How the Land Lies

Laura Cemin and Bianca Hisse

Choreograpgers: Laura Cemin, Bianca Hisse
Performers and co-creators: Keithy Kuuspu, Lea Blau, Angel Casal, Rodrigo Chavero, Shion Yokoo-Ruttas
Sound designers and live performances: Vera Vice
Light designer: Sofia Ivarsson
Costume designer: Kairi Mändla
Coproduction: Black Box Theater, Kiasma Theater, Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava (STL)
Duration: 45 min
Supported by:
Davvi – Senter for scenekunst, Frame Finland, Kulturrådet, HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, Narva Art Residency, Nordic Culture Point, Norsk-Finsk kulturfond, Norske Billedkunstnere, PAHN Norway, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Tvibitstigen, Estonian Cultural Endowment, City of Helsinki, Arts promotion centre Finland

Original cast:
Bianca Hisse, Kazue Ikeda, Keithy Kuuspu, Mariê Mazer, Nassim Meki

Premiere 30th of March 2023 at Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava

Listen to an Artist talk with Bianca Hisse & Laura Cemin moderated by Leenu Nigu

“How the Land Lies” is a dance performance for 5 bodies and 3 LED scrolling signs, choreographed and directed by Bianca Hisse (Brazil/Norway) and Laura Cemin (Italy/Finland) in collaboration with the Estonian choreographer Keithy Kuuspu and international dancers based in Estonia. Dancers from Argentina, Japan, Croatia and Estonia use their experiences living in Estonia to show the influence words have to our bodies and movement.

The LED-signs, usually encountered in public spaces as low-key advertisement signs, become means to explore how language keeps inscribing in our bodies. Navigating between kebab stand ads, tourism slogans and visa questionnaires the dancers, who themselves carry experiences of migration between countries, interact with the text scrolling on the LED panels.

Borders slowly blur: who can stay and who must leave? Who is seen and who remains hidden? What is allowed and what is forbidden? The piece is questioning how the notions of belonging, territory and borders are manifested in the contemporary world. Not just geographical borders but borders within the body and identity.

The performance is presented in multiple countries and in each of them it is adapted to the local context through the participation of local dancers, who are not from these countries.

Participating dancers in Estonia are Lea Blau who is an artist from Croatia. She graduated the first CPPM master course and is currently living and working in Estonia.
Angel Casal is an Argentinian who participated in the European Voluntary Service programme in 2011-2012 in Estonia and has lived here ever since.
Rodrigo Chavero is an Argentinian choreographer who moved to Estonia in 2021.
Shion Yokoo-Ruttas was born in Japan and arrived in Estonia as an exchange student in 2016 to the Viljandi Culture Academy choreography department where she graduated.


Laura Cemin (Italy/Finland) and Bianca Hisse (Brasil/Norway) both operate at the intersection of visual art, performance and choreography. Their work, often presented in galleries and non-traditional performance spaces, focuses on the relation between language and social circulation and on how contemporary discourses influence mobility. These topics are at the core of both their individual practices, as well as their collaborative body of work. “How the Land Lies” is their first stage performance as a duo.

Performativity of public space has been a central concern in Bianca’s artistic process, which materializes through installations, sculptures and text-based interventions in the public realm. She graduated from Kunstakademiet i Tromsø in 2019 and has a BA in Performing Arts from Pontificia Universidade Catolica de São Paulo (2016). Her work has been shown across Norway and internationally, including: Kunstnernes Hus, PODIUM Oslo, Tromsø Kunstforening (NO), Botkyrka Konsthall (SE), Galerija Nova (HR), MAR Museum (AR), and Museum for Modern Art Rijeka (HR). She has recently performed in festivals such as:  Sofia Performance Art Festival (BG), Performance Art Bergen (NO), The 12th International Media Arts Festival (RU), BONE Performance Art Festival (CH), Mediterranea Biennale 19 (SM), Arctic Action Festival (Svalbard), OpenArt Biennale (SE), and BienalSur – International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America.

Laura’s research mixes movement, writing and temporality with the intention of challenging the boundaries between dance and visual art. Although her work always originates from a performative action, it can appear in multiple media and forms, such as text, photographs and installations with objects. She has received an MFA from Umeå University of Fine Arts in 2019; previous to the Fine Art education, she has worked professionally for Ballet West, dance company based in Salt Lake City (USA). Her work as maker has been presented internationally in galleries, museums and theaters, such as Norrlandsoperan(SE), Museum für Neue Kunst (DE), Tallinn Art Hall (EE), Kiasma (FI), EMST (GR) and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.

In the media:

“Itaalia tantsukunstnik: uurime keelt kui inimese meelitajat ja piirajat” – Aktuaalne Kaamera, 29.03.2023

“Экспаты с помощью хореографии рассказывают об адаптации в Эстонии” – Кофе+ , 28.03.2023

“STLil esietenduv rändlavastus uurib, mida teeb teatud keel kehadega” – ERR kultuuriportaal, 27.03.2023