Zodiakin kevätkausi jatkuu Sara Grotenfeltin ja Selma Reynisdóttirin teoksella HOPP. Kysyimme Saralta ja Selmalta muutaman kysymyksen teoksen taustoista.

- firstly, could you briefly introduce yourselves, and also the rest of the artistic team?

Hey! We are Sara Grotenfelt and Selma Reynisdóttir and we met at the Theatre Academy of Helsinki in 2019. We both work as choreographers and dancers and HOPP is our first work together.

The rest of the working group consists of sound designer and musician Diego Manatrizio, set designer Oscar Dempsey, light designer Alina Pajula, costume designer Ella Snellman and artistic advisor and production help Riikka Lakea.

- what is the story behind HOPP? Where and how did it all start?

Skipping kind of sneaked up on us during the pandemic. Intuitively, we turned to skipping after more than a decade of laying the rope aside. It started as a private practice, but after some time we met each other skipping at the gym and found that we both shared a curiosity towards returning to something we used to hold onto when we were bored as kids. 

However, the excitement and exhaustion from skipping felt different in our adult bodies. Our hearts were pounding much harder and we got out of breath very fast. But it gave us buoyancy, pleasure and new friends. We started noticing the choreographic potential in the skipping. How this simple action caused complex associations. How this ridiculous movement arose joy both by doing it and looking at it.

- how does rope skipping translate into dance and a dance performance?

We are guided by the movement and rhythms that arise from skipping. Having a background in dance education we see a lot of similarities in skipping and different dance steps. Also rhythmic movement in unison and different patterns of the steps are directly linked to dance. We are fascinated by the choreographic potential in skipping: repetitive patterns, the movement of the rope, the fact that the performers are connected through the rope and how we can share a space by being in and out of sync.

- the pre or marketing text of the performance tickles the imagination in a lovely way. But could you already reveal a bit how things like "pulsating landscape" and "imaginary playground" materialize on stage?

Pulsating landscape refers to both a visual and a sonic landscape that we have been weaving together with the sound designer Diego Manatritzio. The action of skipping is a pulse and a beat that keeps filling the space throughout the performance.

Imaginary playground is a phrase that has inspired us while creating movement material for the performance. In our early rehearsals we played around with the skipping and tried to figure out ways how we can mold this play into a choreographic structure that makes sense within its inner logics.

We are inviting the audience to open their perception to unexpected associations. We acknowledge that many people might have bodily memories of the action of skipping. Maybe they were doing it at a playground or some other open space that they might have taken over with skipping.

HOPP Zodiak Stagella 28.2.–9.3.2024.