An important time theatrically for platforming work from underrepresented creatives, it’s been lovely watching the artistic responses to this so far. As part of the ‘From Start to Finnish’ initiative showcasing art from Finland, choreographer Kati Raatikainen presents Kvartetto, a celebration of uniqueness as a quartet of artists with learning disabilities perform a 45 minute dance work.
A square, white expanse is the cast’s dance floor, each of the trio of dancers – Maria Lahti, Jarmo Patana, Sanna Tornikoski situated by each corner, our musical director Markku Essel based stage right. Intently walking from corner to corner, Essel checks that each performer is ready to go, ensuring earphones are fitted correctly and that everything is in order. The cast then partake in a silent disco-esque sequence, each dancer bringing their own means of expression, from the graceful, free flowing, to the energetic nature of line, tap and break dancing. The trio are engaging as they’re all in their own worlds, we’re shut off from this, unsure of what they’re listening to, but there is a joy in not needing to know and thinking too deeply into it, the mystery makes the piece a lot more entertaining.
Kvartetto’s charm lays within its mystery yet calmness established, moods shifting from the coolness of a blue dimly lit stage as Patana performs lyrical, contemporary movements, to the regal, passionate essence of Tornikoski as she performs a medieval courtyard inspired routine, to the trio performing a conceptual piece with parts of a mannequin. There’s always something fascinating happening, you never quite know what to expect.
There’s a point midway through the performance where the music suddenly stops, and this is memorable as it’s as if we’ve woken up from a trance, this is testament to both Essel’s mesmerising sound design and the cast’s calming, hypnotic tone, a fun, intriguing watch.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Kvartetto is currently showing on Summerhall Online as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe until Sunday 29th August 2021. To find out more about the production, visit here…