Meri-Maija Näykki

circus and theatre director

I’m Meri-Maija Näykki, a 27-year-old circus and theatre director.

At Saari Residence, I intend to create templates for three performance concepts. I’ll work in collaboration with the Rakastajat Theatre, the Minimi Dance Theatre and Tampereen Työväen Teatteri. My goal is to create performance concepts suitable for these theatres which will allow the circus and theatre to operate on an equal footing and engage in organic cooperation.

I see circus art as an opportunity to introduce modern forms of dramaturgy to the viewers of traditional theatre. At the same time, I believe that contemporary circus can act as a door to the theatre for new viewers and international audiences.

For me, the circus is about seeking and stretching the boundaries of prevailing conditions, such as gravity and social absurdity. Consequently, the budget and the theatre space, for example, are circus instruments to me, and I explore and stretch the possibilities they present. The theatre, on the other hand, I see as a show window of deficient human animals. The way I see it, the deficient animals of the theatre and the freaks of the circus can together give us a space in which to marvel at the absurdity of life and laugh at our own limitations. We need to welcome the state of marvelling and laughing together to be able to be merciful to ourselves and others.