Arvio: no-no

Pentti Ritolahti – Kotimaa – 22.11.1996

Mysterious ritual

A completely different but no less impressive world of dance opens up in a breathtakingly intense choreography created by Kenneth Kvarnström, the new director of Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company, for his new company. It goes by the highly ambigious name of no-no.

I once, in New York, experienced in a half-lit temple, the mysterious, nirvana-lulling ritual of Buddist monks. That experinece returned forcefully to my mind as I followed no-no’s arresting dance, derived from the religious and erotic worlds of both Africa and Asia and moving on the borderlands between darkness and light.

The City Theatre’s seven dancers, four men and three women, realise Kvarnström’s work virtuosically. I have selldom, if ever, seen dance in which such a captivating and mysterious soundscape, such interplay of light and shadow and an atmosphere, quivering in the air and existing at the limits of the senses, are so organically part of the quite intoxicating movement of the dancers as in no-no.

In short: this is a masterpiece, which not merely represents the climax of Kvarnström’s career, but seeks its equal on a global scale. In the City Theatre’s carefully chosen dancers, trained to their peak, Kvarnström has a group which realises perfectly his every idea.