We spoke to choreographer Kati Raatikainen about her upcoming performance of Kvartetto at the Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Start to Finnish showcase. Kvartetto (translation: quartet), delivers a softly pitched challenge to how society understands individuals labelled as intellectually disabled. At the work’s heart is an appreciation of the embodied power of dance and the implied joy of coming together in a communal space.
Can you tell us a bit about the show?
Kvartetto is contemporary choreography with a twist of daydreaming and longing to be touched and loved. The stage presence of all three dancers is extraordinary in its natural quality. Questions like who is seen on the stage, what kind of lived bodies and histories are shown on the stage and in the public sphere of influence, who has the power to create performances are in the center of artistic thinking in this performance.
What do you want audiences to take away from seeing the show?
More than once a spectator has left the performance with a teardrop in her eye. We want to nourish joy for being, moving and existing in the same time as same and different with all the others. In all dance the experience of kinesthetic empathy is present – it is the way dance operates as an art form. Also working in collaboration with others that can’t take the making of performances for granted is part of this. By opening space and time to different bodily histories, we hope to wake up empathy in the audience as among the working group.
What are you most excited about for performing at the Fringe?
We are excited to take part to such a massive art festival and share our work in an international environment. We hope to open up discussion and space for inclusivity in the performing arts field as well as in the society.
What’s next for you?
We are planning and finding funding for a new project where we will invite a few more professional dancers to join us. The project will take place in Kokkola again and the main idea is that the dancers of Kvartetto collaborate even more as choreographers and designers so that their artistic thinking has more visibility.
Kvartetto is being performed at the Old Lab at Summerhall between the 17 – 24 August. Tickets start at £10 and can be bought here.
From Start to Finnish is an annual showcase presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that represents the best in Finnish performing arts. Returning to Edinburgh for its tenth year, From Start to Finnish 2022 features four additional shows: Johnny Got His Gun (ZOO Southside), Receptionists (Summerhall) Raging Mother (ZOO Southside) and Lion (Assembly).