Today and in the next few days, it’s possible to see a performance Sauna by the start-up theatre company Elektrooniline Jumal (Electronic God) at Kumu auditorium. The production examines the modern understanding of vulnerability and the sense of life in the midst of our digital revolution. What is it about and what has sauna got to do with it – the director Barbara Lehtna sheds light on it.
How did you come up with the idea of physical theater performance Sauna?
The idea was born with Sten Õitspuu, who is actually the initiator of this project. We discussed the social media and internet as a topic with him and I started to think that sometimes I feel that the world around me is getting hotter and hotter – sometimes it feels like you’re in a sauna and someone else is controlling the temperature.
What should people expect when they decide on going to see the performance? Is it in Estonian?
Very physical bodies on stage, warm humour, but also discomfort in the best of ways, chills, but also the feeling that the characters on stage are actually very familiar to ourselves.
Who do you consider your biggest creative influencers?
I’m very influenced by the Austrian choreographer Doris Uhlich, because I have now danced in her dance company already for many years. Also, I could name Sasha Pepeljajev and his kinetic stage language that has really stuck with me.
You have called Electronic God a start-up theatre company, what does it mean?
The term, of course, comes from the business world, where the point of start-ups is to really focus on a specific issue over a period of time. We also feel that this is similar to our aim – to focus on the topic of technology, internet and social media. We also work in the same frame – we have a certain amount of time and a certain amount of money and we either make it or go down. Hopefully this time we have made it.
What’s next after the Sauna project?
The next plans are already cooking and as the purpose of Electronic God is to create one piece a year to really concentrate also on pushing the quality up, we can say that we will create another piece within the next year. On the meantime every member of the group is also working on their solo projects: for instance, I’m bringing out my next physical theatre piece out already in spring and it will be called “Together Forever”.
Why should I come and see Sauna? When can I do that?
I have also asked myself if I was a part of the audience then what would make me go and I think it’s the feeling I get sometimes that technology is sometimes like a war starting to happen – you may not want to deal with it, but you’re left with no choice. Maybe coming to see the piece is already a good way to deal with this topic. We are looking forward to seeing the audience from the 15th of November until the 17th at Kumu auditorium.
The next performances of Sauna take place on November 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. at Kumu auditorium.
Photo: Ailan Daniel Mark