July 11th 2021 was performed at Zawirowania dance festival in Varssavi Fine5 performance „FN“. Festival is active from 2005 with aim to present different approaches through dance and many reputative companies have participated this event, like Kibbutz, Norrdans, Granhoj Dans, China Wawes and so on. Fine5 has been at Zawirowania also in 2009 with piece "Phases". Our travel to festival was supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture program "Estonian Culture at Abroad".
1. Sandra Wilk, Strona tanca, http://www.stronatanca.pl/recenzje/walka-o-przestrzen-wojna-o-wplywy
Translation to english:
"Fight for space, war for influence"
The pandemic caused an interesting situation on the theater and dance market, as hundreds of artists grounded by lockdown produced performances on similar topics. They contain excerpts from diaries or memories dealing with the issues of the sense of danger, coping with isolation, fear of another human being, experiences with death or illness of loved ones, diagnosis of social changes. Many deal with these problems, so it is not easy not to repeat the means already used by other creators, come to original conclusions or even propose a form that will surprise the audience even in a minimal way.
So with great interest I went to the performance "FN" choreographed by Renee Nõmmik, which was shown at the 17th International Zawirowania Dance Festival (07/11/2021), to see if the Estonian FINE5 group can cope with this challenge somehow and propose something, which will be remembered and bring a life-giving drop of water in the world of art withering from pandemic banality and stylistic repetitions.
It worked, although we are talking only (or maybe as many as?) About three pictures. This does not mean, of course, that the other scenes were bad - the Estonian band danced well, evenly (sic!), The whole choreography was varied in moods, from intimate solo scenes (e.g. a great, multi-dimensional mini-duet with long hair untangled by Tiina Ollesk), to dynamic group scenes. However, I was bored with subsequent video-memories recorded by the dancers during isolation, or repeated scenes with a floodlight lit right in the face, reminding us of the merging of many days into one or the routine more acutely noticed during the lockdown.
But let's go back to the three scenes that caught my attention, as they were significantly different from what I have already seen in post-pandemic dance theater (temporarily post-pandemic, of course - note) and bring some reflection on what is still ahead of us.
The first is a somewhat technical scene, when, after the solo opening the performance, the dancer was tearing the white tape off the black floor that previously defined the area he was using for dancing. This symbolic breaking out of the isolation, the limited space, also had a continuation - the tape rolled into a ball became a ball thrown among themselves by Estonian performers, it was like a hot potato that nobody wants to hold in their hands any longer so as not to burn themselves. At the same time, we know that it was sticky and unstable, and if it is necessary, it can be rolled out again and stuck to the floor again, and the restrictions will start anew.
The second was a collective sequence reminiscent of military operations or military parades - it is not only the association that an attempt to control a global attack of an unknown pathogen is like a war against an elusive enemy, it is also the result of fears, in fact of all of humanity, appearing in the face of the unknown. Unknown threat, unknown consequences (e.g. closing the economy or closing borders), unknown future, revolution (e.g. mental, social, identity) that the whole world is facing. Will we deal with the inequality between developed countries and third world countries that simply cannot afford to buy COVID-19 vaccines? Will we as mankind understand that the division into countries in the face of a pandemic does not matter? because our world consists of connected vessels and the lack of help for its less developed parts will result not only in numerous rubbish but also in an endless mutation of the virus? Or maybe we will start to arm and isolate ourselves, and the demonic nationalist voices will sound the strongest? War breaks out? Or maybe many wars? Who and why will fight for influence. What will the price be ...
And finally the third - final scene, where the dancers put on multi-colored overalls made of some transparent muslin resembling insect cocoons. This corresponded well with the title of the performance "FN" (from English fake news) as a substitute for information bubbles in which we so often find ourselves and at the same time social isolation and our own self-isolation from the world. A world in which we function more and more selfishly, assertively and self-enriching.
Sandra Wilk, Dance Party
"FN" FINE5 (Estonia), directed and choreographed by Renee Nõmmik and dancers, performed by Tiina Ollesk, Olga Privis, Helen Reitsnik, Simo Kruusement, Richard Beljohin, music and visual effects: Valentin Siltšenko and Renee Nõmmik, costumes and set design: Kalle Aasamäe, lighting: Ants Kurist, premiere: 01/11/2020, Tallinn, Vaba Lava, financial support: Ministry of Culture in Estonia, Tallinn University, screening as part of the 17th International Zawirowania Dance Festival, Center for Theater and Dance in Warsaw, 11/07/2021
2. Evelina Chaberska, Dance Brigade 2021. http://stronatanca.pl/brygada-tanca/tacy-sami-mimo-granic?fbclid=IwAR2DwonIjiiLvaGLLAOE76TrM7xtXPd0E2a6FqxqCteTZNP3iuPelnsXWz4
"The same, despite the borders"
How did the pandemic affect us? What did we spend the time in confinement on? Can we communicate with people the same way we did before the coronavirus expansion? These and similar questions were brought up on the evening of July 11, 2021, as part of the 17th edition of the International Turbulence Festival, and the reason for their formulation was the performance of the Estonian dance theater FINE5 entitled "FN".
The starting point for "FN" was the phenomenon of fake news, but in the end the name was shortened to two letters, because during the creation of the show, there were experiences related to real facts and personal experiences of the creators during the pandemic. The artists (direction and choreography: Renee Nõmmik and dancers: Tiina Ollesk, Olga Privis, Helen Reitsnik, Simo Kruusement, Richard Beljohin) based their actions on the stage on their own experiences from the lockdown period and the effects of their analysis and shared thoughts during group work. Hence, the choreography we saw at the Center for Theater and Dance in Warsaw was probably supplemented by video recordings made by dancers who kept pandemic journals during the closure of their homes. Each of the FINE5 members was looking for quality in motion on their own,
For me, one of the most beautiful moments was Tiina Ollesk's solo, minimalist but eloquent and touching. Behind the dancer, photos of various stages of the plant's development were displayed (in a post-spectacular conversation, Ollesk admitted that it was the result of thirty days spent caring for her dying aunt - ed.). This fragment touched me a lot, and the artist's genuine focus additionally strengthened the message hidden in her movement.
The group fragments of "FN" alluded to different emotional states of people during the epidemic, showed various stages that each of us go through, from the state of full energy, where we want to do many things at once, to states where all activity ends with the transition from the bed on the couch and back. I agree with the thoughts of one of the dancers that it is amazing how quickly we can get used to the existing situation. When we were locked in our own homes, our initial anger slowly turned to reconciliation with our fate, until the decision to finally do what there was never time for. On the other hand, when decisions were made to open up the economy - we adapted to wearing masks inside and out, and then smoothly moved to even greater loosening,
The moment of the Estonian choreography was interesting to me, with music resembling military songs with the screams of soldiers in the background. I asked myself why such a choice? I received the answer during the conversation after the performance - it was a reference to the militarization spreading in the world, whether it was to demonstrate power in politics or, for example, in culture (the advantage of men over women), there were also examples of political actions by Russia or China. This is another signal for me - after watching "Tanzanweisungen (it won't be like this forever)" choreographed by Moritz Ostruschnjak and performed by Daniel Conant, who was also shown at the Zawirowania 2021 Festival, that in every country dancers use cultural codes, which for overseas audiences are sometimes, at least at first glance,
But not all of them. For example, the ending "FN", in which the dancers put on similar, but different colors, overalls (Kalle Aasamäe was responsible for the costumes) was supposed to have - as Renee Nõmmik said - a literal and intuitive meaning was perceived by me. As people, we are colorful, but at the same time we are entangled in a deformed world, full of information, not always real and needed. After this performance, thoughts about the pandemic and the processes taking place before our eyes lead me to say that, in fact, no matter where in the world we are, we are very similar to each other and we experienced the previous year in a similar way. The question is how each of us will use this experience ...
Ewelina Chaberska, Dance Brigade 2021
The review was written as part of the Brigade Tańca project, organized by Centrum Teatr i Tańca in partnership with the Dance Party.
"FN" FINE5 (Estonia), directed and choreographed: Renee Nõmmik and dancers, performed by: Tiina Ollesk, Olga Privis, Helen Reitsnik, Simo Kruusement, Richard Beljohin, music and visual effects: Valentin Siltšenko and Renee Nõmmik, costumes and set design: Kalle Aasamäe, lighting: Ants Kurist, premiere: 01/11/2020, Tallinn, Vaba Lava, financial support: Ministry of Culture in Estonia, Tallinn University, screening as part of the 17th International Zawirowania Dance Festival, Center for Theater and Dance in Warsaw, 11/07/2021