Sahara

Production info

Studies in the interaction between man and nature – how man shapes a landscape and what kind of marks he leaves on it. In the passage of time millions and millions of marks have vanished and become a part of the landscape.

In Sahara Aaltokoski combines video film and dance and creates a multi-dimensional world. Sahara comes alive in the dancers’ bodies, in their movement and their relation to one another. The video material is filmed in the Tunisian desert.

“The Sahara
What if the wandering ends into this yellow day?
Time flows from a fading picture.
Or if it does not end.
The same mirage now and afar.
Marks of us are at times visible in the earth. And the landscape in us.”

Text: Hannele Jyrkkä

Choreography and direction: Alpo Aaltokoski
Dance: Melissa Monteros, Raisa Punkki, Katri Soini, Pirjo Yli-Maunula, Reijo Kela, Mojciech Mochniej
Video directing: Tapani Launonen
Video photographer: J-P Passi
Video editing: Tapani Launonen, J-P Passi
Light and set design: Tarja Ervasti
Music and sound design: Mikko Hynninen
Costume design: Marja Uusitalo
Photos and graphics: Ninna Lindström

Premiere: April 25, 2002 in JoJo – Oulu Dance Center, Finland

Press quotations

Sahara is lyrical and dramatic, threatening and safe like a lap, depending on a moment and situation. – – Aaltokoski has succeeded in combining his choreography and video images of desert into organic landscape. He has not done reportage of nomadic way of living but poetry of the people who are at the mercy of desert.
Auli Räsänen, Helsingin Sanomat 3.9.2002

Alpo Aaltokoski has in a fascinating way succeeded in taking the running sand and changing form as starting point of the movement language both in group formations and individual scenes. – – Aaltokoski’s movement language is organically flowing, but carefully structured. – – As scene of nature experience Sahara is inspiringly captivating and full of cultural references.
Jan-Peter Kaiku, Huvudstadsbladet 5.9.2002

Work (Sahara) is marked by a distinct contemplative intelligence. – – Leaving Aaltokoski’s atmospheric kinetic landscape, I felt as if I’d been cleansed by the sand.
Donald Hutera, Dance Europe October 2002

Performance history

Premiere:
April 25, 2002 in JoJo – Oulu Dance Center, Finland

Other Performances:
April 25-28, 2002: JoJo – the Oulu Dance Center, Oulu, Finland
September 1-8, 2002: Helsinki Festival, Media Centre Lume, Helsinki, Finland
July 29, 2003: Full Moon Dance Festival, Pyhäjärvi, Finland

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