BATTLE – encounters in the night
Written and directed by Kari Heiskanen, Battle is a stadium spectacle that combines a dramatic story with breathtaking visual and musical scenery.
In late August and early September, director Kari Heiskanen will present a spectacle illustrated with intense visual and musical effects. The Paavo Nurmi Stadium in Turku, one of the two European Capitals of Culture 2011, will become a miniature world centred around a petrol station in the night.
Battle is one of the main productions of the European Cultural Capital project in Turku. In addition to Heiskanen, the artistic team behind Battle comprises choreographer and assistant director Ari Numminen, composer and musician Kimmo Pohjonen and visual designer Ilkka Paloniemi.
In Battle, random people meet at a petrol station in the night – in an environment where everyone stays only for a moment. The story opens with a glass of water that the girl working at the petrol station serves to a thirsty visitor. But water is not enough for all visitors: Winston, the key character, is carried away by events that eventually change his relationship with the world – and with himself.
Battle questions the categories on which our society is based. The work examines what power and powerlessness mean in a time when it is increasingly difficult to control the surrounding circumstances. Internalised hierarchies, categories, customs, beliefs and prejudice clash at the petrol station. What happens if you have to break away from everything that binds you to the people among whom you have been living?
A stadium-class experience created by top professionals
The focus of Battle shifts from single gestures to massive group scenes and physical conflict. This intense experience has been created by a team of Finland’s top professionals. Accommodating an audience of about 4,000 for each performance, the Paavo Nurmi Stadium in the Turku Sports Park is a perfect venue for massive productions like Battle.
The group scenes are directed by choreographer and assistant director Ari Numminen, combining theatre and dance with battle and sports. The mesmerising music that surrounds the audience is created by accordion artist Kimmo Pohjonen in collaboration with percussionist Sami Kuoppamäki, guitarist Timo Kämäräinen and the Proton String Quartet.
The setting, lighting and special effects are designed by visual designer Ilkka Paloniemi. The effects will be produced by the Archipelago Sea Naval Command that collaborates with the Turku 2011 Foundation. The special effects in Battle include water cannons, fire effects and much more.
Battle involves ten professional dancers and actors, including such Finnish household names as dancer Sami Saikkonen and actress Karoliina Blackburn. Group scenes are electrified and intensified by a large number of extras from athletic clubs and choirs in Turku.
Battle is produced by Popzoo Promotions, a subsidiary of Eastway Sound & Lighting Ltd, with support from the Turku 2011 Foundation. In 2010, Battle
was preceded by Accordion Wrestling, a 21st century version of the old Finnish tradition of combining wrestling with accordion music. The artistic team behind Accordion Wrestling was partly the same as for Battle.
Paavo Nurmi Stadium, Turku
Wed 31 August, Fri 2 September and Sat 3 September at 9.00 p.m.
Tickets: Lippupiste EUR 34/30/20 + delivery costs
www.lippu.fi or tel. 0600 900 900 (EUR 1.97 + local network charges)
TICKETS PRESALE STARTS ON 11 APRIL 2011.
Photos and media materials:
Artistic team bios:
Pink Eminence Oy
Tel. +358 (0)40 717 8185
Popzoo Promotions Oy
Tel. +358 (0)40 505 1007
Stiftelsen Åbo 2011
Tel. +358 (0)44 907 5876