Trash Heroes c Ville Juurikkala 08440 web
Show photographer Ville Juurikkala

The Trash Heroes summer tour brings dance to the people

Born out of the initiative of dance artists Antti Lahti and Panu Varstala, the participatory cultural concept Trash Heroes will tour Finland this summer during 2–11 July 2021. The Trash Heroes summer tour will move with bicycles that utilise solar energy, bringing dance to the residents of various cities while promoting environmental consciousness. Tour is realized in collaboration with the Dance House Helsinki and regional dance centers.

“We believe that each of us can take action to promote the well-being of our local environment. We dream of a better city, where people dance in the streets, move ecologically and take care of nature and each other,” say Antti Lahti and Panu Varstala.

This is also the theme of the summer tour: the artists move around with their bicycles, stopping to clean an area and then celebrate the cleaning with an artistic act in cooperation with one or two local dance artists. Residents and passers-by can participate in the event in their preferred way. The meetings will not be planned in advance.

The artists hope that the tour will provide surprising and varied meetings with local artists and residents: “Each meeting is unique, and if you simply stay present in the situation, good things are bound to happen,” says Varstala.

For the artists, the tour is also a unique opportunity to meet colleagues all over Finland in the post-pandemic time:

“It is great to get to meet these different dance artists, who come from a variety of backgrounds, and share thoughts about creating art, dance as an art form and their relationship with movement. For example, in Jyväskylä we will meet Elias Niskanen who is a member of the Olympic break dancing team, while in Kangasniemi we get together with Dance artist Jukka Ristolainen. The dance cultures and operating environments these two represent are very different,” says Lahti.

“Oh, dance artists can also work like this”

According to the coordinator of the project, Outi Järvinen, Trash Heroes will bring dance closer to the people in a variety of ways:

“Some might be most interested about the solar-powered bicycles and the related technology. Others might be interested in environmental issues and be motivated to join in picking up trash. That can provide an opportunity to see that dance as an art form can also be like this and that dance artists can also work like this.”

“And maybe in the end, they will sway a little themselves, while enjoying the good music,” Varstala adds.

According to Järvinen, the pandemic has caused changes and been taken into consideration in planning the tour, which is comprised entirely of outdoor events. However, changes in the COVID-19 situation can cause changes to the tour.

“Hopefully, the situation will still be calm in July and people will be interested in opening up to new things,” says Järvinen.

The Trash Heroes summer tour will visit the following locations during 2–11 July 2021:

Turku / Naantali, Rauma, Pori, Vaasa, Seinäjoki, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Kangasniemi, Tampere and Hämeenlinna.

The musician Joakim Berghäll, who joined Trash Heroes last summer, will join the tour in Jyväskylä. Berghäll intends to ride his cargo bicycle from Suomenlinna to Jyväskylä.

Digital memories will be collected from the summer tour, and you can also follow Trash Heroes on social media. The documentarist Raimo Uunila will also follow the tour.

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