In Sessions choreographer-director Carl Knif begs the question of whether a performance setting can induce the same level of trust as that of a relationship of care. Could dance and performance be seen as a ritual with healing powers? The piece also dives into the connection between music with movement, something that Knif was already beginning to work on in the piece Fugue in Two Colours (2020).

The musical starting point of Sessions is Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major. In addition to the relationship between music and movement, the performance also examines the relationship between the performers and the audience.

Sessions discusses the contemporary human in their longings, shortcomings, needs, fears and hopes. The performance addresses the encounter and the non-encounter, as well as the human and societal implications of these.

Ideas for the work arose from a range of both physical and cognitive treatment methods, as is also implied by the title: Sessions.

Sessions begs the question of whether a performance setting can induce the same level of trust as that of a relationship of care. In which ways could a performance enhance the life of its spectator? Can moving into the space of a gaze be an empowering experience? And how could a performance find more vitality, how could it inch closer towards its audience? The performance assumes the form of a dreamlike wandering, where the stage is not reserved for the performer nor is the seating assigned only to the audience.

For the work Sessions, Carl Knif also returns to the roots of his own method: collaboration with dancers. Central elements in the piece are the interaction between dancers, kinetic communication, and kinetic empathy.

The performance format hosts both actors and dancers. Sessions is realised as a collaboration of two organisations: Carl Knif Company and Zodiak – Center for New Dance. The artistic process begins in 2021 and will advance in phases leading up to the premiere.



Choreography: Carl Knif
Performers: Jonna Aaltonen, Olli Lautiola, Riku Lehtopolku, Anne Pajunen, Anna Stenberg, Terhi Vaimala
Assistant choreographer: Jonna Aaltonen
Costume design: Karoliina Koiso-Kanttila
Set and lighting design: Jukka Huitila
Sound design: Janne Hast
Production: Carl Knif Company, Zodiak
In collaboration with: Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District Hong Kong; Terhi Pölkki

The research and development of this work was supported by Freespace (West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong), Dance Info Finland, Zodiak and Dance House Helsinki through the residency exchange project Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Finland (2016–2018).