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The” Nordic Folk” network for contemporary folk dance now NODRISK had its second meeting on the 14-16th of February- 2017 in Oulu Finland.

10.08.2017 | Scen Dans Konst Lt Dalarna


The purpose of the meeting was to get to know more about the participant works but also to learn a bit more about Oulu university, dance and pedagogy in Oulu and Finland. Participating parties were from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland represented by Andreas Berchtold from DOCH, university of dance and Circus in Stockholm, Ann-Jeanett Stål, County Council of Dalarna in the department Scen Dans Konst and Anoda Dans, Hallgrim Hansegård, Frikar dance company, Malin Bohm, Mora Municipality, Culture House, Petri Kauppinen, OUAS and Tsuumi Dance Theatre and choreographers Anna Öberg and Louise Crnkovic-Friis. During this meeting also attending dancer Riina Hosia and Head of the Dance Department at Oulu University Anssi Kirkonpelto.


There was consensus in finding a new name for the network. The network is now called Nodrisk
Nod (Swedish) – a point at which lines or pathways intersect or branch; a central or connecting point.
Risk from earlier risqué, from Middle French risqué, from Italian risco ("risk"; > Modern Italian rischio) and rischiare ("to run into danger"). Synonyms: adventure, hazard, jeopardy, peril, endagement, risk.

Oulu university dance department started the day with a presentation about their education and the dance community in Oulu - both from a teacher’s and student’s point of view. Their talk covered traditional dance in Finland both historically and up until today and about finding their own, post-colonial identity. A somewhat dominant theme was ownership and romantic nationalism in a historical point of view. Each participant of the meeting made a presentation about themselves; of their background, what they are working on now and where the work it is going. The participants will themselves write a short summary, statement or profile, for the network and for anybody interested in what we do.

After last meeting’s inventory, we look more closely at what direction the network should move. There is a clear consensus in looking at research, expanding the field of knowledge and creating opportunities, connections, structures within the network and beyond. It is about creating a forum where the members of the network can explore and exchange. The goal is both to be able to present works/ideas, test something and get the opportunity to get feedback and questions so both processes and practices can expand and evolve.

• This is not a network/meeting with the goal to agree.
• Formal and informal forums 
• Quality is important for continuity
• The network platform could be an artistic approach with the form of the network. Creating possibilities in both a practical and intellectual way, both short and long-term. Using the inspiration, we already have from this context and taking it further.
• Research based – what is going on in the different countries? trying to see, understand and know your neighbor.
• We are sharing the same kinesthetic understanding. There is also a connection in the collective.
• Take a topic - analyze - talk about the work.
• Discus from a physical point of view.
• What ideas have been inscribed in the students
• Go into the studio see if we relate - what are the differences.
• Network looking for the kinesthetic understanding we have together.
• Not nationalism but working with people interested in traditional dance
• Platform to explore, share and create a critical mass
• Geographical context, innovation, creation.
• Create before the critical mass.
• To go into the work, then you see how to present it.
• Seeking a friction in the core meeting, across boundaries and put things at stake.
• Relating to my contemporary ideas with historic material and knowledge.

For the third and last meeting, we are taking some of the statements and ideas presented and putting them into practice. Participants can present an idea or method for the group, test material and theory to see what form it could take by trying it in practice. Here time is also an important part giving each presenter up to two hours with the group.

Dance needs to be shared with others Folk dance is no doubt a collective activity. Movement vocabulary in this realm of dance is recognizable to be part of historical continuum of a certain group of people or nation. The basis of my artistic work is to preserve this valuable persistent collective identity and reflect it to nowadays concepts of understanding human body and its needs to communicate through dance. Even though nationality, emphasized identity, separate (isolated) group of people, these are dangerous concepts in nowadays reality.

Dance can define nationality without building barriers between groups of people. Dance is a plural language that helps us to honor different bodies and ways of moving. To know our cultural roots will give us strength to confront differences. When our kinesthetic understanding and experiences grow larger, the surrounding community will be more permissible. From this perspective, the essential question is: How can a group of people share their kinesthetic understanding? What is the primary concept of movement that sparks up a communication between moving bodies.

Often a rhythm stands in front line. When the rhythm begins to resonate within a dancer, it creates a groove that is shareable with others. Gradually mutual groove begins to find a shape, action and spatial extent. I prefer to investigate rhythm. It hides in many layers of movement that is why rhythm is our privilege.

Secondly there is a touch. How do I confront other dancer? How to look at someone… intensively, with meaning. What is the proximity, the way of holding? Are we able to share the weight? In other words, can we trust each other? This shared physicality contains many psychological layers that are fortunately more poetical than rational.

Social networks itself do produce a lot of organic choreography. In this environment, my work as a choreographer is to act as a reflector, arranger or a dramaturge. My job is to study the ongoing situation entirely rather than create artistic visions from my individual starting point.