Life as we know it

The starting point for the performance Life as we know it by Maija Hirvanen and Juha Valkeapää has been in imagining directions, to which life could go or where it would be desired to go. A small part of this process has been selected to be cultivated into a stage performance. The imagined directions of life have turned into a performance through exaggeration and dreaming; Life as we know it is a kind of adults play of imagining.

The elements of this act of playing are – in addition to imagining the close future – wondering and repetition, coincidence and choice and performing in the intersection of fiction and real.

Choreographed bodily acts, movement, words and utterances, sound and gleaming lights are driving the life-wondering world of the performance.

Life as we know it is a speculative stage performance: it imagines the future whilst simultaneously performing it. Physical situations, humour, multilayeredness and moments left open are inviting the audience, you, to tune into the world of the performance and to create your own interpretations.

To imagine is to create and to use one’s imagination, but imagination is also an area through which we can influence change, to create a basis for what life and the world will be like in the future.

Maija Hirvanen and Juha Valkeapää are internationally established, Helsinki based performance makers. Life as we know it is their first collaborative work.

Text, performance and the overall responsibility of the work Maija Hirvanen and Juha Valkeapää
Physical and performance dramaturgy Maija Hirvanen, in discussion with the group
Lighting and space design Jenni Pystynen
Sound design Ville Kabrell
Artistic discussion partner Barbara van Lindt
Dramaturgical discussion partner Aune Kallinen

Co-production Tampereen Työväen Teatteri (TTT Theatre), Baltic Circle Festival & Espoo City Theatre, Maija Hirvanen, Juha Valkeapään Ääni

Supported by Kone Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Theatre Information Centre Finland’s (TINFO) international program MOTI, funded by Finnish Cultural Foundation

Residencies Santarcangelo Festival / Santarcangelo, Homo Novus Festival / Riga, De Platoo / Brussels, Teater Viirus / Helsinki, TTT Theatre / Tampere

The premiere in Finnish language at TTT Theatre, Tampere, September 2020. The premiere in English at Baltic Circle, Espoo City Theatre, November 2020. The following performances in English: SAAL Biennaal, Tallinn, August 2021.

You can watch the performance trailer here. And here’s some reading Satu Herrala: Life as we know it.

Humor, anarchy hidden in gestures, and the performers’ near-perfect ability not to instill anything but let everything happen is rare. Maria Säkö, Helsingin Sanomat, 5.9.2020

Photo Aki-Pekka Sinikoski