Side Step Festival 2021 has invited dance artists from different backgrounds to share a conversation with each other. This artist dialogues will be published on Zodiak’s website at the beginning of the festival, and they can be viewed until one week after the festival ends.

We wanted to offer a place for collegial meetings and peer conversations about issues important to each artist.

These times have been hard and demanding for everyone, but especially for people working with performing arts and other art forms based on meetings between people. We wanted to start conversations by going back to the core of making, experiencing and loving art. This felt important especially now when the world around is chaotic and uncertain in many ways.

We asked the artist these questions, among others:

  • Why do I do what I do?
  • What is the core reason for me being an artist, and a dance artist in particular?
  • What are those fractions in time or around me, that have created a guiding spark for my artistic activities, both now and in earlier phases of my career?
  • Towards what have I travelled, and towards what am I gravitating at this moment and in these times?

The dialogues will be published on Thu, Feb 4, 2021. They will be available until Feb 21.

Meg Stuart & Maija Hirvanen

Meg Stuart

Meg Stuart is an American choreographer and dancer, working and living in Berlin since 2005. With her own company, Damaged Goods, which she founded in Brussels, she has realized over 30 productions, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies, site-specific creations and improvisation projects.

Stuart strives to develop a new language for every piece in collaboration with artists from different creative disciplines and navigates the tension between dance and theatre. Her work revolves around the idea of an uncertain body, one that is vulnerable and self-reflexive. It is analogous to a constantly shifting identity and constantly redefines itself while searching for new presentation contexts and territories for dance. Meg Stuart received various awards for her oeuvre and practice, amongst others the Bessie Award in 2008 and the Konrad-Wolf-Preis in 2012. In 2018, La Biennale di Venezia awarded her the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in the category of dance.

Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods has an on-going collaboration with Kaaitheater (Brussels) and HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).

Maija Hirvanen

Maija Hirvanen is a choreographer and performance maker based in Helsinki. Since the early 2000’s she has created performances that have been presented at festivals and venues in Finland and internationally, for instance at Zodiak, Kiasma, Baltic Circle Festival, Helsinki Festival and Moving in November Festival in Helsinki, Tanz im August/Berlin, ImpulsTanz/Vienna, Sadler’s Wells/Lilian Baylis Studio/London, SPRING Festival/Utrecht, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis and Dansens Hus/Stockholm. Hirvanen has participated in and led through several international artistic laboratories and discursive programs.

Hirvanen's work has been exhibited in theatres, public spaces and galleries. Maija’s interests range from the relationship between art and different belief systems, collaborative processes within cultural practices and performance as collective memory to mechanisms of re-learning. Over the couple of past years, she has been focused on working through more-than-human world view and practices and this world views manifestations on the performing art stage. Her most recent performances and collaborations include performance lecture Art and Love (2017), and stage works Magic and Despair (2019), and Life as we know it (2020). Currently, she is creating Meshwork, a piece working with speculative and physical choreographic proposals of interconnectedness.