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The SPARKS project is progressing: eight dance proposals shortlisted for the Erkko stage

The SPARKS project is progressing: eight dance proposals shortlisted for the Erkko stage

The SPARKS project will produce three first productions for Form's 700-seat Erkko stage and three first productions for the 250-seat Pannuhalli stage. Four esteemed experts in the field will join the project alongside the artists.

The application process for proposals for first performance pieces for the Erkko stage in the SPARKS project has ended. Almost forty applications were received, and eight proposals for dance performances have been shortlisted for the project's first phase.

Form's programme team members Mikael Aaltonen, Pia Krämer and Faith Tan prepared the decision on the proposals to be shortlisted, and the final selection was made by the team in cooperation with Matti Numminen, Form's Director.

The shortlisted proposals are innovative, well-planned and suitable for a large stage, produced by a group of artists with a strong artistic practice.

The proposals are well suited to the working methods and timeline of the three-phase, multiannual SPARKS project. Eight proposals for performances have been selected for the project's first phase by the following artists and working teams:

  • Annamari Keskinen and Ryan Mason

  • Milla Koistinen

  • Veli Lehtovaara

  • Antti Lähdesmäki, Jukka Tarvainen and Jussi Sirviö

  • Johanna Nuutinen

  • Elina Pirinen

  • Valtteri Raekallio

  • W A U H A U S

The shortlisted proposals meet the objectives of the SPARKS project and represent a small fraction of the diverse field of dance in Finland. In the future, Form's aim is to provide opportunities for an increasing number of professionals in the field to develop and perform dance performances.

International experts join the project

In autumn 2020, Form will organise a SPARKS seminar to bring together dancers and experts in the field. The purpose of the seminar is to exchange proposals and consider practices for producing dance performances for large stages.

Four esteemed experts in the field will join the SPARKS project: Mathilde Monnier, French choreographer, former director of Centre National de la Danse; Antony Hamilton, award-winning Australian choreographer and Artistic Director of Chunky Move; Bia Oliveira, Head of Producing & Touring at Sadler's Wells, UK, who has worked with performing arts for more than 30 years; and Katherine Profeta, dramaturg, Professor in the Practice at the Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama. They will address the SPARKS seminar in the autumn.

The experts will contribute diverse expertise in choreography, dramaturgy, production, networking and touring practices. They will be involved throughout the SPARKS project, supporting the development process of the performances.

Of the eight shortlisted candidates, five will be selected for a three-week residency period and, of them, three performances will be chosen to produce premieres at the Erkko stage in 2022–2023.

What is SPARKS?

SPARKS is a new artistic development project funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Form. The project's aim is to support Finnish dance artists willing to create new productions for large stages. The funding will cover the team's fees, residency periods in the rehearsal studio and theatre, and the possibility to consult with dramaturgs, producers and choreographers throughout the process.

Experienced dance artists working in Finland, interested in creating a full-length performance for a large stage, were approached for proposals at the Erkko stage. The process involved an open call procedure. The purpose of the SPARKS application process, aimed at the Pannuhalli stage scheduled to open in November 2020, is to support the new generation of dance professionals in Finland.

The project will produce three premieres, respectively, for the Erkko stage that seats 700 people and Pannuhalli stage, that seats 250 people. The first productions will be staged in 2022–2023.

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