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© Antero Hein

Vástádus eana – The answer is land

Elle Sofe Sara

Born in the Arctic tundra, this polyphonic story of resistance, healing, and love pays tribute to all those who fight injustice.


The Voices of the Tundra

Seven black-clad women, fists raised, brandish megaphones above their heads, in front of Esplanade Tranquille. They start dancing to ask the land for permission to gather on it. Then, walking with heads held high, they lead the audience into the depths of the theatre for Vástádus eana: a galvanizing choreographed concert that amplifies the long-repressed voices of the Sámi people.

Through their polyphonic chants and their movements, the performers draw us into an a cappella story of resistance and healing. Their voices are rooted in joik, the captivating Sámi music sung while travelling across the land. Embodying memory, they celebrate the alliances between all living creatures and the land, between nature and the community. Inspired by socio-ecological movements and Sámi spirituality, this hymn pays tribute to all those who fight injustice. Feel our collective strength!


Produced by Elle Sofe Sara
Artistic Director and Choregrapher Elle Sofe Sara
Performed by Grete Daling + Olga-Lise Holmen + Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska + Risten Anine Gaup + Emilie Karlsen + Julie Moviken + Nora Svenning
Music Frode Fjellheim
Set Design Elin Melberg
Costume Design Ramona Salo + Elle Sofe Sara
Lighting Design Øystein Heitman
Choreographed with Alexandra Wingate
Dramaturgy Thomas Schaupp
Producer Maiken Garder + Nordberg Movement
Hat sewing Karen Inga Buljo Oskal + Unni Fjellheim + Zja Gali + Zoja Galkina + Jorunn Løkvold + Hilly Sarre + Sara Inga Utsi Bongo
Dress sewing Karen Inga Buljo Oskal + Ann Mari Sara
Performance title based on Rájácumma – Kiss from the Border by Niillas Holmberg + Jenni Laiti + Outi Pietski
Tour Manager Ingvild Kristin Kirkvik
Lighting Technician Anniell Olsen
Sound Technician Eivind Steinholm
Agent Magnus Nordberg
Co-produced by Arctic Arts Festival (Harstad)+ Norrlandsopraen (Umeå) + Tanz im August (Berlin)
Funded by Sámediggi (Karasjok) + Norsk Kulturråd (Oslo) + Nordisk Kulturkontakt (Helsinki) + Fond for Lyd Og Bilde (Oslo) + Dáiddafoanda + Sámiráđđi (Karasjok)+ Spenn
Partners Davvi Centre for Performing Arts + The Sámi National Theatre

Premiered at Arctic Arts Festival, Harstad, on June 19, 2021

Présentation en collaboration avec / Presented in association with Monument-National

Written by Nayla Naoufal
Translated by David Dalgleish



Elle Sofe Sara (Guovdageaidnu)

Operating at the intersection of the performing arts, film, and video, choreographer and director Elle Sofe Sara explores various aspects of physicality and Sámi customs that have escaped colonial erasure.

Full biography