Interview with choreographer Mikko Hyvönen
Mikko Hyvönen leads the audience through historical, contemporary and futuristic myths with his new dance production Kosmos – Reunion. The production is a part of the Dance House Helsinki's SPARKS project.
Tell us about the production’s beginning and inspiration for it. What kind of topics and thoughts does the production deal with?
The production explores contemporary, historical and futuristic myths through dance, music and light design. I’m interested in relationships between individuals and groups, and also in people’s relationship with the cosmos.
The topics that have inspired us vary from ancient myths and futuristic space technology. But we are going to present these themes in a new way, finding new variations of them.
Why Kosmos, Cosmos?
Kosmos, as a word, is short and succinct. It is not a scientific definition, compared to universe or space – so the word is related to stories and myths, to the history and the future. I would say that it leads you to mystical thinking, but is still open to interpretations.
You have worked abroad for many years. How has it been returning to Finland?
It has been great to come back to Finland. I feel more “grounded” and confident. Working here has been quite the same as in other European countries. The same topics seem to interest people everywhere. Sometimes, I wish for some sort of playfulness and peace into my life after the pandemic and moving back to Finland.
Tell us about the working group.
Elias Girod, Mira Kautto and Pie Kär are the dancers and they are going to bring all this alive. Stav Yeini composed the music and also created the sound design for the production. Teo Lanerva created the light design. Shared interest for the same topics and previous co-operation with many members of the team have gathered us together for this project – and also some sort of intuition has been involved. Many of us have been studying and living abroad.
The production is a part of the SPARKS project, funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. What significance has the project had on the shape of the work?
The project and Dance House Helsinki made this all possible and have helped to bring the team together. Dance House Helsinki supports all the phases of the production.
You have worked as a dancer and choreographer. How does your view on dancing change depending on your role?
Frequently, dancers themselves create movements and interpretations during the working process, and that’s why the difference between a dancer and choreographer is for me unclear, and “slippery”. A choreographer is often the creator and takes the role of a director. There are good and challenging aspects to both there roles. But in the role of a dancer I feel more connected to the physical expression.
What kind of atmosphere would you like to create to the audience with your performance?
I hope the performance creates peace and calmness. Our modern times are rushed and everybody is busy with their devices – the performance brings counterweight to this. The aim is to create a shared experience with the audience.
What three adjectives describe best Kosmos – Reunion?
Full of feelings, sensitive and powerful. The two last adjectives oppose one another, but then again, the performance is full of contrasts.