In the Waning Light is a multi-phase project that consists of an outdoor performance in late summer 2023 and a stage performance in 2024. The project is based on the essays on birds by author Helen Macdonald and scientific knowledge by ornithologist Mia Rönkä. In her essays, Helen Macdonald describes a sense of community among birds; the care for one another, different roles inside the flock, paying attention to each member, listening, and exchanging essential information in order to survive. She writes: “We can speak to each other. Swifts have no voices, but what they can do is pay attention to what other swifts are doing. And in the end it can be as simple as this: they follow each other.”

The nature trail prepared by the working group invites people to follow one another, to look for small clues along the way, to let their gaze lead them closer to the ground or towards towering trees, to listen and sharpen their senses. A curated walk for the public ends with an energetic farewell party in the fading light of late summer. The first part of the work explores themes of migration, decision-making, orientation and departure. The work continues the research of Milla Koistinen on combining choreography, music and visual arts.

Concept and direction: Milla Koistinen
Choreography and performance: Elina Häyrynen, Anna Virkkunen, Milla Koistinen
Sound design, music and performance: Paul Valikoski, Tatu Rönkkö
Visual artist, spatial design: Salla Salin
Ornithologist: Mia Rönkä
Costume: Kaisu Hölttä
Production: Off/Balance, Milla Koistinen
Supported by: Arts Promotion Centre, City of Jyväskylä, The Finnish Cultural Foundation

Video production by Ari Kauppila, Indictus Oy



Photos by Paul Valikoski and Matti Häyrynen