Whether it’s our constant need for entertainment, our conflict with non-valued emotions or multi-leveled musings on postmodernism – Helsinki-based company Oblivia are known for their minimalist approach to the great subject matters which define mankind. Playful yet poignant, they manage to create cosmoses out of fragments and worlds out of words on a bare stage. At the very heart of each production there lies a grand idea – an idea almost too grand to encompass. Oblivia’s vibrant performances meet these notions full-on, all the while allowing for humor to linger almost constantly.
Founded in 2000, Oblivia have been creating performances out of movement, dance, language, sound, light and gesture for over twenty years. At the heart of each Oblivia performance there lies a unique atmosphere of nonchalant vitality while pondering almost philosophical questions. It is this atmosphere which renders their works enigmatic and relatable to the audience at the same time.
The core team of Annika Tudeer and Timo Fredrikson has been extended or adjusted with numerous partners, collaborateurs or new company members over the years, joining the Oblivia artistic network on various levels of closeness or regularity. With works such as the „Entertainment Island“ trilogy, the “Museum of Postmodern Art” series, which consists of five pieces, or “Nature Theater of Oblivia”, the company has been touring extensively throughout Europe, often in collaboration with renowned partners such as PACT Zollverein in Essen or Theater Rampe in Stuttgart (Germany), the Helsinki Festival or the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasgow (UK).
Throughout more than two decades with Oblivia being a distinctive force in the European performance scene, the company has developed a specific work ethic of openness and collaboration which includes viewing each production process as if launching into a journey of the unknown together. With Oblivia‘s works shifting to embrace music theatre over the last years, for example with Verdrängen Verdrängen Verdrängen, which premiered at ECLAT Festival für Neue Musik in Stuttgart in 2020, their working practice of „Do what you saw“ has gained an extension with „Do what you hear“ to interlink multiple layers of sound and action with the utmost precision. The production process of Verdrängen Verdrängen Verdrängen also marked the beginning of a close collaboration with composer Yiran Zhao, whose acoustic and electronic compositions and sound designs add another level of shape and dynamics to Oblivia’s endeavors in music theatre.
With their NOperas! project „Obsessions“, Oblivia makes an entrance to the opera stage in 2022 to cooperate with the orchestras and ensembles of two German municipal theatres in Bremen and Wuppertal.
“The meticulous physicality and unstinting humour of this superb Finnish company are a tremendous vehicle for communicating complex issues and profound observations on popular culture.”– Mary Brennan, The Herald