This performance is about physical and mental/spiritual communication and touch. Olga Zitluhina, Latvian choreographer and author of the concept, acknowledges that life is running very fast and questions, are we able to feel the real touch or the only communication we know is with the touch screens? Are we capable to value real touch between human beings, both physical and mental? In this piece the communicative aspect is transferred and projected into the deeper communication - through the real time touch between humans we aim to reach to touch our own spirits and minds. Inspiration for the works comes from human hands, arms, fingers - all the good and bad done through our sensuous upper limbs, led by our instincts, feelings, thoughts.
Olga Zitluhina is on of the most influential figures in Latvian contemporary dance. She is pioneer in the field, an educator, teacher, organizer, choreographer. Between 1996 and 2012 she led her contemporary dance company, created 20 works and performed in 18 countries around the world. Today she lead the Latvian Cultural Academy contemporary dance curricula and runs international dance festival "Laiks Dejot" in Riga.
Olga, this is your first piece created in Estonia- how you found this idea?
Olga: "There is a strong image from real life that is almost haunting me: I saw my mother and father holding hands for the first time in their lives only when they were 70 years old. Even if they had been together for a long time and shared their lives, their way of communicating with each other was influenced by the time and place they were born and raised. They did not talk about it. I saw how important is just a simple human touch, how powerful it is and what is it speaking about us as humans. In "I was here" I wanted to speak about this - through movement and motion of human hands and arms and about movement in wider spectrum."
Duration: 60 minutes
Choreography: Olga Zitluhina and dancers
Dancers: Olga Privis, Helen Reitsnik, Tiina Ollask, Argo Liik, Simo Kruusement, Richard Beljohin
Costumes. Kirill Safonov
Lighting: Ants Kurist
Music: Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Sound-design: Valentin Siltsenko
Voice arrangement: Anna Dõtõna
Consult and support: Renee Nõmmik
Photos: Vadim Balakin, Merje Rääbis, Julia Zitluhina
Tickets: at FIENTA
Supported by: Estonian Ministry of Culture, Eesti Kultuurkapital, the Nordic Council of Ministers`Nordplus for Higher Education´s - “Explorations and Collaborations in the Arts / The ECA Network”
Heili Einasto, January 2020 TeMuKi: "The importance of touch and poetry was dedicated to Latvia's Olga Zitluhh's "I Was Here". During the dance performance, the diverse nature of the touch is referred to: gentle and gentle stroking, passionate patching, exposure (experimental) pecking, soft embracing and vigorous hugging. There are moments when the need for a friend's hand forces the body to stretch towards it while still holding on to our northern nature. There are moments when touch, its healing and empowering power are made visible through the movement patterns of the dancers.
“I Was Here" deals with the universal meaning of touch and shows how touch also discourages the loneliness of aging. Because aging inevitably leads to feelings of loneliness: companions, friends, relatives disappear into hospitals or nursing homes and to the eternal hunting grounds ... Loneliness is further exacerbated by the fact that "nobody touches" anymore. When visiting an old father, mother, or relative, he should hug, shake and hold his hand, comb his head, and maintain physical intimacy through these activities. "A person needs a touch from the womb, grows by touch, falls in love by touch, lives through the touch of their sex life, and when that touch suddenly disappears, you're alone," says Estonian filmmaker Hagi Sein. Touching and being touched activates the brain, affects thought processes and reactions - soothes anxiety or relieves pain. Even a person in a coma recognizes and responds to the touch of a loved one.
"I Was Here" was created for Fine5. Looking at the group, one can see and feel the long-time dancers working together, the fine tuning of each other's bodies, which can only be achieved through the ingestion lot of salt together and lot of sweat together. Bodies "remember" reciprocal touches and being close, sensing hidden tensions and deliverance. Watching Olga Zitluhhina's work and experiencing it with own body becomes particularly understandable the need for everyday practice together, stay together in different spaces and situations, because only by knowing and trusting each other can the poetry of touch be visible. In the "Choreography Book", Tiina Ollesk explains that not every workout fits into any staging process. "To listen to your movement, you first need silence and breathing."I Was Here "is loaded with the kind of silence, common breathing and movement that unfortunately rarely occurs on dance and theater stages - whether in Estonia or abroad."