Kaisa Kurikka – Turun Sanomat – 20110308

Magic echoed through dance

“The fluidity of the movement and the breathtaking skill expressed by the dancers draw the audience into a magical bliss.”

Kenneth Kvarnström’s YOUMAKEME is an intricately intertwined performance that twists and turns around the topic of repetition. First of all, the music in the performance stands on cover versions; new interpretations of original pieces of music. These covers are delivered by various performers, including interpretations by five dancers from the Helsinki Dance Company.

In fact, the performance programme poses a candid question: how many times can you listen to the same song without getting bored or falling asleep? Well, frankly, neither was close during the performance, as it goes to show that nothing is ever repeated exactly identically.

One of the most enchanting qualities of Youmakeme is the surprising nature of the performance. This draws from the rich emotional imprints of individual scenes, changes in the structure and the versatile use of visual elements. Enigmatic motion sequences lead into open vulgarity and even extend to macabre humour or soft motion flows.

Shamelessness taken to its limits

The fluidity of Kvarnström’s movement and the breathtaking skill expressed by the dancers draw the audience into a magical bliss.

One of the most alluring scenes is built around the song Feeling Good. During the version performed by Nina Simone, the tenderness of the dance is contrasted by the growling singing by the dancers, making the entire notion of feeling good glaringly ironic.

Erika Turunen has dressed the dancers in school uniform skirts for this scene. The dancers’ faces are covered by black wigs, except for the male dancers’ beards. The eerie characters on stage swing their hair ominously and shamelessly, as if they had escaped from the Japanese horror film Ringu.

In addition to repeating songs, the performance repeats the same motions and step sequences, skilfully organising the movement into multiple layers as new dancers enter the stage. The numbness mentioned by the programme is only present when watching the quiet trio comprising Kenneth Bruun Carlson, Sofia Karlsson and Janne Marja-aho. The movement of the trio seems to drag on and on.

The lighting design by William Iles creatively adapts to the performance. A fan of lights directed straight at the audience manages to create an especially beautiful moment during the performance. The dancers change their costumes frequently. With every change, the materials and colour shades selected by Turunen reach and touch the audience.

(Translation: Multiprint Oy / Multidoc)