Dance pointing backward and forward in time
The choreographer Alpo Aaltokoski offers both old and new at the Alexander Theatre as he navigates through his artistic career of thirty years.
Navigatio. Choreography and dance: Alpo Aaltokoski. Music: Jussi Jaakonaho and Joonas Widenius. Light design: Kalle Paasonen. Costume design: Marja Uusitalo. Scenography: Anders Karls. Alpo Aaltokoski Company’s premiere at the Alexander Theatre, May 5.
De una semilla. Choreography: Alpo Aaltokoski. Music and sound design: Antti Riikonen. Light design: Tuukka Törneblom. Dance: Yeinner Chicas.
The choreographer and dancer Alpo Aaltokoski celebrates his thirty years as an artist with over a weeklong event at the Alexander Theatre titled Dance and music over cultural borders.
The new solo performance Navigatio, with choreography and dance by the jubilarian himself, forms the backbone of the program. Beside it is alternately shown the solo performance De una semilla (from 1995), a concert with Ninni Poijärvi and Ali Alawad, and the duet Together (from 2010).
It is not only the anniversary of Alpo Aaltokoski. Nomadi, his original production company where also Arja Raatikainen, Jyrki Karttunen and Katri Soini are included, celebrates 20 years of activity by publishing a festschrift. With a repertoire which has shaped the contemporary Finnish dance, Nomadi has also engaged many new generations of dancers.
Navigatio is a long but intense, concentrated and sententious solo engaged in intimate dialogue with live music by Jussi Jaakonaho and Jonas Widenius. The dance of Alpo Aaltokoski is expressive and alert through and through, as well in subtile shifts as in quicker passages. The organic flow and the serious playfulness binds the attention of the spectators with an almost shamanistic power throughout the changing scenes.
As Alpo Aaltokoski navigates through the memory of his body he appears to measure both time, space and experience, pointing both backward and forward in time, as well as existing in the present. Towards the end he disappears from the stage only to return with a jacket and a pair of shoes, and donned in these he concludes by letting go with tango- and flamenco-like power.
Finally, as performer and musicians moves towards the front stage, the audience is invited to join the dance and rhythm.
In De una semilla (A seed) the shamanistic intensity and expressivity blooms in a minimalistic but charged dance style to the mesmerizing music and soundscape of Antti Riikonen. As the tension is at its peak you forget to breathe.
This trademark solo performance of Alpo Aaltokoski is now performed with a panther-like intensity and great expressivity by the Nicaraguan Yeiner Chicas. The repertoire is alive and lives on. At the same time Chicas reminds us of the 20 years of cooperation between Aaltokoski and Nicaragua. The jubilee becomes, as it should, a beautiful union of old and new.
Hufvudstadsbladet, Jan-Peter Kaiku 8.5.2016