September 14, 2023 20:00
A collaboration between Fondazione Fabbrica Europa and Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Land is the question, the answer is land
Only take what’s needed
Scoop the water along the stream, cut the branches along the grain
Let the river be the bridge
Clean water, the sacred song
‘The Answer is Land’ is a poem that I came across a few years ago.
The poem is part of an artwork called Kiss From the Border by Jenni Laiti, Niillas Holmberg and Outi Piesku, where eight lines of poetry were placed along the Deanu river valley, on the border between Finland and Norway. The Kiss From the Border project caught my attention because it is political and activist art that is driven by love rather than anger.
Love and connection to nature, our surroundings and people are important to me, as I live in a Sámi village and society. I had an urge to create a dance and yoik experience where connection to the place (the land, nature) and togetherness are the main themes. That’s the starting point of this project.
The yoiks (Sámi traditional songs) are mountain yoiks and yoiks relating to nature. Some are from archives, some composed by Frode Fjellheim, one of the yoiks performer Sara Marielle and I have learned from an elder, and one of the yoiks is composed by me. It feels truly extraordinary that these yoiks, that come from all over Sápmi, are yoiked, heard and get a space in the public each time we meet an audience.
Often people ask me how they should define or look at my work: is it dance, is it a performance concert, theatre or what? In my opinion there is no need to define.
Vástádus eana – The answer is land is its own.
Let yourself be carried away, feel and experience it!
– Elle Sofe Sara