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Finland’s Flow Festival is expanding its arts programming, teaming up with the Finnish National Opera to present two nights of contemporary dance and live music
By Anna Grace on 17 May 2019
Helsinki-based Flow Festival has announced a collaboration with the Finnish National Opera, bringing contemporary dance, electronic music and audiovisual to the Opera house at Almi Hall (500-cap.).
The Almi Hall performances, which will take place on the two nights preceding the festival on 7 and 8 August, are the work of British choreographer Wayne McGregor.
McGregor, famed for his work with the Royal Ballet, will present his dance portrait Autobiography Edits, in collaboration with experimental electronic music producer Jlin. The piece will be performed by ten dancers from Company Wayne McGregor, accompanied by live music performed by Jlin.
Both nights are opened by Fractal Fantasy’s Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones, who will present a mix of electronic music and audiovisual art.
According to Flow’s artistic director Tuomas Kallio, the National Opera collaboration will “kick things off with something different this year”.
Kallio tells IQ that he has “great expectations” for this year’s Flow Festival, which features performances from Cardi B, the Cure, Tame Impala, Robyn and James Blake.
“Many European bookers say it’s been a very difficult year to book bigger acts but looking at the Flow Festival 2019 line-up, I guess we’ve been quite lucky”
“Many European bookers say it’s been a very difficult year to book bigger acts but looking at the Flow Festival 2019 lineup, I guess we’ve been quite lucky,” says Kallio, adding that the Flow team has been happy so far, despite “fees getting crazy” and “competition on the most-wanted acts getting harder.”
Another new addition for the 2019 edition of Flow Festival is “Pink Space”, a conceptual indoor venue that “celebrates Flow’s diversity and inclusivity”.
Flow has been working towards achieving a gender-balanced line-up since 2010, and Kallio admits that it has proved more taxing to increase the presence of female performers within some musical genres than others.
“What worries me,” says Kallio, “is that people mostly talk about binary gender male/female and there are many artists who don’t want to place themselves into that binary picture at all… and that’s the problem to start with. We need to be careful that we do all this the right way or we end up making things worse for certain people.”
Flow Festival will take place from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August. Tickets for both the festival and the pre-festival opera events are available here.
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