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Mirva Keski-Vähälä

Mirva Keski-Vähälä is a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher. She lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Keski-Vähälä's work is based on her experiences in the field of dance, dance therapy, theatre and visual arts.As a choreographer she respects each individual's unique history and encourages dancers to find their personal channels and ways of expression.

Keski-Vähälä has taught classes of dance and visual arts widely among different groups and communities, including mental health recovery groups and people with severe disabilities. She has graduated from the dance education programme at North Karelia College Outokumpu. She has also studied dance therapy in North Karelian Polytechnic School, as well as fine arts in Snellmann Institute. Keski-Vähälä has taken part in several dance workshops, and has been greatly inspired by Tero Saarinen.

Keski-Vähälä has performed with her solowork fex. Kuopio tanssii ja soi - festival 2008, Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St.Peterbourgh 2009, OuDance festival 2012 ja Dans i Mörkret- festival Skellefteå, Sweden 2012. She has also choreographed several pieces for Performance group Sysinä and Hutera Dance Company from 2009 on. Keski-Vähälä has danced in pieces choreographed by fex. Johanna Tuukkanen, Sally Davison (UK), Saburo Terhigawara (JAP), Ken Mai (JAP) ja Grigory Glazinov (RUS).

 

Sally DavisonSally Davison (FI/UK) is a dance artist and choreographer based in Espoo Finland. She has been dancing for many years originally training at the Laban Centre London in the 80’s. Davison is Artistic Director of the Helsinki based integrated Dance Company Kaaos and has been focusing on inclusive dance practices over the past 10 years. Davison teaches the DanceAbility method in workshops, gives presentations and lectures about inclusive art practices. In 2015 she became the first person in Finland to be certified as a DanceAbility Master Teacher by DanceAbility International.

Davison is committed to bodily orientated processes, practices and is passionate about improvised dance and working with everybody. She is particularly interested in how dance and improvisation can become more accessible for audiences. Davison's practice is deeply rooted in her non stylized environmental movement practice. She is fascinated by movement and how it resonates a sense of knowing, belonging and connection that goes beyond what is consciously known.

Reija Stenius

Reija Stenius got her masters degree in scenoraphy at Central Saint Martins in London 2007. Her dance background lyes mainly in butoh dance and she has actively studied it since 2008 with int.al. Russian OddDance Theatre and choreographer­dancer Ken Mai. She has also performed in Sysinä and HUTERA Dance Company in Mirva Keski­-Vähälä's choreographies. Stenius is interested especially in the dance that emerges from every dancer's own memories and personal movement.

As both a scenographer and a dancer she is interested in restricting the movement through an object, a space or a costume. Stenius has directed a dance piece Raksabuto at YIT construction site in 2010 and she has performed at musician Ismo Alanko's Ismo&Ismail soiree at Lavaklubi in Finnish National Theatre and at Art and Museum Center Sinkka in choreographer Mikko Orpana's dance piece.

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Heli Hietala (b. 1970) is an artist who has been working in variety of art fields and lives in Helsinki, Finland. She completed MA at the University of Industrial Arts of Helsinki UIAH (nowadays Aalto University) in 2002. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums in Finland and other countries.

She usually study themes, which often evolve animals, including the environment, social relations and human subjectivity.

Hietala´s form of dance and body language is result of years of buto-dance experience, studied with different kind of teachers.That form of dance can be seen in the of group dance performances with Hutera dance company and solos in specific art performance happenings. She likes to test the body limits and study oddness.

Outi Paulus

Outi Paulus is an assistant and a photographer who has studied butoh dance since 2008. She has studied with Hutera Dance Company and under the direction of dancer- choreographer Ken Mai and also the artist Minja Mertanen. Through dance Paulus has found a wide range of opportunities for movement. She is fascinated by each individual's personal ways of meeting the world with their unique bodies and their individual body language. Paulus engages in dialogue and creates distance and intimacy, by using dance. She explores how one can hide and reveal by movement and how one can be seen or be hidden from both oneself and from other people.

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Iina Ukkonen is a performance and visual artist based in Helsinki. She holds a degree from Art School MAA and she works mostly with dance and performance art. Her backround is in theatre and dance.

Her movement brings in influences from contact improvisation and from other dances that she has studied. In the characters she creates Ukkonen combines without hesitation elements from mimics, clownery, flamenco and african dance. Maintaining the connection with the audience and making it interactive is central to her work. Humour and
improvisation are important too, she finds. Visuality is essential.

Ukkonen has studied butoh dance with e.g. the Japanese dancer-choreographer Ken Mai and while working with HUTERA Dance
Company.

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Terhi Lilja has studied dance therapy in Outokumpu, Finland and her main fields in dance are butoh dance and contact­improvisation. She has also a master's degree of social sciences having graduated from University of Eastern Finland.

Lilja is a member of HUTERA Dance Company, influenced by OddDance from St. Petersburg. Lilja is also experienced with theatre and creative dance. Improvisation, processes and sustainable relationship with the environment are important elements in her art.

Essential part of her work is based on characters and stories. Sometimes it reminds more of performance art than of dance. Often co­operations and group works grow from multiple arts and a therapeutic point of view is involved. Lately she has performed e.g. with OddDance Theatre and north Karelian dancers' Vimma Collective. She is a member of co­operation Lilith.