LIVE STREAM – International Artistic Collaboration in Testing Times: Donna Quijote

Portrait of a blond woman with a white scarf. Blue sky with some scattered white clouds in the background.

How do you work with an international theater production during spring 2021?

In connection with the production Donna QuijoteDonna Quijote, the last part of Ruska Ensemble’s Arctic Trilogy, the dancers Maria Peredo-Guzman, Alexander Montgomery Andersen and moderator Laura Mattila will talk about their experiences of international artistic co-operation during these challenging times. Donna Quijote’s premiere was supposed to be in the Finnish National Theater this April, but the production got postponed due to corona pandemic. Donna Quijote will be back in 2023.

Donna Quijote’s international group of performers consist of five talented artists, dancers Auri Ahola, Pekka Louhio, Alexander Montgomery-Andersen, María Peredo-Guzmán and musician Karoliina Kantelinen. The movement material is created together by the ensemble. It is a multilingual performance with Inari Sámi, Spanish, Finnish and Greenlandic. Donna Quijote is strongly based on artistic co-operation with the indigenous people. It is written and directed by Ari-Pekka Lahti and Jarkko Lahti.

Ruska Ensemble, a Finnish group of performing arts founded in 2010, is working to create a platform where indigenous people are brought together and everyone has a chance to speak up their mind in their own disappearing language. The aim is to strengthen our identities and to find alternative ways to approach and perceive the world. The focus is on the future of the Arctic people and their Northern environment.

Donna Quijote is a coproduction together with Ruska Ensemble, The Finnish National Theatre Nunatta Isiginnaartitsisarfia – The Greenlandic National Theatre.


Portrait of Maria Peredo
Photo: Maria Peredo

María Peredo-Guzmán is a Bolivian artist and researcher, with a master’s in dance anthropology. Peredo has worked as a dancer, actress, singer, as well as choreographer and director. As a result of her research on the Bolivian Ritual combat of Tinku, she created a performance technique. After winning Danceweb Scholarship she moved to Belgium, and has participated in projects in France, Spain, Malta, Norway, Italy, South Korea, Luxemburg, Germany, Greenland, Argentina, Chile, México and keeps contributing to the artistic scape in Bolivia. She is co-founder of the study group Multílogos and a member of the International Choreomundus Association.


Portrait of Alexander Montgomery-Andersen
Photo: Inuuteq Kriegel

Alexander Montgomery-Andersen is a Danish-American Greenlander. He grew up in Greenland and moved to Norway to study dance at Bårdar Dance Academy. He completed his studies in 2011. Since then, Alexander has taken part in many various productions and projects. Alexander has worked with choreographers such as Chet Walker, The National Theater of Greenland, Yggdrasil Dance Company and Israeli Choreographer Duo Jossi Berg & Oded Graf. Alexander has also produced his own works and worked as a choreographer and artistic director for various productions.


Portrait of Laura Mattila
Photo: Laura Mattila

Laura Mattila is a Finnish theatre director who graduated from the Theatre Academy in 2020. Her past productions have visited many festivals such as Kajaanin Runoviikot and Lainsuojattomat. One of her most beloved pieces is Full Pull, Woyzeck (2018), an adaption of Georg Büchner’s classic set in the world of tractor pulling. It played originally in her own living room but after rave reviews it was picked up by Teatteri Jurkka and is still touring the country.


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