Arvio: (play)

Jere Nurminen – Ylen Puntari – 20111126

The Master’s New Clothes

Choreographer Kenneth Kvarnström continues his dance trilogy with a relaxed attitude. (play) is playful and humoristic. Live classical music and three costume designers create an interesting frame for the work. At times, it almost feels like being at a concert or a fashion show.

(play) is the second part of Kvarnström and Helsinki Dance Company’s dance trilogy that started in March with the work YOUMAKEME. The trilogy explores the relationship between music and movement from different angles.
In (play) we see Kvarnström change into a new mode completely. Kvarnström, who has nearly always used electronic music in his work, has seated six musicians playing classical music on the stage in (play). Kvarnström has wanted to challenge himself with the choice of music, and he succeeds. Familiar soft and expressive movements flow as well to Bach as to computer bass.

Kvarnström has explored something new in costume design, as well. Instead of one costume designer, (play) has three of the very best. Martin Bergström, Helena Hörstedt, and Erika Turunen have created the costumes freely from their own points of view.

The ensemble of music, costumes, and dance is unusual, but successful. At times it feels like being at a concert and at times like being at a fashion show. Dance is still strongly present at all times.
Kvarnström has the ability to create dance in earnest, but not take it too seriously. In (play), humour plays an important role in the scenes. Even though the work has an element of tongue-in-cheek in it, quality does not suffer. A highlight in terms of dance is Cilla Olsson’s dark solo to Chopin during the first half. Whereas the group scene to Bach’s Goldberg Variations dampens the mood.

As a whole, (play) is an approachable, harmonious work. It can be recommended to slightly less experienced audiences as well. Strangely there are only three shows in Helsinki this time.

(Translation: Multiprint Oy / Multidoc)