In four days 27 Finnish dance, theatre and circus artists and companies presented their work through pitch, demo and performance program. Organized for the third time in September 2-5, Performing HEL showcase brought to Helsinki dozens of presenters, programmers as well as theatre and festival directors from across Europe.

In addition, about 70 programmers registered to participate online – f.e from Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Changing covid restrictions kept organizers busy until the start of the event. The effort paid off and the event was successfully organized live. In addition to art experiences, encounters between people played a special role in the edition of 2021.

“It’s been a very special experience, since everybody is just back to international traveling. It’s been wonderful to meet people in person and to actually see live performances,” described Amy Fee, the director of Danscentrum Sverige. “The time between the shows and pitches – and the networking aspect of meeting colleagues from around the world face to face – is very important.”

The HEL showcase was organised by Dance Info Finland and CircusInfo Finland, in collaboration with Helsinki Festival, Espoo City Theatre, The Swedish Theatre, Klockriketeatern, The Finnish National Theatre, and Theatre Info Finland (TINFO). In 2021 the showcase collaborated with Helsinki Biennial, Cirko – Center for New Circus, Circus Helsinki and Zodiak – Center for New Dance. Performing HEL 2021 was hosted by Neil Wallace, the director of BIG IDEA Foundation and the moderator of showcase events.

Next time Performing HEL is planned to be organized in Helsinki in Autumn 2023.