Magician

Production info

A magician of nature and the abundance of life, fused with earth, water, fire and air

Two long-serving, experienced dance artists get the evening rolling with Magician, a solo made for Alpo Aaltokoski by Ervi Sirén. Lighting designer Matti Jykylä and artist-actor Cris Af Enehielm are responsible for the visual aspects of the work, which has been produced in collaboration with Nomadi Productions.

Ervi Sirén has been at the forefront of the development of the Finnish dance art since the 1970s. She began as a dancer with e.g. Dance Theatre Rollo and Jorma Uotinen’s group, and in her work as a pedagogue she has instructed many Finnish dance artists. Magician marks Sirén’s return to the world of the choreography after a lengthy spell as a professor in the Department of Dance Art in the Finnish Theatre Academy.

Choreography: Ervi Sirén
Dance: Alpo Aaltokoski
Light design and projections: Matti Jykylä
Costume design: Cris Af Enehielm
Sound design: Aake Otsala
Production: Alpo Aaltokoski Company / Nomadi Productions, Full Moon Dance Festival
Photos: Ninna Lindström

Duration: 30 minutes
Premiere at the Full Moon Dance Festival on 24 July 2007.
Helsinki Premiere on October 3rd 2007 at the Stoa Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki.

Press reviews

Kaisa Kurikka, Turun Sanomat 5.10.2007

Sirén’s movement language effectively combines repetition and a feeling of improvisation which wonderfully express the character’s shamanhood. The work is also visually very impressive with regards to both the lights and the background projections. They fit perfectly with the tension and twists in different scenes, which also contain subtle humour. … Aaltokoski, naked from the waist up, runs with his knees bent, moving forward in small increments, his hands making intensely engaging movements, or he transforms into a freely dancing character with a swaying pelvis and shaking waist. Aaltokoski’s dancing and his expressiveness throughout the piece is fantastic to watch.

Annikki Alku, Tanssi-lehti 3/2007

The performance lived up to its name: at once both a meditative dive into a human being and a powerful exhibition of Aaltokoski’s diverse movement skills, in which both the smallest and quickest movement came alive and was controlled. The work also moved across a very large span of time and association, from a mythical past to a contemporary urban pulse, or the timeless silence of the future.

Anna Venejärvi, Helsingin Sanomat 26.7.2007

Artist professor Alpo Aaltokoski, who was the artistic director of the Full Moon Dance Festival in the 1990s, is an artist through and through. His imposing, mystical physicality and presence is impressive. You just can’t look away. … Aaltokoski’s experience makes him a brilliant mover. He has the ability to move in a refined, articulate and fluent manner, but he gets close to the stage just as quickly. He is able to take his dance seriously and give it his all.

Petri Kauppinen, Kaleva 25.7.2007

Fire beats as jazz tango and Aaltokoski freed himself up to the kind of ecstatic movement that is usually only seen in animations. Even technically, the movement is astonishingly difficult, but Aaltokoski made it beautiful and fun. The wind seemed to be blowing through the soul, and with the help of blue lighting Aaltokoski turned into an ice king. Cold numbing air is a slightly frightening element, but it was also quite majestic. Magician is an impressive collaborative work by Sirén, Aaltokoski and the whole team! A man creates a magic circle on the stage which it is almost impossible to take your eyes off. His talent for dealing with long movement series, dynamic changes and space is exceptional. Aaltokoski’s work as a dancer is precise and uncompromising, right down to the last muscle fibre.

Performance history

Premiere: July 24, 2007 Fullmoon Dance Festival, Pyhäjärvi, Finland, www.fullmoondance.fi

Other performances:
October 3 – 6, 2007, Stoa the Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (4)
October 21, 2007 Ylivieskatalo Akustiikka, Ylivieska, Finland (1)
March 19-25, 2008 Pannuhalli, Cable Factory, Helsinki Finland (4)
April 27, 2008 Hällä-näyttämö, Tanssivirtaa Festival, Tampere, Finland (1)
May 17, 2008 Sotku, Kuopio, Finland (1)
September 19, 2009 Manifesti-festival, Turku, Finland (1)

June 1st, 2010 MODAFE, Daehangno Arts Center, Soul, Korea (1)
April 8-10, 2011 Stoa the Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (3)
July 26, 2012 Keskuskoulu, Fullmoon Dance Festival, Pyhäjärvi, Finland (1)
September 3, 2012 Cochabamba, Bolivia (1)
20 July 2013 Teatro de la Paz, San Luis Potosí, México (1)

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