Everyone seeks it, we all long for it, and entire societies have been built around it: Oblivia, in collaboration with two musicians, set out on a playful and associative exploration of »Pleasure«. They approach everything that constitutes “Pleasure” in the private and in the political arenas, employing catchy songs somewhere between punk rock and musical, movement und sounds produced by both the body as well as by electronica, investigating the living pleasure principle that is the human being, between rave and beauty cult, eternal promises of growth and carpe diem.
»When the performers guide the audience’s breath like Zen masters, when they keep insisting on steps and gestures, there expanding them toward a comical quality, when wind moves golden threads dangling from the ceiling as the sole stage dressing - then understatement is directing, then strings are devotedly caressed rather than strummed (…). In the end, it’s all about the everyday balancing act between our greedy lust for beauty and refusal, between void and significance, between egoism and empathy.«
(Andrea Kachelrieß, Stuttgarter Nachrichten)
For more than twenty years, Finnish company Oblivia has been creating productions that handle the humankind’s existential topics while employing minimal means – be that in pointed observations of our perpetual desire for entertainment or in ambiguous thoughts on postmodern society. In the process, the two founding members, performer and dancer Annika Tudeer and conservatory-trained pianist Timo Fredriksson, regularly augment the Oblivia team to include additional performers bringing different priorities: So, in »Pleasure«, sound performer Juha Valkepää enters the stage for the first time as a part of Oblivia.
As in the previous trilogy instalments, songs, live sound, body-made or object-produced sounds and movement have been interwoven most precisely, inducing and driving each other. In this sensitively tared equilibrium of live music and vocalisation, texts, and movement in »Pleasure«, discussing our eternal hunt for the turbo-capitalist promise of a »better, faster, stronger«, in the grand scheme as well as in the smallest detail, Oblivia’s light touch manages to once again put one of the grandest themes of our existence onto a stage.
Concept & devising: Oblivia working group
Performers: Timo Fredriksson, Annika Tudeer, Juha Valkeapää
Guitarist: Thilo Ruc
Mezzosoprano: Gabriele Lesch
Composer, electronic live music : Yiran Zhao
Outside eye: Alice Ferl
Light design: Meri Ekola and Stine Hertel
Costume design: Tua Helve
Communications: Nassrah-Alexia Denif, Lisa Carolin Schubert
Production manager: Jenny Nordlund
Co-production: Theater Rampe, ARGEkultur Salzburg, Schwankhalle. Supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Helsinki City, Svenska kulturfonden, Konstsamfundet, Stiftelsen Tre Smeder, Nya klassiker.
Guest performance as part of the NFT. This project is made possible by the program „Promoting Connections“ of the German Federal Association of the Performing Arts, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.