NXT creatives

Veronika Lindberg

The University of the Arts Helsinki


Veronika Lindberg lives and works in Helsinki. 

'Saudade’ is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep feeling of nostalgia or a profound melancholy, a longing for something that is absent. It is a vague yearning and desire towards something that is missing in the present, a turning towards the past or the future.

There are four people on stage and for them being in the present moment causes twisting and turning of joints. These four contorting figures don’t really know how to be in the world, but they try to find their place, adapting and encountering other people in a constant state of rearranging. They gather around hollow kitchen ruins, where social interaction from everyday life becomes distorted and the space is filled with phantom sounds from the past. In between the logic of incessant building up and tearing down, we see flashes of absurd frozen images; a woman with her head stuck in the kitchen sink, school girls who are smiling to the camera warily, four figures who jam themselves in the same tiny closet while surrounded by immense space.The performance is set in a world of nostalgia, somewhere in the past.

Artist Statement

I am fascinated by absurdity and the human need to seek meaning in life. I often work with themes that stem from personal experiences that create friction in me. Sometimes life can feel very heavy and hopeless, but then suddenly you burst out laughing. These kinds of moments of contradiction and layers interest me. I work with dance because it allows me to be in the world in a way that is not tied to verbal communication and social everyday norms.

The starting point for Saudade came from feelings of distance and absence from a person close to me. I was taken aback when a person who was spiritually and physically close to me suddenly started to feel strange and absent. I felt a sense of longing and unfamiliarity with this person who was dear to me and right there by my side.