Young Artist of the Year 2021

Riddu Riđđu's Young Artists of the Year 2021 are dancers Biret Haarla and Gáddjá Haarla from Dálvadas in Tanadalen. They are 21 years old and study dance at P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brüssel. They have previously attended ballet school in Helsinki and participated in several art projects alongside Marja Helander, Pauliina Feodoroff and Outi Pieski.

Their dance explores themes such as Sámi identity, how our history and way of life affect our bodies, and the connection between humans and nature. The latter topic became particularly relevant when Biret and Gáddjá attended the climate conference in Madrid, in 2019, joining other Indigenous Peoples.

The young talents want to continue exploring dance from a Sámi perspective and start working on a dance performance in collaboration with Sámi musicians.

Biret Haarla and Gáddjá Haarla are excited about the prestigious recognition. Gáddjá says: “I am so glad that Biret and I have been named Young Artists of the Year! For me, it means that I still get to enjoy the job of music and dance in Sápmi - it's a great opportunity.”

Biret adds: “Being named Young Artists of the Year means a lot, because it is an opportunity to show what we have been doing over the past year. Through the appointment, I also feel a stronger connection to Sápmi.”

Festival director Sandra Márjá West is proud to announce Riddu Riđđu's Young Artist of the Year: “Biret and Gáddjá are incredibly exciting artists, who have achieved a lot despite their young age. Their feet are firmly planted on Sápmi ground, with their eyes looking outwards. Sámi dance art is still in development, and Biret and Gáddjá represent the future of Sámi dance art. 

This year marks the first time two artists share the Young Artist of the Year award.

Riddu Riđđu's Young Artist of the Year is an initiative that each year appoints a young Sámi artist to present their art through Riddu Riđđu's festival program and other events where Riddu Riđđu is a co-organizer. In addition to receiving a scholarship of 25,000 NOK, Riddu's Young Artist of the Year receives a sponsored stay at Lásságámmi, the artist residence of multi-artist Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Biret Haarla and Gáddjá Haarla will kick off their year as young artists during the Riddu Riđđu festival this summer. They will be taking over the title from musician Emil Kárlsen.

The Young Artist of the Year/Riddu Sessions is supported by Talent Norge, Samfunnsløftet and the Sami Parliament in Norway.