising in its fluid power. Loots says that “it has been such an enormous pleasure and learning curve hosting and working with Virva these past few weeks. Her quiet dedication and very focused clear methodology of working has won over the six resident FLATFOOT dancers – I am really looking forward to seeing the final outcome of this extraordinary dance exchange!”

Talonen is working on her long-standing project Portable Home with FLATFOOT in continuation of work done in Finland, Palestine and Japan. Portable Home is a contemporary dance project which delves into concepts around home and its various definitions.

Home can be a practical or a concrete place, but it can also refer to a state of mind or a bodily sensation. Most often the definition of home is in constant flux. The Portable Home project, which embraces all these open ideas of home, is co-created by Virva Talonen and Finnish lighting designer Nanni Vapaavuori. During the years 2016 - 2018, the Portable Home project visited in Japan, Palestine and Finland. In every country Virva and Nanni presented Portable Home, they have worked together with local artists on the theme of home to create a localised dance performance.

Portable Home is now visiting Durban and South Africa where Talonen is collaborating with the dancers of FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY; Sifiso Khumalo, Jabu Siphika, Zinhle Nzama, Sbonga Ndlovu. Siseko Duba and Ndumiso ‘Digga’ Dube.

Working off improvisation and dance interactions that eventually get structured into some incredible and soulful dance work, Talonen’s South African leg of her Portable Home quartet will be on show at The Courtyard Theatre on November 4 at 19h00 and on November 5 at 14h30 and 19h00.

Bookings are via and tickets are R80 (R50 students and scholars).

NB: Limited tickets available for November 4, 2022, at 19h00.

For more information on Virva Talonen:

More information on Finnish Dance