Baltic Circle grasps onto bodily expression and existence


The 16th edition of Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival takes place in Helsinki, Finland, November 12-17, 2019. The festival is a communal and inclusive experience, offering new orientations in contemporary theater and performance art as well as international performances and diverse club nights. This year the performances and events offer perspectives on the unknown and change.

Anna Maria Karvonen: Asennot © Pate Pesonius

“Art can create a safer space to explore things, phenomena and experiences that are beyond comprehension. They might be so vast, complex, uncanny, fantastic, horrifying or sacred that they seem ungraspable. The festival performances may bring the incomprehensible a little bit closer”, tells Satu Herrala, artistic director of Baltic Circle.

One of the Baltic Circle’s Finnish premiere, Matter by Samuli Laine, Mitja Nylund and Olga Palo channels a longing for the non-verbal, corporeal and concrete. In its core are soil, bodies, light and sound. The performance encircles the audience; it is an event to be experienced and to be inside of.

La Mer is a dance performance by performance artist and choreographer Masi Tiitta. It can be observed like the sea, while it creates a space for calmness allowing experiences of listening, sinking and connecting. The starting point of the performance is Claude Debussy’s orchestral work from 1905, titled La Mer. The piece continues the series of work initiated by Masi Tiitta in which the working group has been exploring tiredness exhaustion as a bodily condition. During the performance hours you can enter the space whenever and stay as long as you wish.

Asennot is a play that deals with intimacy and is a fiction situated in the world of dance making. It is directed by Anna-Mari Karvonen and premiered at the Q theatre in September. On stage, experiences of being moved, of vulnerability and of falling in love are interpreted by Elena Leeve, Eero Ritala and Minttu Mustakallio. Anna-Mari Karvonen was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Performing Arts year 2018.

The club evening Love Me in November Club on Saturday and Friday invites everyone to gather and dance in the spirit of love while respecting others. There will be poetry, energetic DJ sets and a surprise program. Club nights are organized in cooperation with the Cirko-Center for New Circus in Suvilahti, Cirko Maneesi.

The program as a whole can be explored on the festival website

Baltic Circle is an international theatre festival, which creates intensities into the city, takes a stand on current issues and ignites dialogue. The festival offers a space for artists to imagine and experiment what theatre and performing arts could be and the audience a possibility to encounter the rising tides in performance. The main organizer of Baltic Circle, which was formed in 2000, is Q-teatteri.