Pelko/Fear

Pelko/Fear is a collaboration with musician Taito Hoffrén. As the title suggests, it is a performance about fear. Fears unite people, passing social classes. The performance moves from detail to general, from local to global, from small to big; we talk about personal and local fears, that become general and global, at least at the level of thought. Personal fears are universal. We are asking, what do I fear. What do I skip because I’m afraid? Fear kills curiosity and restricts life. Do I turn my eyes away and why? Do I dare to look somebody into the eye, do I dare to face the issue, myself, the other? On the other hand, fear protects us and makes life more secure. Who is taking advantage of our fears, who is fearmongering, and why? When does creating security cause fear?

Pelko/Fear premiered at Hangö Teaterträff festival, 8-9 June, 2019. It is one of our co-producers, the others being BIT Bergen and Kanuti Gildi SAAL. The following performances: Kajaani Poetry Week, 4 July, Helsinki Upper Secondary School of Visual Arts, 2 September, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, 2-5 October, and Meteor, Bergen, 17-18 October, 2019.

Pelko/Fear is a “lingering”, conversational performance. We rehearsed it with audience. At Kajaani Poetry Week 2018 we researched the subject in three public sessions. They were called Letter, Ghost and Safecave. They took place in a tent, among the pine trees of the conservatory. Reijo Haukia captured a moment from Safecave.

We continued rehearsing with audience at Orimattila Art Museum, October 2018, at Kanuti Gildi SAAL, March 2019, at Lainsuojattomat Festival, Pori, and at Toimela, Pukkila, May 2019.

Would you like to participate in the performance? Write us about fear, what it means to you. We are very grateful, if you choose to do so. We’ll handle the answers confidentally, and don’t mention your name. You can send your letter at pelko(at)juhavalkeapaa.net.

The official Pelko/Fear website can be found here.

The collage up above is a work by Niina Lehtonen Braun, who made four pieces for Pelko/Fear.

Föreställningen är utformad med såväl vuxna som unga åskådare i åtanke och den lyckas skickligt hålla balansen och undvika att bli vare sig för barnslig eller pretentiös. Den ständigt närvarande och avväpnande humorn är ett effektivt verktyg, likaså den trygga och förtroliga stämning som de två konstnärerna lyckas skapa i det dunkla lilla utrymmet. Otto Ekman, HBL, 11.6.2019

I know these kinds of conversational theatre pieces (as you have perfectly called it), where the performance seamlessly unfolds from the simple situation of being together, starts light and then, if it goes well, begins to reveal layers of metaphor or of a deeper theme, intertwining reality and play, sending the spectator’s mind off to wander. However, sometimes too much focus is put upon the format itself and its potentially exciting novelty for (some of) the audience and that’s where the story ends so to say – the theatre piece is left to be just a cool, slighty weird experience to be forgotten in a matter of hours. The performance on Friday evening however has left me with processes still going on in my head. A spectator comment, 4 Oct, 2019.