The power that rises from when we stand together interests me. How much stronger we are when we are part of a community.
- Elle Sofe Sara, artistic director and choreographer -
Community and kinship between people, with nature and with the earth we all share, are the main themes of Vástádus eana / The answer is land. The piece is performed by and for its seven female performers, who come from different backgrounds and life experiences, bringing their own story, body and voice into the work.
Elle Sofe's focus is on the intentions behind movement, gaze, timing, direction, intensity and presence on stage. The choreography is inspired by demonstrations, Sami spiritual practices and formation dance.
Written specially for the performance by composer and professor of yoik, Frode Fjellheim, the polyphonic yoik works as a supportive pillar throughout the work. Fjellheim showcases the breadth of the yoik and broadens the definition of what Sami traditional music can be.
Powerful in a quiet yet magnificent way.
A uniquely coherent combination of music, song, yoik and the physical language of dance art.
The riches of yoik meet the power of contemporary art.
It is about what a home can be, and the answer lies in the importance of community. Home is where your flock is.
Elle Sofe Sara
Elle Sofe Sara (b. 1984) is a choreographer, director and filmmaker.
Sara’s work expands upon seemingly mundane, often overlooked areas of Sámi physicality—unspoken rituals that have escaped the vice grip of colonialism. Sara uncovers a space in which the past and the present coincide.
While her choreography is known for its playful approach, she also delves into taboo subjects such as trauma, abuse, and suicide. As an Indigenous artist, Sara seeks to create work that resonates as strongly for her community as it does for the art world. Internationally, Sara has created work with Liu Chi (China), Wimme (Finland), and Lana Hansen (Greenland) among others. She is also the co-founder of DÁIDDADÁLLU, a Sámi indiginous contemporary art collective.
Hailing from Guovdageaidnu, Norway, Sara holds an MA in choreography from the Oslo Academy of Arts (2010) and studied dance at the LabanTrinity school, London. She is the featured artist of the Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad (2020, 2021), winner of the Moon Jury Award at the Imagine Native Film Festival (2019) and one of four artists selected for Talent Norway’s emerging filmmakers program (2020-2023). When she is not working with choreography or film, or traveling for work, Sara can be found marking reindeer calves with her children or reading animal tracks in the snow.
Performers: Kajsa Balto, Julie Moviken, Olga-Lise Holmen, Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska, Emilie Marie Karlsen, Nora Svenning, Grete Daling
Artistic leader, choreographer: Elle Sofe Sara
Composer: Frode Fjellheim
Co-choreographer: Alexandra Wingate
Costumes: Elle Sofe Sara, Ramona Salo
Set design: Elin Melberg
Light design: Øystein Heitmann
Light technician: Anniell Olsen
Dramaturg: Thomas Schaupp
Sound: Håkon Elias Pettersen
Hat sewing: Zoja Galkina, Unni Fjellheim, Sara Inga Utsi Bongo, Karen Inga Buljo Oskal, Jorunn Løkvold, Hilly Sarre
Dress sewing: Karen Inga Buljo Oskal, Ann Mari Sara
Producers: Maiken Garder, Magnus Nordberg / Nordberg Movement
Title of the performance comes from: Rájácummá / Kiss from the border by Nillas Holmberg Outi Pieski Jenni Laiti
Collaboration partners: Davvi Centre For Performing Arts, The Sámi National Theatre Beaivváš
Co-producers: Arctic Arts Festival, Norrlandsoperan
Funded by: Sámediggi, Norsk Kulturråd, Nordisk Kulturkontakt, Fond For Lyd Og Bilde, Dáiddafoanda, Sámiráđđi, Spenn
With development grants from: Troms og finnmark fylkeskommune, Arts Council Norway
Video documentation and photos: Antero Hein / Hein Creations
Opened: June 19 & 20, 2021, Festspillene i Nord- Norge / Arctic Arts Festival, Hovedscenen / Main stage, Harstad kulturhus
The visit is supported by: Kgl. Norsk Ambassade, Helsingfors