Külli Roosna & Kenneth Flak

 

Tell us about yourself and your work.

 

We are a choreographer duo from Estonia and Norway that has been working together since 2008. Most of our work is produced by Korzo theater in the Hague. We have been dealing with quite a lot of different themes in our pieces (totalitarianism, internet culture, ecology, mythology), but at the base of it is always the human body with its limitations and possibilities. You could probably call what we do dance theater. Another important component of our work is the use and abuse of digital technologies. At the moment we are using movement sensors to integrate movement, light, video and sound into a kind of performance eco-system.

 

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Where does the inspiration come from?

 

Depends on the project. We are drawing inspiration from current as well as historical events on a larger scale, but we also deal with our own history: things that have happened to our families and people we know. Basically we are always trying to link these big ideas to something concrete and personal. We also try to move in the opposite direction, abstracting personal stories to find appropriate formats for the stage.

 

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Which is the need of your art?

 

Our art needs an audience that is interested in physicality and the possibilities of the human body, who are willing to join the journey of the pieces, to fill in the gaps with their own thoughts and associations.

 

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Tell us about your experiences in art fairs, exhibitions and others.

 

We mostly perform on various stages and festivals dedicated to contemporary dance, so this is our frame of reference. The experience differs a lot depending on the individual institution, so it is hard to make any generalizations.

 

Kenneth and Roosna - The Chinese Room Photography by Bhargav (22)

 

What does it means the art for you?

 

It is our lifestyle, it is what we do, it is how we think and it is how we discover and rediscover our way of thinking and our values. Art is a possibility for humanity to reflect, explore and create itself.

 

What do you think about the art system in your country?

 

We are connected with three different countries, Estonia, Norway and the Netherlands. Obviously these countries have a vastly different system of supporting the arts.  Estonia is very small, for better and for worse, and there is very little money for professional contemporary dance. Instead you find a lot of different initiatives on the semi-professional level, which certainly have their own value. It is our home base, from where we prepare our projects. Norway has much more money to put into the arts, and the previous government prioritized the development of contemporary dance. The result is a strong financial fundament for producing new work.

 

We both studied and started our careers in the Netherlands, and our pieces are produced by a Dutch theater. The emphasis on professional development and discourse has played a huge role in how we have developed as artists. It is very sad to see how the freelance scene was decimated during the reign of Halbe Zeilstra, but we are still optimisitic about its potential for coming back to it previous state of vibrancy. NL used to offer lots of possibilities for artists to tour and share their works in different theaters, and we hope that this will be the case again.

 

What is the future of art?

 

Art has been with us as long as we have been Homo Sapiens, it seems to be intrinsic to our very beings, and this will continue to be the case as long as we are around. As for how it will develop it is hard to say. New technologies will probably become integrated into the toolboxes of artists in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine right now. The environmental theme will probably become more and more relevant. We beliveve that the human body, psychology and interpersonal relationships will keep being the core component of art.

 

kenneth og gulli

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