Marjaterttu Willman

(born1976) dancer, choreographer, Pilates instructor
Marjaterttu Willman believes in movement. Her choreography has been described as pragmatic, a search for shapes and forms and her movement language combines wide fluid motion with precise gestures in a balanced marriage. Dramaturgy based on association, story lines that are supported by the music, expressive movement as well as the tight relationship between dance and music make Willmans choreographic world unique. In her work one can recognise elements of dance theatre.

In Willman's choreographic work music plays a strong role. She is interested in the interaction between music and movement. Music determines her dramaturgical choices and creates an operational field for her movement language. The colours, nuances and levels of music inspire Willman. “With out music, there is no dance,” she ponders "Even in silence a movement always has a rhythm.”Marjaterttu Willman

For Marjaterttu Willman dance is an event in which the performer, movement and meaning are bound to each other. In her choreographical work she trusts into the joint intuition between the mind and body. Willman strives to bring the spectator to the verge of humanity via movement.

In her choreography Marjaterttu Willman addresses the state of being human. Her goal is to process and portray the marks and scars that human interactions can leave in an individual. She is puzzled by the diminishing of humanity amongst us. Willman believes that dance can speak powerfully about the laws that bind us and the assumptions we cultivate. With the body as the tool for communication the many layers of humanity become visible in a delicate way.

For Marjaterttu Willman one can not pass the importance of dramaturgy in stage art. Dramaturgy serves the spectator and supports the perceiving of the functional arch of the performance. Dramaturgical pondering during the choreographical process helps the work group to discover the inner logic of the performance. For Willman the collaboration with the work group embroiders each theme stranded and brightens the dramaturgy. When on stage each performance has formed into such that each spectator it discovers. For this reason Willman thinks contemporary dance is so interesting; it gives space to the spectator.

Willman has more than 25 years of professional experience in contemporary dance, classical ballet, and stage art. Willman has been working as a choreographer since 2002, and created 16 works for e.g. Willman Dance Company, the National Ballet, and Vantaa Dance Institute. She founded Willman Dance Company in 2012. Willman has worked as a dancer in the Finnish National Ballet since 1994, and she will retire in December 2020. She has also worked as a dancer in the contemporary company Ballet de Lorraine in France 2003-2004. Willman has performed on tour with the FNB and Ballet de Lorraine in Europe and Asia. Marjaterttu Willman has been trained at the ballet school of the Finnish National Opera.


Jonna Aaltonen

(born 1972) freelance dance artist
Jonna Aaltonen graduated the Conservatory in Turku 1995. Aaltonen has worked diversely in the field of dance and theatre; in projects of contemporary dance, dance theatre, musicals and opera. She has worked as a dancer in over 60 performances Jonna Aaltonenand with almost 40 different choreographers. Aaltonen has had a contract as a dancer in Dance Theatre Eri, in Norrdans and Älvsborgsteater in Sweden and in Volksoperan Ballet in Vienna, Austria. Jonna Aaltonen has experience in repetitors work, assisting choreographers and teaching dance.
In the previous years she has danced in Hologram Walls (chor.Carl Knif, 2010), Life and Image X (chor.Anu Sistonen,2010/2011), and Orfee (chor.Mats Ek,2007,Swedish Royal Opera). Jonna Aaltonen dances in Marjaterttu Willman’s choreographies Nine lives and Snowblind.

Jukka Huitila

(born 1976) light and sound designer
Jukka HuitilaJukka Huitila is a working light and video designer, whose projects involve buildings, public spaces, events and the performing arts. Huitila is equally at ease working on intimate performances for small stages or lighting up massive edifices like the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. He has a sharp artistic sensibility which he shares generously with his collaborators, always putting the work first--he says his job is to keep honing ideas until they reach the shape that the work requires.

Ainu Palmu

(born 1974) light designer
Ainu PalmuAinu is a freelance lighting designer who works mostly on contemporary circus and dance productions. She has worked in projects by Salla Hakanpää, Juha Hurme and Jorma Uotinen. She is a part of groups WHS and Sidekicks. Ainu is also a light artist and a qualified architectural light designer. "If I could just take photos I would just take photos", she daydreams.

Mikko Linnavuori

(born 1983) light and sound designer
Mikko LinnavuoriMikko Linnavuori Mikko Linnavuori has studied light and sound design in Theatre Academy. He has worked as a light designer in the choreographies of Kaari Martin, Minna Tervamäki and Jouka Valkama. He has designed lights for Tuska-festival and lights,stage and video for Life for a child 2011-event.

Linnavuori has been working in the field of sound design and sound technic with artists like Nightwish, Apocalyptica, Kimmo Pohjonen and Jukka Perko. Linnavuori is the light and sound designer for Marjaterttu Willman’s choreography Snowblind.

Jukka Kaven

(born 1962) art and media school teacher (Master Degree), light and sound designer, event designer

Jukka Kaven is a versatile professional in light and sound design. He has educated himself as teacher for light and sound design in Theatre Academy. Among other things Kaven has teached at the Tampere College Art and Marketing Department and is teaching at the ITE College East in Singapore.

Jukka KavenJukka Kaven has been working as a light and sound designer in countless productions in theatre and dance. Among other things he has co-operated with Apocalyptica, Kronos Quartet, Kimmo Pohjonen, Tero Saarinen and Akram Khan Dance Company.

Mikko Paloniemi

(born 1982) dancer
After graduating Mikko Paloniemifrom Theatre Academy Helsinki, Mikko Paloniemi has performed in Helsinki Dance Company (HDC), Tommi Kitti & Co. and Karttunen Collective on top of numerous individual productions. The most recent appearance was in Jyrki Karttunen's piece Keiju.

Heidi Lehtoranta

(born 1979) dancer
Heidi Lehtoranta has graduated from The Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 1999 and from Stockholm Danshögskolan's dance programme in 2000. Lehtoranta works as a freelance dancer in Finland and Sweden and has performed in the works of Susanna Leinonen, Nina Hyvärinen, Petri Kekoni, Arja Tiili, Arja Raatikainen and Malin Hellqvist Sellén. Heidi works in Susanna Leinonen Company as a dancer and a choreography assistant.

Sara Saviola

(born 1983) dancer
Sara studied in The Finnish National Opera Ballet School from 1992 until 2002 and has danced for The Finnish National Ballet ever since. She has done additional studies in New York, Copenhagen, Vienna and Florence. Sara Saviola At The Finnish National Ballet she has danced in modern dance works of Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Tero Saarinen, Susanna Leinonen, Jorma Uotinen, Jouka Valkama, Johanna Nuutinen and Satu Tuomisto. In addition, Sara has visited the dance festivals in Houston, Amsterdam and Paris with Susanna Leinonen's Suo tihkua vihreä tammi performance, and also has danced on the productions of Marjaterttu Willman, Reija Wäre, Nina Hyvärinen and Aapo Siikala.

Maria Tamminen

(born 1978) dancer
Maria Tamminen graduated the Finnish National Opera Ballet School on 1999. Since that she has been dancing in the Finnish National Ballet. Maria Tamminen She has danced in the company's modern dance pieces of Jiri Kylian,Tero Saarinen,Susanna Leinonen,Jouka Valkama,Jarkko Mandelin and Johanna Nuutinen. In addition Maria danced in the Rush of blood to the head by Marjaterttu Willman on 2008. Maria has performed in dance festivals in Houston,Amsterdam and Paris.