The fifth international Side Step Festival will be held in January 22–30, 2005 at the Cable Factory and in Kiasma Theatre in Helsinki, Finland. The biannual Side Step Festival is a topical and active contemporary dance festival. The theme for 2005 is Dance, Perception and Bodily Thinking.
Side Step Festival 2005 offers alternative views based on bodily knowledge and movement understanding, and questions the usual ways of performing and perceiving. The festival focuses on the question of how reality is revealed through bodily perception and how it is transmitted in the performing arts. As in previous years, Side Step Festival 2005 consists of international and Finnish performances, workshops, artist dialogues and a seminar.
This festival has the unique opportunity to bring together the legendary American innovators of contemporary dance Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, Deborah Hay and Nita Little. Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson will perform their recent duet Night Standand give artist talks. Lisa Nelson will also conduct her workshop Tuning Scores, which focuses on the physical base of the imagination. She will also present the journal Contact Quarterly – a vehicle for moving ideas. Deborah Hay will perform her piece A Lecture on the Performance of Beauty, a work based on two earlier performances of her solo dance Beauty. A video recording of The Match, Deborah Hay’s internationally renowned and Bessie-awarded quartet, is also in the programme. Nita Little conducts her highly developed contact-improvisation workshop Framing the Boundless.
The opening performance of Side Step Festival 2005 features choreographies by William Forsythe, Dana Caspersen, Allison Brown, Georg Reischl and Michael Klien. Film and video works by Talal Al-Muhanna and Dana Caspersen/William Forsythe will also be shown. Frankfurt Dance is an independent intiative by dancers from the former Ballett Frankfurt and The Forsythe Company.
Finnish guests for Side Step Festival include choreographer Liisa Pentti with her latest group work Wallpainted Abstractions and philosopher, budoka Timo Klemola. He participates in the festival seminar and conducts a workshop about yi quan, a Chinese martial art. The workshop explores the practice of body awareness, knowing movement and eventually spontaneous movement of yi quan. Yi means mind, desire or intent and quan means fist; yi quan is also known as "mind boxing".
Side Step Festival 2005 took a jump start in 2004, when Zodiak arranged a unique international solo project conceived and directed by Deborah Hay. Hay chose six performers to take part in the project: dancers Joona Halonen, Satu Halttunen, Jyrki Karttunen and Mickaël Stoeckel from Finland, Jenni-Elina Lehto from Sweden and Bo Madvig from Denmark. The outcome of the project is six new solo performances, based on Deborah Hay’s choreography The North Door. After a four-week workshop period in August, 2004, at Zodiak, each dancer has committed herself/himself to a daily practice of the solo dance for a minimum period of three months, thus creating a personal adaptation of the preset score. Three of these solo dances by Jyrki Karttunen, Jenni-Elina Lehto and Mickaël Stoeckel will be premiered at Side Step Festival 2005.
In the festival seminar, choreographer Kirsi Monni lectures about recent changes in the concept of dance. These changes are also approached in a dialogue about the philosophy of skill in Asian traditions and in a discussion on Deborah Hay’s performance practice and solo commissioning project experiences. Participants include Timo Klemola, Deborah Hay, Soile Lahdenperä and Mickaël Stoeckel. At Side Step, the admission is free to the seminar and artist dialogues.
Side Step Festival 2005 organising committee consists of choreographers and dancers Soile Lahdenperä, Kirsi Monni, Liisa Pentti and Riikka Theresa Innanen, managing director Raija Ojala and information officer Johanna Mäkelä. Choreographer Outi Järvinen-Overton is the festival producer.