This past spring a contemporary dance mini-tour of innovative artists from Estonia and the U.S. traveled the Pacific coast under the auspices of Cid Pearlman/Performance Partners. The 6 show CP/PP tour included engagements in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. Choreographer and Fulbright Scholar Cid Pearlman taught at Tallinn University in 2009-10 where she initially collaborated with the Estonian artists included on this tour. Several of which are involved with Tallinn-based dance collective Zuga. This fortuitous California/Estonia cultural exchange yielded a multi-part program brimming with poignant abstract explorations of expression and artistic movement.
The Los Angeles Estonian community was pleased as evidenced by the capacity turnout and positive response to their performance at Live Arts LA.
"Facing Forest" performed by Tiina Mölder & Helen Reitsnik channeled themes inspired by the Estonian countryside, namely the tranquil bogs and their animal inhabitants.
The entire ensemble, including American dancer and choreographer David King, performed "This is what we do in winter", surveying the emotional journey Estonians experience during the inclement winter season. At first enduring the solemn isolation, then blossoming into a powerful sense of community, energy and rebirth following the long season of dark nights.
"How quickly these accidents", a collaboration between Alexis Steeves (U.S.) & Rain Saukas (Estonia) employed comedic elements entwined with addressing provocative aspects of gender relations. The original score by composer Jonathan Segel (of Camper Van Beethoven) included appropriately quixotic auditory oscillations ranging from tranquil to raucous, from abstract to familiar, aptly serving as a unifying thread for this very dynamic and stimulating program.