Aalto ARTS and Theatre Academy collaborating in ACO project

Aalto ARTS and Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki organized a study module, Artistic Collaboration (ACO) this fall. The course culminated in an evening of four performances. The participating students explored artistic representation through a research process. Aalto ARTS students from M.A. programs in Scenography and Costume Design, along with Theatre Academy students from Choreography, Dance, and Lighting and Sound Design programs practiced collaboration with their peers expressing different artistic views.

The collective nature of the performance, limited rehearsal time and a short, 25-minute performance time challenged the students to think creatively and responsibly during the intensive project. The first of the four performances, called large / vulnerable, took place at Kallio Stage. The abstract and experimental performance used the whole space as the audience sat on all four sides of the black box. The show’s costumes were designed by Elina Ström and the sets by Oscar Dempsey, who are both MA students at Aalto ARTS. The three dancers, sound designer, choreographer and light designer are students at Theatre Academy. After the performance, the participants transferred to nearby Theatre Academy for the remaining three shows.

The four performances utilized four very different spaces according to their characteristics. Some focused more on dance, whereas others emphasized light and sound design as a narrative. Whatever the most visible aspect of the collaboration was in each performance, it is obvious that ACO module brought Aalto ARTS and Theatre Academy closer together. After all, it is difficult to design a costume for a dancer without knowing details about the choreography and the lighting.

large / vulnerable

Oscar Dempsey – staging
Iiris Laakso – dance
Leissi – sound design
Marika Peura – choreography
Sonja Simojoki – dance
Veli-Ville Sivén – lighting design
Veera Snellman – dance
Elina Ström – costume design


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