Finnish ballroom dancers turned performance artists: “It is easy for us to parody ballroom dance”

Finnish ballroom dancers turned performance artists: “It is easy for us to parody ballroom dance”

27.05.2018 | Circus

Dance duo Milla Virtanen’s and Jaakko Toivonen’s brings a seaside city to another, when they perform their show called Blackpool at Brighton Fringe Festival. They tell us what to expect.

What made you to take part in Brighton Fringe?

T: “We performed at Fringe festival last year in Norway and Sweden. They were very fun experiences. Fringe festival is suitable for us because their selection of shows is much bolder than in traditional festivals.”

V: “Our performance suits England, because ballroom dance has strong traditions there.”

What do you want to tell people about Blackpool?

T: “It is a biographical show with some dark humour in it. We really put ourselves out there without any censorship. The show is about ballroom dance, but the audience doesn’t have to be familiar with that field beforehand.”

V: “The piece is about competition, and what is it like to be a target of criticism, which is a familiar aspect also at work place for example.”

What inspired you to create Blackpool?

T: “We are both former professional ballroom dancers, so it is easy for us to parody ballroom dance.”

V: “It is interesting, how dancing technique can be used in contemporary at.”

What kind of expectations do you have about Brighton Fringe?

T: “We hope for a big audience, and that the performance will travel We are looking forward  to meeting interesting artists, with whom we could possibly work together in future.”

How do you expect British audience will react to your show?

V: “The piece has a connection with Britain, because its name Blackpool refers to the world-famous ballroom dance competitions that take place in Blackpool town, which we have participated many times. This is first time we’re bringing a contemporary art piece to Britain though.”

T: “It’s great to bring a seaside city to another, to bring Blackpool to Brighton.”

Blackpool by Milla Virtanen & Jaakko Toivonen. Address: The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove, BN3 1AS. Performances 23/5 21:30, 24/5 21:30, 25/5 21:30. Admission £8.50 –10.50.

Interview: Veera Heinonen 

Photo: Leevi Lehtinen

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