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The Full Moon Dance Festival on Thursday was all about friendships and love

The Full Moon Dance Festival on Thursday was all about friendships and love

Full Moon Dance festival began on Thursday with some deep thought about friendship in Susanna Leinonen’s work No One, Just Your Friend, whose movement language was the most ornamental and “feminine” that we have seen so far. The dance became increasingly vigorous and hypnotic as it progressed, and it stimulated the spectator’s mind in many different ways.

Amidst all the decorative movement, three women (Kaisu Hölttä, Virpi Juntti and Susanna Leinonen) told a particularly stormy and harrowing story about women’s friendship. First there were two friends, one of whom was the leader while the other tagged along. This was wrecked by the emergence of the third woman, who refused to be led.

The relationship between the friends was sometimes close and supportive, while sometimes they tried to stab each other in the back. At the end the main character laughs manically. On the other hand, the spectator can’t be totally sure if it’s a laugh or hysterical crying.

Leinonen’s choreography brings to mind Kaisa Rastimo’s films and TV series and movies about urban life from the 1980s. A beautiful exterior is combined with chilling cruelty.

Tapani Rinne is unquestionably one of Finland’s most interesting composers. He has tailored wonderful music for Leinonen’s choreography. Jazz-fuelled ambience speeds up, becoming increasingly frenzied and hypnotic, until the final explosion at the end.

Annette Tuominen’s costume is stunning. It supported Leinonen’s movement language and the idea behind the story, and at the same time beautifully highlighted the dancers’ bodies.

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Pirjo Nenola
Iisalmen Sanomat 29.7.2000