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Recording: 2019-01-20 , Uferstudios (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Milla Koistinen

One Next To Me


Production Details / Press Releases

“People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.” – Eudora Welty (Delta Wedding, 1946)

One Next To Me explores the relationship between tenderness and violence and how these different states manifest in our bodies and in our encounter with other people and bodies. Rather than seeing aggression and tenderness as polar opposites, these are perceived as intertwined states where the transition and change from one state to the other may be barely noticeable. It follows that our choice as to which state we pursue and act upon is also determined by specific circumstances, situations and the encounters we have with other people.

In his book Crowds and Power Elias Canetti proposes an interesting paradox relating to human beings’ behavior within groups and crowds: we tend to avoid the touch of other people when navigating public space yet paradoxically it is the touch of the crowd, or other people, which will bring us closer to one another, he writes:

‘It is only in a crowd that man can become free of this fear of being touched. That is the only situation in which the fear changes into its opposite. The crowd he needs is the dense crowd, in which body is pressed to body; a crowd, too, whose physical constitution is also dense, or compact, so that he no longer notices who it is that presses against him (…) The man pressed against him is the same as himself. Suddenly it is as though everything were happening in one and the same body (…) (Canetti, p.15-16).

Canetti describes a process whereby we move from one state, or emotion, to its opposite state, and we do so by immersing ourselves in the thing that produces the emotion in the first place. Here the crowd is a positive encounter. The crowd, however, can also be coercive as it seeks to coopt and absorb anything in its way and people can lose themselves in more ways than one. When a crowd gains momentum gestures become contagious as bodies respond and react to other bodies. Gestures are passed on and transmitted from one body to another, from one group of people to another until the crowd is a pulsing organism. One Next To Me explores the complex nature of the crowd where gentleness and violence, subordination and resistance, empathy and aggression become entangled.

One Next To Me has a mixed cast of dancers and non-professional performers of different ages. The performance will also be performed in Finland and Austria and will integrate local dancers and non-professional performers in the ensemble.

Elias Canetti: Crowds and Power, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1960.

Milla Koistinen has graduated from the Theatre Academy of Helsinki, Finland with MA in dance and from HfS Ernst Busch/HZT Berlin with MA in choreography. She has worked among others with Kristian Smeds, Hiroaki Umeda, Peter Verhelst (NTGent/Johan Simons), Cie Heddy Maalem, Christine Gaigg, Hans van den Broeck and Les Ballets du Grand Maghreb. Since 2008 she has been creating her own work and her creations have been played among other locations in Dampfzentrale Bern, Fabriktheater Zürich, Sommerszene Salzburg, ICE HOT Nordic Dance Platform, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Tanzhaus NRW, Mad House Helsinki, Ballhaus Ost and in Uferstudios Berlin. Koistinen has collaborated among others with Jochen Arbeit, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, director Janne Reinikainen and director Jemina Sillanpää at the Finnish National Theatre and with soundpoet Dirk Huelstrunk. In the summer 2010 Koistinen was one of the danceWEB scholarship recipients in Impulstanz Vienna. She has worked as a guest teacher at SEAD Salzburg, the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Tanzhaus NRW, Sasha Waltz & Guests, Toula Limnaios Company, Staatstheater Braunschweig, Munich DancePAT, Tanzhaus Zürich, Theatre Academy of Helsinki,  the University of Tampere, HZT Berlin, Marameo and DOCK 11 in Berlin,  Espace Catastrophe in Brussels and PAC Ramallah. In the spring 2017 Milla Koistinen was working with the support of Arts Promotion Centre Finland six months artist grant.

Paul Valikoski studied at the Glenn Gould Conservatory in Toronto under Mark Fewer. In 2002 he was concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. From 2002 to 2005 he played with the Hamilton Philharmonic as well as the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra among other Canadian Orchestras. He also performed as a member of Symphony in the Barn, a music festival created in the context of living and working on a biodynamic farm. From 2004 to 2006 he was a member of the Northern Lights Music Festival chamber orchestra in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2005 he played with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in New Zealand. Since 2006 he lives and works in Berlin. Interested in collaborative and new music settings Paul plays as a member of Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, as a guest with Ensemble Resonanz in Hamburg and other chamber groups. Additionally he also composes and does sound design for the projects of Kaleidoskop and other groups. He has collaborated among others with Susanne Kennedy, Martin Eder, Sasha Waltz & Guests, FC Bergman, Sabrina Hölzer, Mouse on Mars and Georg Nussbaumer.

Ladislav Zajac was born in 1978 in Košice in the former Czechoslovakia and studied in 2000-2007 in the Academy of Arts in Nürnberg and in Palermo. His work has been awarded several times, in 2009 by the Kunstförderpreis des Freistaates Bayern, 2011 by the debutant prize of Freistaat Bayern and the Space Art Award Düsseldorf. In 2013 he was awarded the US Research Fellowship of the Freistaat Bayern. Since 2009 he has regularly worked for musical stage and stage productions, among others with Sabrina Hölzer, Philip Bergmann and Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop.

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1283

Cast & Credits

Concept und choreography: Milla Koistinen
Creation and performance: Nathalie Baert, Fanny Didelot, Àngel Duran Muntada, Elton Petri, María Casares González, Erik Elizondo, Laureline Mejean, Camilo Mejía Cortés, Soul Roberts, Lutfieh El Mahamid, Nada El Mahamid, Päivikki Läksy, Anna Lenger, Cuno Maisano, Lucian Preto-Sanchez, Nogah Reinartz, Bruno Schindlbeck
Music: Paul Valikoski
Set and Light design: Ladislav Zajac
Costume: Lee Méir, Judith Förster
Production management: Jana Lüthje (M.i.C.A. – Movement in Contemporary Art)
Dramaturgy: Synne Behrndt
Press: Nora Gores (kunst-PR-ojekte)
Production assistance: Emilia Oebel

A production by Milla Koistinen, funded by the Capital Cultural Fund and Kone Foundation.
Event organization: Performance Platform 4.15 and ARGEkultur
Supported by STADT:SALZBURG and Land Salzburg.


Uferstr. 8/23
13357 Berlin


Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Milla Koistinen / Trailers and Video Documentations

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