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Side Step Festival


A circle of vital experiences

This year Side Step gathers to Helsinki six performances from six artistic teams, whose multidimensional works evoke smoldering urges in the present moment. We’ve dug for works, through which one can not swiftly travel towards forgetting them. We have been looking for dances as encounters, in which an immediate depth unfolds. Performances, that stop everything and insist immersing from their viewer. These are political demands in present time, when populism-driven culture slips increasingly towards outright simplifications.

Throughout the years Side Step Festival’s pieces have been characterized by simultaneous surface-level accessibility and a deeper multifaceted impact. The festival has for long been attracted by shocks, but now we want to think by other means; by responding to humanity’s yearning need to assemble. The festival outlines dance that renews its own shape and its formal possibilities.

The works are saturated in their effectiveness. These experiences give rise to broader strong reactions to current time and slowly mature from experience to knowledge. With the broken auditorium structures of the pieces we aim to propose other ways of experiencing and mobilizing in a time, when the deterioration of politics also degrades communities.

Side Step creates spaces that live in significant change and welcome spectators generously inside their work. Viewers and artists encounter the artwork together. The pieces become places of assemblage and formation. As these points of accumulation, the festival offers for example theatre spaces converging into circles, a dance stage flirting with a gallery space and a shaking dance performance transforming into a club night celebrating equality.

One can also see from the performances how important and entertaining the artists experience their work. The pieces demonstrate inspiringly, how much fun creating new modes of operation and playing with structures can be. Playfulness indicates the importance of fantasizing in present time. The festival performances are a celebration of courage to imagine different worlds and to break into new structures.

Furthermore all the pieces expand to the fields of sound art and installation. The stage erupts into a visual revelation. Bypassing this picture demands experiencing it strongly. This year's performances are arresting situations, and under their distinguished visuality, unexpected contents and vital situations reveal themselves.

We still believe in regenerated community forms, new structures and challengingly deep content. The festival, with its pieces, forms one possibility for new dance politics. A picture, that reveals itself as depth, or a picture, that seduces the eye inside the content. We gather together around a strong vision, and when its picture renews itself as ever-growing content, upon it we see and experience first and foremost each other.

The guest choreographers of the 2017 festival are Ian Kaler (AT), Stina Nyberg (SE), Tove Sahlin (SE), Julian Weber (DE), Helgebostad / Wigdel / Berstad (NO) and Rodrigo Sobarzo (CL / NL). In addition to performances, the festival programme features a festival club, artist talks, two lectures, a panel discussion and of course Bar Ihana!

Welcome to the Cable Factory to experience and share current dance art and its proposed amendments to our present timeframe.

Artistic team
Harri Kuorelahti
Niko Hallikainen
Eeva Muilu

Photo: Casper Hedberg / Stina Nyberg: Horrible Mixtures