Magnetic North has been supporting Hanna Tuulikki to develop her installation Deer Dancer - originally developed as part of her Artist Attachment with us in 2017-2019 - as a performance piece. It is being presented as a Livestreamed performance as part of the Take Me Somewhere festival in May 2021.
Step into the world of Deer Dancer, into the wilderness. Observe five deer-men encounter one another during the rut – the Monarch, Warrior, Young Buck, Fool and Old Sage. Listen to their haunting display calls. Discover how they jump, trot, pronk and stot within their pre-hunt ritual. Watch high-ranking males battle for supremacy, while others defend themselves as best they can.
Step into the world of Deer Dancer. See the theatre; hear the drum beat. Observe a quintet of female-identifying performers take it in turns to play five hybrid characters. In the space between wild-deer-ness and performed male-ness, see them gesture, lip-sync, dance and sing, undressing and redressing into costumes for another round of tragicomedy.
Hanna Tuulikki's Deer Dancer is a complex cross-artform study into our multifaceted relationship with deer. Beginning with mimesis, specifically representations within dance, the work examines how the imitation of deer behaviour constructs ideas of ‘wilderness’ as the site for the cultivation of heroic hetero-masculinities and how hunting mythologies shape and impact real, often vulnerable ecologies.
Exploring the interconnections between the crisis of ecology and the crisis of masculinity, Deer Dancer is an explicit contemporary life-crisis ritual for a damaged planet.
At Take Me Somewhere 2021, Hanna will re-work her solo performance for moving-image from 2019 into a live ensemble performance.
Deer Dancer (2021) is supported by Creative Scotland National Lottery fund, Magnetic North, Take Me Somewhere and Tramway.