- SON OF THE SUN
In the far north of Finland, a sensitive, dreamy young boy is the son of a reindeer herdsman within the Sami community. When the time comes for him to undergo his community’s traditional coming-of-age ritual, he refuses to stab a young doe to death. The young boy’s failure to fulfill this masculine rite of passage stems from his deep connection to nature: he enjoys wandering through the Lappish tundra and singing with the birds. His activities are frowned upon by the local population. Even his relatives begin to wonder if he’ll ever be a real man. However, he has a mission. This mission takes him far from his native landscape out into the world, where he becomes known by the name of Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Caught between local prejudice and the national mainstream, this determined young boy grows into a groundbreaking pioneer of his ethnic culture.
The play paints the portrait of a self-doubting, soul-searching artist, who discovered both the joy of art and the bitterness of fame. A powerful, beautifully poetic study of one man’s destiny, the production also tells the tale of Lapland’s Sami people, their art and struggle for survival. The tale expresses a yearning for beauty and purity in a world blindly propelled towards ecological disaster.
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää (Áillohaš in the Sami language) (1943-2001) was a Sami artist and one of the best known promoters of Sami art and culture both in Finland and abroad. You can say that Japan was his other home. He spent lots of time there and was strongly influenced by Japanese culture. That is why his art was also quite well known in Japan. Valkeapää was multi-talented, achieving a career as a writer, musician and visual artist. One of his most widely read works is The Sun, my Father (Beaivi, áhcázan), for which he received the Nordic Council Literary Prize in 1991.
This production is a collaboration between the National theatre of Finland, Beaivváš Sámi Našunálateáhter and Ruska Ensemble. Premiere was held at the national theatre of Finland on a Sami National Day, Feb 6th in 2014. Since then the play toured around the Northern district of Norway and Finland, Sweden (organized by Riksteatern), St Petersburg in Russia and Tokyo in Japan with over 50 performances.
Jarkko Lahti, Mary Sarre, Áilloš and Tiina Weckström
Ari-Pekka Lahti and Hanna Brotherus
Berit Marit Haetta
LIGHT AND SOUND DESIGN