From the perspective of Ayurvedic medicine everything that exists is made of interaction between the five elements. The five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) are not literal but more so states of being rather than concreteness. The elements are part of the foundations of cells, DNA and atoms. Earth represents solidity, water represents fluids, fire represents warmth and air represents movement. Ether is present everywhere. It cannot be detected by the sense of touch but the sense of touch can detect the absence of something. Earth is strongly correlated with bones. Water is connected with fluids and fire with metabolism. Air represents senses and movement while ether represents nerves, veins and arteries. These five elements affect all activities of the human body, mind and consciousness. When united they form three types of energies, three doshas. These doshas are Vata (air and ether), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth). Doshas can be seen in us in different ways. The goal of Ayurveda is to achieve a balance between all these inner energies.
The artistic work of Anniina Koski is inspired by a world view which suggests that humans consist of the five elements. Everyone is influenced by all the elements but some of them feel more inviting than others. The goal of the artistic work is to observe how the elements actualize in us and also in concrete elements in the environment around us. What kind of visions and feelings do they spark in us? How are the external and internal worlds connected in elements? How does the experience of different elements turn into movement and eventually into a dance composition?
The two week residency is done in collaboration with international youth exchange participants of Villa Elba Youth Center. Villa Elba is surrounded by nature and the timing of the project gives it a special addition as Kokkola gets its snowy coat in February. The Finnish winter gives the foreign participants of the project a whole new and special experience.
Anniina Koski is a dance artist originally from Marikainen, Finland. She graduated as a dance teacher from Turku University of Applied Sciences in 2009. She also studied at the Escola Superior di dance in Portugal. Anniina works on different movement related projects in and out of Finland. She has taught dance in Kosovo, Portugal, Kenya, Greenland and most recently in India where she currently spends the majority of her time.
Anniina specialises in dance as community art. She has done several collaborative projects for schools around Helsinki. For example for Annan talo and Mus-e Finland. She also taught many European school teachers to use dance as part of their educational work. During 2019-2020 Anniina is working as part of the Konserttisarja Sairaaloihin project. The goal of the project is to give hospital patients around Helsinki region chances to experience art. For the last 10 years Anniina has also performed, taught and choreographed projects for the dance company Xaris. She can often be found participating in projects where different art fields cross and merge.
Besides dance Anniina also teaches yoga and likes to blend these two into one. When it comes to movement she is most interested in being present and exploring the possibilities of the body. Movement enables the study of the eternal world from within. The knowledge that’s within the body opens without the boundaries set by the mind. Studying, not just discovering, is important because everything is constantly moving.
Photos: Ari Vitikainen
Nuorisokeskus Villa Elba