Finnish dancer, director and choreographer Hanna Brotherus asks what it means to be a man in experimental dance piece Men – a project which brought together a group of men from different backgrounds between the ages of 12 and 85 to feel the power and intimacy of touch.
About the intentions and production process behind Men Brotherus says:
“What is it like to be a man? I asked that from nine men of different ages. In our group we had a fireman, a mailman, a student, a manual labourer, retirees and one dancer. These Finnish men came from various ethnic backgrounds and identify as different sexualities.
We worked for two weeks in a dance studio. That was our laboratory. We practiced looking each other in the eyes and breathing. We observed touch, whether on another person or one’s own body.
What kind of role does touch play in a group of male friends? What is the meaning of wrestling hugs, pats on the back and fist bumps in the military, at sport arenas or in garages? And what message is held in keeping a silent distance?
The film was shot and edited by a young man. The music was composed by a young man. The costumes were designed by a young man. Men of all different ages stepped in front of the camera. MEN is dedicated to men who I don’t always understand, but who I want to learn to understand.”