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About Oblivia

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. Oblivia’s performances develop 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 Fredriksson has been extended or adjusted with numerous partners, collaborators, 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, “Nature Theater of Oblivia”, or the music theatre productions of recent years, the company has been touring extensively throughout Europe, often in collaboration with renowned partners such as PACT Zollverein, Essen, or Theater Rampe, 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, starting 2020 with “Verdrängen Verdrängen Verdrängen”, 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. With the production process of “Verdrängen”, composer Yiran Zhao joined the Oblivia cosmos, her acoustic and electronic compositions and sound designs adding another level of shape and dynamics to Oblivia’s endeavors in music theatre. Subsequently, with the NOperas! project “Obsessions“, Oblivia made an entrance to the opera stage in 2022 to cooperate with the orchestras and ensembles of two German municipal theatres in Bremen and Wuppertal.

After concluding their first music theatre trilogy labeled “Emotions and Politics” with the production “Pleasure” in 2023, Oblivia will be starting a new cycle of works titled “Turn Turtle Turn”. In June 2024, Turn Turtle Turn part I will be premiering at Münchener Biennale, one of the internationally leading festivals for world premieres in contemporary music theatre. For this production, Oblivia will be joined by three classically trained singers as well as by Swiss orchestra Ensemble ö.

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