Performing HEL 2023 looks to the future

The fourth edition of Performing HEL showcase takes place August 31 – September 3, at the same time as the Helsinki Festival – the largest arts festival in Finland. The showcase presents the full range of performing arts, including circus, dance, and theatre, also delivered in exciting yet difficult-to-define combinations.

In four days almost 30 Finland-based artists and companies present their work through pitch, demo and performance programs.

Performing HEL brings to Helsinki dozens of presenters, programmers, and theatre and festival directors from across the world. The showcase is a pocket-size platform creating a cozy atmosphere where artists and presenters have a chance to meet up and make meaningful connections. In the next edition of Performing HEL, the production model and content of the hybrid event will be developed to meet the needs of both the artists and the presenters.

The program will be released in March 2023 – stay tuned and follow!

What new digital tools mean to us

While waiting for the autumn showcase, six work pairs and experts in the Finnish performing arts are working around digitalization in a series of future workshops.

The future workshop is a collaborative, interdisciplinary space where artists and producers are exploring with changing experts a wide range of topics related to the digitalization of arts, performance captures for the screen, and various cross-media performance concepts. The workshops are led by dance filmmaker and director Thomas Freundlich (Lumikinos Production Oy) and choreographer Valtteri Raekallio.

“Digitalization in the performing arts is a topic that we all should be thinking about, irrespective of where the primary focus in our work lies. In some way, we’re still dealing with the age-old problem of how to translate something that exists in a live performance space into another medium on a two-dimensional screen. This is a discussion that has been going on since the advent of cinema over a century ago, and is still as relevant as ever,” says Thomas Freundlich.

“However, on the other hand, it’s also clear that we are at a point where new digital tools do enable ways of creating performances, storytelling and genuine human connection that really are different from what was possible before. So the question becomes, what should we do about all of this, and what does this mean for whatever it is that I am personally doing in the performing arts space?”

Performing HEL has received funding from the European Union economic recovery package, Next Generation EU.