"The multimedia dance play adapts Tove Jansson’s The Tales from the Moominvalley. The Finnish classic is given a family friendly contemporary dance makeover and won a Shanghai EXPO 2010 Culture Award." thatsmags.com

tiistai 10. elokuuta 2010

Greetings from the Shanghai EXPO part 2

Ni hao. Yesterday we had the first full performance of the contemporary dance piece Dancing Moominvalley on the Europe square. And hooray, nobody fainted! Although the dancing in the furry costumes, as I was told, was truly sweaty and exhausting. Luckily for us, the sky was cloudy so the stage wasn’t so hot as we anticipated. Some thousand spectators gathered to see the show!

Today we’ve already had the symposium called In Search of Synthesis. Sirke Happonen, Ph.D., who has made her thesis citation on the image, word and movement in Tove Jansson’s work, held a lecture about the illustrations and the dance in them.

The lecture was followed by Sophia Jansson’s, Tove’s niece‘s memories of her aunt, who really loved to dance even on rocky cliffs on a Haru island and without any music. The whole artistic group then gathered to discuss the different perspectives on the subject. Samuli, the choreographer, told how he started to sketch the characters and their own typical way to move. We learned that Snufkin is more like a contemporary dancer as Mama and Papa are more like ballroom dancers! Then the visualist Carmela Wager told about the challenges a costume designer faces when she is supposed to make the costumes wearable, dansable and yet autenthic looking.

As part of the whole project there is also an educational branch. Some elementary school pupils from Rahola school in Tampere attended a workshop where they had the opportunity to experience the dance of the moomins themselves. They also saw the dance piece and attended the art exhibition in the Moominvalley of Tampere Art Museum. After he workshop they draw ‘Happy birthday’ cards for Moomin and the cards were presented in the symposium side by side with Tove’s original art.

Today the weather is a lot hotter than yesterday, but the forecast also says there might be thunderstorms on the way, so again I’m asking you to keep your fingers crossed for us!

Written on Tuesday 10th of August at 16 PM Shanghai time

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