Three women dancing to Dmitri Shostakovich's 7, the Leningrad, symphony. The choreography verges between virtuoso failure, the mercilessly grotesque and the tenderly sublime. This homage is both a personal appropriation as well as a timeless study of human existence.

The stage is dark to begin with. Then you hear the first movement of the symphony that Shostakovich wrote in Leningrad insummer 1941, just as the Wehrmacht began to surround the city. There is repetition of a seemingly banal motif lasting 15 minutes, until, like in Ravel’s Boléro, the music culminates in a huge surge. Three women walk onto the stage in majestic slowness, the dance begins.

© Timo Wright

Elina Pirinen has called her piece an “autopsy” of the Leningrad Symphony. Together with two dancers, a lighting and sound designer designer and a writer she choreographed the piece to follow the music, using the spaces opened in the sound but also destroying them. The dance sequences are explorations of the body first; they reveal surprise and moments of attainment as well as the triviality of complete fa ilure. Where the music evokes pirouettes and pas de deux, you get trampling and dancers collapsing instead. They deconstruct the elegance of ballet into something grotesque: here a carelessly exposed breast and a kick in a naked buttock, there a hopping, pants-down-around -the-knees dance. There are wailing chants about the mishap, to which musical misalignm ent is added to good effect. Consequently, the production progresses into full meltdown, when the protagonists cower on the messed-up floor and the space disintegrates into a flurry of light and fog.

PERSONAL SYMPHONIC MOMENT is as personal as it is universal. All these primitive as well as intellectual moments of shock, comfort, beauty, idiocy, eros, failure, compassion, banality, danger and sentimentality are the artists' personal subjective responses to their musical counterpart, but they could similarly reflect a mirror image of the human soul.

Duration: 70 min.

28/11/15, 8 PM (Dresden)
02/12/2015, 8 PM (Hamburg)
05/12/2015, 8 PM (Bern)

Concept, Choreography: Elina Pirinen
Dance: Kati Korosuo, Katja Sallinen, Elina Pirinen
Light: Heikki Paasonen with the original design by Tomi Humalisto
Texts: Heidi Väätänen
Sound: Pauli Riikonen
Music: Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 7 performed by Leningrad Philharmonic orchestra with conductor Mariss Jansons 1988
Costume: Elina Pirinen, Kaisa Rissanen, Mila Moisio

Production: Zodiak - Center for New Dance, Moving in November Festival, Elina Pirinen, Zodiak residency

Click here for the trailer.

in collaboration with WorkspaceBrussels / Summer coaching residency, Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux
Supported by the Samuel Huber Stiftung, the finnish cultural Foundation, Kone Stiftung, Helsinki City and Arts Promotion Center Finnland.