Coming Stage

A double-exposed red-tinted image, where one image shows lightning-like light phenomena and the other shows a group of people in a dark space. Two of the people are looking towards the camera, the others are doing something next to them, their attention fixed on each other. Some have some kind of necklaces made of strings around their necks.

Undertone, 2021. Photo: Tani Simberg / Baltic Circle

Once the pandemic and ecological crisis have silenced the stage, you can hear the voices not yet heard.

Coming Stage is a four-year project funded by Kone Foundation. It seeks to make stages more diverse and establish more sustainable practices in the field of performance art. The project’s artists question norms related to the body, ability, language or experience and strengthen marginalised communities with their practice and work in close, dialogue-based collaboration with Baltic Circle.

Coming Stage was created from a need for slowing down processes and making the art field more diverse. It is reacting during exceptional times that hold space for questioning dominant norms and structures and the potential to create new culture. The project creates a continuum for the Black Lives Matter movement as well as an institutional desire to dismantle power structures, transphobia and ableism. It is Baltic Circle’s active agency to make structures more socially sustainable, less discriminating and more socially equal.

Along with the project, the festival invites three performance artists to work at the festival for two years. Each artist will gather a working group that is offered a work residence, two production spots in the festival programme, a producer and support for communications, marketing and content during two years.

The work of the working group gathered by the programme’s first invited artist Geoffrey Erista, UNDERTONE – a Proposal for Legal Loitering, was seen at the Baltic Circle festival in 2021. From the 2022 festival program, the project included performances UNDERTONE – Traces of Imminence by Erista and working group (Eric Barco, Geoffrey Erista, Aju Jurvanen, Amita Kilumanga, Selma Kauppinen, Iiris Laakso and Mikki Noroila) and inviting precarious perspectives by the project’s second invited artist Isa Hukka and their working group rampa associations. In addition to Hukka, the working group included artists Ar Utke Ács, Hang Linton, Laura Lulika, Sunna Maaret, Aku Meriläinen and Sal Reis Trouxa. The performance won the Theatre Act of the Year award.