On Sunday, we were planning to attend an event arranged by the Embassy of Japan at the Main Library. When we arrived the hall reserved for the presentation was completely packed and suddenly we had a chance to attend another of the overlapping afternoon events I had read about.
This was a modern dance show that started on both sides of the downtown riverbank. After a short ‘warm-up period’ the dancers slowly walked to the pedestrian Library Bridge which served as the stage for the rest of the lengthy performance.
It is a pity it was drizzling. Most of the time there was only a handful of spectators on both sides of the bridge, at times when it was raining more heavily even less than that. Most of the passers-by moved on, which was nice for us onlookers as they kind of completed the urban performance.
The fascinating show without music taking the dancers to and fro between the railings, even onto the surface of the wet bridge deck, nailed us to the spot. After half an hour or so we couldn’t resist, however, crossing the bridge to have a look from the other side as well.
We stayed the whole 60 minutes feeling rather chilly at the end but also most pleased we had been lucky to experience this unique event live. I only hope no one of the dancers got a cold as there were several more shows to go.
The act on the Library Bridge was one of a series of five modern dance performances, a dancing manifesto for the common urban space under a title that could be translated ‘City for the people’ (Ihmisten kaupunki). The event took place at five different locations in Turku between Saturday and today and was implemented – in collaboration with three local dancers – by the Tampere-based FREE collective, a group of independent dance artists from there, and co-produced by two regional dance cetres. The choreography was by Anniina Kumpuniemi. The first set of five performances occurred in Tampere a couple of weeks earlier.
Never mind the rain, we loved the show and would welcome more of this kind to the urban space anytime of the year. Such an event would also make a great topic for a local film student. Inspiring, spellbinding, magical! Simply fabulous!