Kuva: Karoliina Loimaala

During our working period in the Saari Residence, we will work on a dance piece called GARNNN. We will finish the piece in the residency, as it will be premiered in Helsinki at Galleria Albert IX, in August 2022. The working group in the residence consists of dance artists Anni Kaila and Anna Stenberg, textile designer Ellada Damianou, light designer Sofia Palillo, and choreographer Karoliina Loimaala.

GARNNN is a dance piece that consists of the bodies of yarn, performers and soundscape that is weaved from the voices of the performers, flushing into and out of the space like a tide. GARNNN is filled with ‘Flesh poetry’, poetry that is made radically in the physical event of voicing, formed in the saliva, muscles of the mouth, stomach, through the vocal channel, together with homonymic and onomatopoeia of a multilingual language, words, thoughts, syllables.

GARNNN is a choreographic construction, entailing quotidian gestures and games, grotesque dance and mind, becoming extremely tense and loose. The piece plays with quotidian yarn, explores its physical material qualities, and expands it to something grandiose, and fantastic. The piece travels in altering meanings that rise and fall as the piece unfold and the yarn opens and closes. We have departed from the myth of Moirai in Antique Greece and proceeded into contemporary performance. In the original myth, three deities spin, measure and cut the thread of life. We focus mainly on the thread itself, leaving the rest of the myth behind us. The working group works with poetry and dance and searches for ways for these two to intertwine, intersect deeper and make a new language.

We use time specifically to research the encounter of textile design and action. We explore how a scene is born from the base of textile design, and how costume design expands into spatial design and spreads internally like arteries, being a vital part of the entire composition and dramaturgy. We investigate an event of composing and decomposing of textile design inside the piece. Equally, we examine the connective points within textile and light design and weave them into one thread.

We will write more of flesh poetry and dance inspired by the mother of grotesque dance, Valeska Gert. Our core question inside this practice is, how to channel our inner Valeska?


The working group consists of independent artists working mainly in Helsinki. GARNNN is the second work of the group Kaila, Loimaala, Stenberg within Flesh Poetry, the first being Moi-femme, je-femme presented in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Tallinn. Both pieces dive into a world of a chosen material (for the first one watermelon, for the second yarn), and explore as well meeting melting points of writing and dance. We create collective feminine language, taking the physical state of creating language and its festive event inside the mouth as our starting point. The designers Kantonen, Palillo and choreographer Loimaala work together intensively since the year 2018. The work history of Loimaala and Damianou stretches to Brussels and studies of dance at P.A.R.T.S. from 2013-2016. In her choreographic work, Loimaala dives into the material world investigating both tickling and sensitizing encounters between that and humans.