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Photo: Ian Douglas / nora chipaumire: *N!GGA

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Side Step Festival


Welcome to experience the week-long, wildly abundant dramaturgic offering of Side Step 2020! Our line-up is full of intense trips of varying duration from the peaks of party mountains to fever dream valleys and back again.

The programme of this year's Side Step was born out of a desire to create a whole that focuses on the plurality of the making of art and the diversity of artistic vision, power of expression, artistic practice and artist personalities. It resists easy summarisation under one title, slogan or demand.

We want to make Side Step 2020 a celebration of multiple ways of inviting the audience to the worlds of the performances by the sometimes very different artists, of different ways of offering these experiences and the meanings that arise from them. The performances in this year’s line-up are both overabundant and subtle yet powerful. The programme also features works that tune into the act of performance with a very delicate touch — but still, or perhaps exactly because of it, with great impact.

Even though the themes of the performances are difficult to bundle together, the art of performance, the personalities of the performers and strong choreographic vision are the primary factors that fascinate us and attract our attention. We want to give the stage to works that exhibit energy, aesthetic qualities and attitudes rarely experienced here, works in which the personal sphere and certain idiosyncratic extravaganza come together in exhilarating and amazing ways to tickle the inner worlds of the audience quietly — or sometimes brazenly.

We have also wanted to invite young Finnish artists to the festival, to give a platform for them to showcase their work as an essential part of the international line-up, and to support their relationship with the audience, their artistic thinking and their work as performers.

Side Step 2020 wants to celebrate the diversity and the richness of today’s dance and performance art. The festival is also a place of coming together that enables us to speak about art also in the coming years in different places, deliberately yet in surprising ways. And what is best, this edition of the festival comes with three fabulous festival clubs that we can enjoy together. The heart of the festival is the Side Bar that opens in Zodiak’s lobby for the festival week – one hour before the first performance every day of the festival and all night for the festival clubs.

Art makes fissures to existing ideals for light to shine through. We invite the audience of Side Step to explore these cracks and to surrender to the new ideas and observations that emerge through them. Let us celebrate the full beauty and roughness of art. La Vie En Rose!

Festival Curators
Harri Kuorelahti
Elina Pirinen