Birthday #2

Photo: David Relan

I used to do this thing when I was a child. I used to shut myself in my room for hours. There I was with all my toys but the only thing I did was hold a stick in my hand and shake it really fast. There was a strong connection between my mind, my hand and the object, and the object had to be just right: rigid plastic rods were the best ones. If there were no sticks available, I used my fingers which was a bit painful after a while.

While I was doing this I didn’t touch my other toys much, but they played a significant part in the collage, just being there and giving me inspiration. If i did something with them, I usually built some kind of assemblage, placing them in different parts of the room. I also used to do it while having a walk in the forest, leaving myself a bit behind from my companions, picking up a young branch and shaking it secretly. Later I did it while I was listening to my favourite songs.

My parents obviously thought there was something wrong with me and they even made me talk to a school shrink once. Nevertheless they couldn’t make me stop because I enjoyed it so much. To me this repetitive shaking practice was a pathway to my imagination. It was a trip! It was a gas! You can’t imagine the places I visited. I still do it, but not so visibly: often when I’m thinking or making notes on a work I tend to shake the pen in my hand a bit.

At some point I heard that my grandfather had a spinning practice in which he used to spin for a while every time he got up in the morning. Apparently everyone thought that it was ok, since it was part of a meditation. It didn’t change the fact that in their eyes my stick shaking was totally crazy.

Birthday #2 is influenced by these lonely moments with objects, repetition and music. It is part of a series where I revisit my body memories through dismantling and building, aligning them with the space and some carefully chosen objects.


25th November 2017, XS Vol. 9 – Festival for New Dance and Performance, Kutomo/Ehkä productions, Turku

13th and 14th May 2017, Weld, Stockholm


Choreography and performance: Mikko Niemistö

Collaboration and spatial design: Anastasia Artemeva

Sound design: Mikko Niemistö and Johannes Vartola

Mentors: Rosalind Goldberg and Maija Hirvanen

Production: Mikko Niemistö and DOCH – Dans och circushögskolan


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