Last week has been so freezing in Kuopio, all over Finland I guess. The days are gorgeous though – bright, sunny and the landscape is covered by tons of snow but it’s sooooo cold. A couple of hours in the afternoon feel pretty ok after the sun has been shining all morning but as soon as it goes down again, the cold hits really hard. So it hasn’t been a real pleasure to spend much time exercising outdoors although I’ve done a few Nordic walks.
Since I came back from Australia, I’ve been getting back to my normal routines. The last three weeks I’ve exercised pretty intensively at the Functional studio and really enjoyed myself! Lots of Kinesis and Functional training but also Zumba, for the first time in my life! I’ve missed so much aerobic exercise that I was quite miserable until I realized that the Zumba classes work at least as well as a run. And it’s so much fun to dance and sweat to the holiday rhythms of calypso, salsa and reggae!
Do you remember when I wrote last autumn that I want a hybrid bicycle? Well, I’ve just bought one! Yes, it’s a bit crazy but I’ve thought about it so much that I’m convinced that this was a good investment. The sad thing is that it has been so cold that is has been practically impossible to ride much but I’ve done a few short tests and I love it! My bicycle is Merida S-Presso 700 with hydraulic disc brakes, beautiful matt black and sleek design.
Now that I have the bike, I realize that I also should have all kinds of gears to be able to take full advantage of it but I have to take it slow. I can’t possibly buy a whole set of wind stopper cloths, gloves, cycling bags and shoes etc. all at once! I’ve bought a helmet, for the first time in my life, and that’s pretty much what I can afford at the moment. But to be able to cycle to work on a regular basis, I need to get these Ortlieb panniers. I really love the white line!
Some of you know that I’ve started to work with the support of the Arts Council of Finland’s three year artist grant in January. This year I will not be producing any new performances or shows but I’m doing a lot of research as well as touring and performing Twirling World and Acts of Clothing. I’m working on an international collaboration with Rebecca French from FrenchMottershead and I’m very very excited about it! The downfall has been that I haven’t been able to raise much funding for the project which is to premiere in 2012 and not this year. I find it rather disturbing and I’m not really sure how to proceed with the project. We’ve got 2 000 € from the Regional arts council of North Savo but you might be able to imagine that it isn’t much of anything for an international collaboration. So we’ll see how that goes and what the rest of the foundations say.
Tomorrow I start rehearsing Twirling World with Sonja and we have shows coming up in Kuopio in March. I’m a bit scared to return to that work which as a performer, was quite challenging for me. So I’ll see how I feel next week.
I’ve been also really really shocked by the City of Kuopio cutting ANTI Festival’s funding. We have a tenth anniversary of the festival and a lot of special programme planned to celebrate that in the city of Kuopio, a book coming up by a national publisher and the fourth year of A Space for Live Art project going on. So WTF???? I don’t really know what to think.