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Saturday, September 9, 2023


Dance truly is a language without borders. (Review by Rosemary Schumann)

As JOMBA 2023 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre draws to a close this weekend, the Finnish Embassy hosted the performance of Nothing Personal and Portable Home, a collaboration between Virva Talonen of Finland and Flatfoot Dance Company and before the performance theatre-goers were treated to a taste of delicious Finnish cuisine.

Finnish contemporary dance choreographer, dancer and writer, Virva Talonen, has travelled the world exploring different definitions of the concept of ‘home’ and what it means for different cultures, then, in collaboration with local performers, creates expression of their idea of home through dance. She said in the interview after the performance that through the process of sharing and improvisation there arose the possibility for self-dialogue, and the minimal structure gave the dancers the space to surprise themselves. Finnish lighting designer Nanni Vapaavuori is a master of the beautiful, slow cue. Her designs melded with the air, unobtrusively highlighting the dancer’s forms while allowing the space for their expression.

Talonen’s solo performance was the fruit of a journey back to the places of her childhood and her use of recorded text inviting us on her journey, minimal improvised movement and simple structure had the audience spellbound. It was wonderful to see how the Flatfoot dancers embraced this style of choreography which on so many levels is similar to their own. The finale of the performance as each dancer improvised their own expression of their body as ‘home’, and leaving the stage one by one, ended with the powerful denouement of the solo dancer joyfully singing from his heart as he danced his way home. The audience was transported.

Dance truly is a language without borders.

There are two performances left in the JOMBA programme. The double bill, Unknown Realms, takes place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 19h30 this evening and 14h30 tomorrow afternoon.  Book at Computicket. – Rosemary Schumann