Departures and Arrivals



, Veli Lehtovaara




What happens when the mind falls to where the heart is?


Veli Lehtovaara’s new work Conversations is a dance of gradual transformation. The passage of steps and thoughts unfolds in circles and waves. It is a performance of letting go of that which will not stay without a holding. Falling, drifting, floating, and flying, singing within and dancing without, breathing and walking together, it is a conversation with three distinct voices that entangle as they form circular paths in time. A dance where words become what they once were - trees, stars, and substance of primeval environment - writing turns back to traces of movement.


The choreography incorporates forms from the natural development and evolution of things, cyclical change, and the ebb and flow of objects or events from different environments and living systems. Breathing, seeing, walking, and conversing are the basic materials for the choreography, and human complexity is countered by this simplicity. Efficiency, delicacy, and nuance are the distinguishing qualities of this dance.


Living is a form of movement – from seaweed to birds, from trees to snakes, and from bacteria to human beings. How can a dance open up an ability to perceive nature in ourselves and remember our belonging to and origin in the circle of life?


The performance combines choreographic, ecological, philosophical and visual forms of thinking. It gives attention to what unites human beings with other living beings in different stages and scales of life especially from the perspective of corporeality, perception and movement. Becoming a member of choreography is an event of belonging.


The scenography of the performance is created by visual artist and filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila. The moving images pursue to create signs of a presence of a place and suggest a region for the dance to take place in. The location is a clearing of a field and a narrow country road that runs across it. The images bring attention on the events and time indicated by this region - wind, birds, change of light, the arrival of the mist - the falling of the night.


The work is inspired by a text of Martin Heidegger’s written in 1944-45: A Triadic Conversation on a Country Path between a Scientist, a Scholar and a Guide. The text is a philosophical and poetic contemplation on the relation between human beings, nature, and technology.



Coming residencies in 2018:

22/1 – 3/2 Kunstencentrum BUDA, Kortrijk

5 – 10/2 Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Brussels

12/2 – 4/3 Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Helsinki

7 – 16/3 wpZimmer, Antwerp

19 – 30/3 Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Brussels



Feb 24, 25, 27, 28 and March 2, 3 @ Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Helsinki

Showing by invitation

Mar 28th and 29th @ Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Brussels


Choreography: Veli Lehtovaara in collaboration with the dancers Dancers: Elisaveta Penkova, Mikko Hyvönen, Veli Lehtovaara
Assisting dancer: Kevin Fay
Lighting design: Luc Schaltin Sound design: Jani Hietanen Moving image: Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Costume design: Heide Vanderieck Producer: Riikka Thitz
Production: Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, SpaceTimeLove

With the support of: Arts Promotion Center Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Kone Foundation

Residencies: Zodiak – Center for New Dance (FI), Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek (BE), STUK – House for Dance, Image and Sound (BE), Kunstencentrum BUDA (BE), Château de Monthelon (FR), wpZimmer (BE)