people

Marjaterttu Willman

(born1976) dancer, choreographer, Pilates instructor
Marjaterttu Willman believes in movement and it's capacity to convey emotions. 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 choreographic work Marjaterttu Willman believes in the interaction of dance and music. This interaction creates moments on stage that are made unique by a dancers personal interpretation. “With out music, there is no dance,” says Marjaterttu Willman. Marjaterttu Willman“Even in silence a dancer feels music in his body, because movement always has rhythm.”

Willman wishes to portray her inner world and develop current themes trough the means of art. Her goal is to process and portray the marks and scars that human interactions can leave in an individual and to show the diminishing of humanity all around 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 dance is an event in which the performer, movement and meaning are bound to each other. She doesn't seek to analyze movement but rather trusts into the joint intuition between the mind and body. In her artistic work Willman lets the movement arrive and happen naturally.

In her choreography Marjaterttu Willman addresses the state of being human and it’s facts, big and small. During her choreographic work the base idea forms a corner stone. The collaboration between different artists that are involved in the choreographic work always shape the outcome, and this is why Marjaterttu Willman is always amazed of the outcome because it is something that could not be foreseen. This surprise element always motivates Willman as a choreographer to create new work.
This is why Marjaterttu Willman thinks that contemporary dance is so interesting, it gives space to the spectator.

The latest choreographies of Marjaterttu Willman are Do you always have to(2014),choreographed with Aapo Siikala,and Ankkurit irti(2014) for the Finnish National Opera Ballet School. Willman has choreographed the pieces Ausencia and Anchors Aweigh for the Finnish National Ballet (FNB) in 2004 and 2009. She has premiered the pieces Varjopuoli, Sama sama but different, Kulkevi Kulkuaan and Drifters at the choreographic workshop of the FNB. Willman collaborated with accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen in her own productional piece titled Veri nousee päähän which was premiered in Stoa in 2008. Marjaterttu Willman’s other own production Snowblind was premiered at Stoa in 2012.

Marjaterttu Willman has been trained at the ballet school of the Finnish National Opera. She has worked as a dancer at the FNB since 1994. She has danced in numerous classical ballets and contemporary works. During the season 2003-2004 Marjaterttu Willman worked in the contemporary ballet company Ballet de Lorraine in France. Willman has performed on tour with the FNB and Ballet de Lorraine in Europe and Asia. She has also organized a contemporary dance workshop in Mosambique in 2007.

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Tuija Lindholm

(born 1960) culture producer
Tuija Lindholm graduated Finnish National Opera Ballet School and made her versatile career in Finnish National Ballet 1978-2004. After that Lindholm educated herself as a producer. She has graduated Bachelor of Arts Management and Production and Master of Arts and Culture Management (2010-2012). Since 2004 Lindholm has worked in different productions of dance, theatre, music and festival.

Tuija Lindholm is active in taking part in cultural seminars and building professional networks. As a graduation work in her higher degree she made a development project concerning the audience work of Pieni Suomalainen Balettiseurue.
Her special passion is to develop dance and cultural projects for children.

Tuija Lindholm has acted in many confidential posts in various art organizations. She was a member of Arts Council of Finland 2004-2006 and a member of the board of the Finnish Musicians Union 1998–2005.
Lindholm was awarded Pro Dance price 2001, the golden badge of merit of the Finnish Musicians Union 2005 and the golden badge of merit of the Finnish Theatre Union 2004.


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 choreography Snowblind.


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.


Maria Nurmela

(born 1978) dancer
Maria Nurmela graduated Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 1997 and Folkwang-Hochschule fur Darstellende Kunste und Musik High School in Essen in 2002. She has graduated the Master Degree in Theatre School,Theatre and Dance Pedagogy Department, in 2007 in Helsinki.

Since 2002 Nurmela has been working on production based contract in Tero Saarinen Company and as an assistant for Saarinen in spring 2012 (Finnish National Ballet). In Finland Nurmela has also worked in Hanna Brotherus Company. Abroad she has worked among other things with choreographers like Avi Kaiser, Alan Danielson and Malou Airaudo.
Maria Nurmela's choreographies have been performed for instance in Movement Research at the Judson Church in New York.

In 2010 Maria Nurmela was awarded a one year artist grant by the National Council for Dance in Finland.


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.