Yesterday evening Kristin and I had the fantastic opportunity to watch the performance Vormsi Perestroika at Stallet in Stockholm. Sofia Joons and Kristiina Ehin were invited by the Estonian association in Stockholm, so the performance was in Estonian. And even though the room was full, we soon realized that we were almost the only ones that didn’t understand the language. But luckily we could follow the story in a printed translation.
Sofia and Kristiina had put together a story told from the perspective of a bowed harp on the island of Vormsi (Ormsö in Swedish). It started in the year of 1887 when the school teacher Lars Johan Österblom came to Vormsi to save the islanders from their pagan life.
The bowed harp became the symbol for a woman that would lead him into sin and the bowed harps were all put in a pile and burnt.
We followed the harp through the 20th centrury when it spent most of its time in museums until it finally was brought back into use.
Kristiina read her poetic story while Sofia sang and played Vormsi tunes on bowed harp and fiddle. It was a beautiful and minimalistic performance, where a set of old photographies illustrated and emphasized the story.
The story floats between reality and fiction, but as Sofia said in the beginning av the show:
“We will never let facts stand in the way of a good story…”