The Days invites the audience to share an intimate encounter with two exceptional Finnish performers, Maria Nurmela and Ville Oinonen. Constructed from a singular physical concept that sustains throughout the work, The Days engenders a world of ever shifting negotiations, complex feelings and comic disconnection. Caught in an impossible loop of absurd and heartfelt exchanges, the performers journey takes the form of a lifetime shared in this compelling performance about care, resilience and the desire for connection.
Conceived as more than a simple performance, The Days seeks to engage with local communities and diffuse the hierarchies between different bodies as performers and movers. On stage, Nurmela and Oinonen are joined by two participants, a man and a woman aged over 65-years, who are selected from a workshop held for interested elderly people in each city of performance.
There is a two-way exchange: professional performers Nurmela and Oinonen are transmitting their trained bodily knowledge for the workshop participants and the guest performers picked from the group, but the lived experience of the amateur participants enrichens and deepens the performance itself. The Days shows that contemporary dance and performance belong to every body and every age.
The Days project started 2017 on the initiative of Maria Nurmela and Ville Oinonen, who as freelance dance artists invited English choreographer and designer, Theo Clinkard to create a work they could perform together. Clinkard's previous experience of co-directing a dancer-run commissioning duet company Probe made him an especially appropriate choice to launch this new project. Over the last six years Clinkard has built an international reputation for creating affecting and visually arresting work. He follows his recent commissions for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and Danza Contemporanea de Cuba with ‘The Days’, his first full-length duet work.
The performance is light from a technical standpoint, and very easy to set up, making it suitable for touring. The Days creates a visually appealing universe without breaking the intimacy created by the seating plan: audience is sitting around the 8x8 meters performance space. Traditional theater setting is not necessary, the piece can be performed in very different venues.
The Days deals with themes that are recognizable and poignant for the lives of many of us, such as the search for connection and the physical communication between man and a woman, but breaking the old power balances and stereotypes. It’s an accessible performance that speaks to many different audiences and spectators, regardless of their level of past experience with contemporary dance.