Media Lab Helsinki


Runedance – myth for today

RuneDance / RuneDrum is conceived as a chance-based multimedia work based on Finnish mythology and the traditional Singing of Tales.

Live performance collaboratively developed with advanced students from Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy & University of Art & Design, Helsinki, is recorded on video, and recombinant poetics (music, voice & image) are used to explore myth characters & tales interactively, creating a contemporary digital experience of Finnish cultural heritage & oral storytelling.

Press for the initial live performance, Kuopio Festival June 2006:

“A successful tapestry of new and old. The world it creates is mythical and mysterious, but still accessible … the young dancers embody the spirit of the work.’ Choroegrapher Petri Kekoni ‘skilfully orchestrates’ the ‘lively and sinuous movements’ of ‘the group of 11 dancers .. The piece is whole, and successful.”

Karoliina Yli-Honko

Future development will hopefully include experimental interactive DVD, and possibly mobile media, versions.

Pictures from top:

Emmi Ahokas as the Shaman Storyteller summons the Mythical Heroes of Finland (background: Brian Ashbee)

The Shaman Storyteller (Emmi Ahokas) rests after her trance (costume by Anna-Leena Kankanpää, TaiK) (photo: Ksenia Avetisova, TaiK)

A Shaman Drum showing how a ring falling round figures can be used to select characters for a particular performance (Pentikäinen, Juha. 1987. ‘The Shamanistic Drum as Cognitive Map’ in ed. René Gothoni and Juha Pentikäinen, Mythology and Cosmic Order. Studia Fennica 32. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura)

Musicians/composers Esko Järvelä, Anne K. Karvonen, Juha Yli-Kotila, Anna-Karin Korhonen, Olli Kari, Anna-KaisaLiedes (costumes by Anna-Leena Kankanpää, TaiK) (photo: Ksenia Avetisova, TaiK)


Concept, Script, Interactive Director: Maureen Thomas (Visiting Artist, Crucible Studio)

Crucible Studio Contact: mika.tuomola aT

Choreography: Petri Kekoni

(Choreographer & Tutor, TeaK)

Music Direction: Anna Kaisa Liedes (Composer/Performer & Tutor, SibA)

Costume Design Supervisor: Marja Uusitalo (Costume Designer and Tutor, TaiK)