'Izhorian Epic' and 'non-stop SETO' appear at the Edge of Ice festival in Helsinki
This year's the Edge of Ice festival takes place in the Finnish National Theatre in Helsinki from January 21-23, includes two performances from Estonia: “Izhorian Epic”, a production in cooperation between chamber choir Voces Musicales, Theatre NO99 and YXUS, and “non-stop SETO” by Taarka Pärimusteater.
People of the Edge of Ice (Jäänreunan kansat) is a theatre project that explores the identity and visibility of Finno-Ugric languages, cultures and people in the world. The three-day Edge of Ice festival (Jään reunalla) takes place in the Finnish National Theatre as part of the theatre project, offering unique examples of the performance arts of Finno-Ugric peoples.
The Estonian production “Izhorian Epic” is based on the life and traditions of Izhorians, cycle by Veljo Tormis “Forgotten Peoples: Izhorian Epic” and three choir songs by Mart Saar, based on Izhorian melodies and Orthodox liturgy. The “Izhorian Epic” is produced by Anne Türnpu and Eva Klemets (Theatre NO99). The cast includes Jarmo Reha (Theatre NO99), accordionist Jaak Lutsoja and chamber choir Voces Musicales. Hendrik Kaljujärv is the sound designer.
Anne Türnpu has participated in the People of the Edge of Ice project for three years. “In 2015, the Estonian performance took place in the bog, but we will do the so-called dry land version in the Finnish festival and the creation of lighting designer Siim Reispass will make up for the sunrise,” Türnpu said.
The other Estonian project, “non-stop SETO” by Taarka Pärimusteater explores the life of Setos both from the viewpoint of locals and bystanders and tries to discuss even the most sacred and serious topics through the Seto sense of humour. The playwright of “non-stop SETO” is Kristiina Jalasto and producer Helena Kesonen. The cast includes Artur Linnus, Riin Tammiste, Marija Jurtin and Kärt Kooser.
Kirsikka Moring, head of the festival, saw “non-stop SETO” in the summer when she visited Setomaa. “The questions interlarded with satire, raised by the youth about the meaning of being a Seto are associated with the central topic of the three-year project. The production explores national identity problems from a fresh and fun viewpoint. I am also happy that not only the crocheting elderly are thinking about traditions, but also young actors,” Moring said.
The festival is supported by the Kone Foundation, Otto A. Malm Foundation, Karelian Educational Development Foundation, Finnish National Theatre, Finnish-Russian Association, Estonian Embassy in Helsinki, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, NO99 and YXUS Ensemble.