IF I WOULD LOSE MY VOICE
about humankind’s irreversible effect on the biosphere
If I Would Lose My Voice, a brand new production by Kekäläinen & Company, is an extraordinary display of humanity’s impact on Earth’s transformation. It is a thought-provoking piece about the state of the world, and how the actions of humankind are affecting nature more than ever before.
In recent years, it has become commonly accepted that the Earth has shifted into an entirely new era, the Anthropocene, in which human beings have become the driving force affecting the world’s ecosystems, geology and climate. With her new stage piece for the Finnish National Theatre, Sanna Kekäläinen creates an fictive constellation in which this new era can be envisioned and imagined through artistic work.
The stage of the Finnish National theatre is where things begin to unfold. The situation is threatening, there is something unsettling and irrevocable about the event. We have exploited the world and slowly, because of this, a new Earth has come alive under us, with new soil, new waters, new rivers and zones. This new Earth has begun to move, to tremble, react and froth: the Earth is revolting.
If I Would Lose My Voice is a piece consisting of two parts commenting on each other. The first part is named Voice and the second is My Friend Ed.
Sanna Kekäläinen is the founder of Kekäläinen & Company and an undisputed pioneer of Finnish contemporary dance. During her career she has created more than 70 stage productions that have been presented both nationally and abroad. With the piece If I Would Lose My Voice she moves on from her autofictive work tackling gender politics to a new form of fictional reality.
The piece contains spoken english.
Script, text, direction and choreography: Sanna Kekäläinen
Performers: Andrius Katinas, Sanna Kekäläinen and Janne Marja-aho
Sound design: Jaakko Kulomaa
Original sound design at the Finnish National Theatre: Antti Nykyri
Lighting design: Anniina Veijalainen
Duration: approx. 90 min
Premiere on the Main stage of the Finnish National Theatre 16.8.2020 at 19:00. Second performance 17.8.2020 at 19:00.
Original premiere was set for 23.5.2020, but the Finnish National Theatre had to cancel all performances of the spring 2020 season due to the COVID19 pandemic.
If I Would Lose My Voice Unplugged
The unplugged version was performed at K&C Space at the Cable Factory
Thursday 24.9.2020 at 19:00
Saturday 26.9.2020 at 19:00
If I Would Lose My Voice – Streamed
Live stream performance at Alexander Theatre in Helsinki
Wednesday 5.5.2021 at 19:00
If I Would Lose My Voice – with NYKY ENSEMBLE
Joint performance of Kekäläinen & Company and NYKY Ensemble
If I would lose my voice is a work which consists of two parts commenting one other. The title of the first part is Voice, the second My Friend Ed.
With this work, I enter from autofictive works focusing on gender politics into a new type of fictive constellation which creates a stage reality with it’s own distinctive voice that will come to your skin.
With the means of art this fictive constellation envisages and observes the era of the Anthropocene we are currently living. The work is bilingual, Finnish and English, the latter also for the reason that English is the international language of the Anthropocene.
The platform of the work and the ecologic-aesthetic-political fiction it proposes is The Finnish National Theatre which is the outstanding historical location of the Finnish performing art. Why this work is performed on a theatre stage? The answer certainly includes the fact that stage is also the theatre of philosophy, it’s means or locus which makes possible to envisage and perceive things and phenomenas, to intertwine representations and insights.
Thus the main stage of the National Theatre is now a fictive place somewhere on the Globe, “The Place”, where the events of the work are beginning to unfold.
The situation at “The Place” is menacing, something devastating and irreversible is about to happen: our protagonist, Ed, has lost his voice and it is expected that in any given moment also the other beings, Human as well as other, will be losing their voices.
The first part of the work takes place in a time before the loss of the voice, in a moment when the catastrophe is about to happen. The second part takes place after the voice is lost – where did it disappear?
The situation and the events at “The Place” are metaphoras for the spectacle of catastrophe. Is catastrophe by now irreversible?
The work is observing Humans and other beings, both fictive and real, in the era of the Anthropocene. At the same time it is creating a political and emotional representation of the Anthropocene, a kind of a map, a way to think towards the Earth.
Earth is in a process of transformation, a devastating trembling a true out-of-joint is about to happen. We shall have to inhabit earth in a new way. We shall have to come down the earth. Where did the voice disappear? Will clouds and rains, rivers, waters and segments disappear? How did we end up to this?
We have been exploiting earth and little by little as a repercussion for this exploitation another earth has come alive under us. Another soil other waters, rivers and territories. This earth has began to stir, to quake, to bubble, to react: the earth is revolting.
This motion forces all the underpriviledged to migrate, to escape, to become new nomads in a desperate search for a terrain to live.
A new order of capital and economy has been created. This order has directed capital into exploitation of the earth and thus flagrantly divided the world into two.
The metaphoric protagonist of the work is Ed, someone lost, a being vanished into the margins of life who is craving to find love.
– Sanna Kekäläinen
Video excerpts If I Would Lose My Voice 2020
Photos: Uupi Tirronen | in the photos: Andrius Katinas, Sanna Kekäläinen, Janne Marja-Aho
Teaser If I Would Lose My Voice 2020
“Very few dance artists dare to be as committedly political as Sanna Kekäläinen.”
“Whereas many dance pieces are busy with similar kind of questions, very few dare to be as truly and concretely political in such a committed way as Kekäläinen – and without falling into the trap of daily politics. And above all, in every new piece she dares to go further than before.”
“If I Would Lose My Voice needs to be looked at very carefully, because it doesn’t manifest any change in its movement vocabulary, but rather reveals facts of humanity in the era of Anthropocene, transcending the individual: the need for touch, the longing of connecting, sexuality, the need for meaning, the attempt to perceive facts by grasping them.”
– Maria Säkö, HS
“Kekäläinen’s powerful performance and dance work deals with and illustrates our time, which has come to be known as the Anthropocene – a new geological epoch – where human influence over nature is the main distinguishing factor. If I Would Lose My Voice is not an exaggerated dystopia; it is a study of how we live, it is a picture of the absurd imbalance that prevails on this planet that has been taken over by a species with a big brain and a shrinking heart.”
“The most outrageous and at the same time ingenious image that Kekäläinen has created, and which could serve as an illustration for the Anthropocene, looks like this: A half-naked man holding a large chainsaw in one hand. With a posture of a shy and lost child, he holds the other hand around his own penis.”
“As an artistic whole, the work is impressive.”
“If I Would Lose My Voice turns out to be a masterpiece. Its message is crystal clear, the questions it asks are massive. The context, as said, eerie. What is the next means Mother Earth takes to wake us up? Ultimately, it is about love. To be in contact or not. And consequences of not being that.”
– Sonja Vuori, HBL