Category Archives: Dance

working for the Dance House Helsinki

My blog and website haven’t been actively updated recently. This is mainly to do with the fact that I’m currently working full time as the arts programme manager for the Dance House Helsinki. On our website you can see what I’m involved in as part of that job – which is a lot! This autumn we have begun a mentorship sceem for Finnish dance professionals with seven fantastic mentors and produced the first national dance forum Kiertoliike 2015 in Helsinki in November. We are in the final phase of the initiative to get a dance house built in Helsinki and hopefully we’ll be able to inform about the final descision by the end of this year. So to keep up with the Dance House Helsinki news, check the homepage and our Facebook page.

So for now, I’m on leave from ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival and I’m not producing new artistic works. I will be performing a little bit (news will follow!) and I’m pursueing my PhD but really concentrating on the Dance House Helsinki which is the most exciting cultural political initiative in Finland – that’s what I think anyway.

So this website will be updated every now and then but follow the other pages as well to keep up with my activities!

Bests, Johanna

busy autumn

September and October are always such busy months for me. Partly because the ANTI Festival takes place in the end of September but not only. Autumn is also the time that artists and cultural organizations have to submit an insane number of applications in order to fund next year’s activities and also the period, when most of these activities are performed or shared with audiences. So there’s a lot going on, lot’s of future planning and grant writing – so much that it’s impossible to see everything that one is interested in. That’s a shame but at the same time, it’s ok, too. One shouldn’t really feel that it’s possible to see and follow everything, because it isn’t.

My autumn has also been unusually busy this year because I’ve started a new job in August as the arts programme manager of Finnish House of Dance in Helsinki. I’m super excited about the new and challenging job! It means I will spend more time in Helsinki and work in the field of dance much more closely than during the past few years. I’ve already visited Tanz Messe in Düsseldorf, Germany and seen quite a few performances. I saw the premiere of the new work Morphed by Tero Saarinen Company, Joona Halonen’s Nolla Nolla, Anne Hiekkaranta’s Conus Marmoreus!!! and Paula Tuovinen’s remake of Blondi as well as several works at Tanz Messe.

This week I attended Social Innovators Connected SIC!2014 conference in Helsinki. It was a very inspiring meeting of activists and organisers who run different kind of urban projects in different cities and countries. The participants were active individuals, communities and organizations working in the fields of culture, arts and sustainability and projects included cultural events, recycling, ecological lifestyles, local area development, promoting cycling, street carnivals, street art, multiculturalism, integration of immigrants and charity work. It was really nice to meet new people with whom I share similar values and who are active in their own cities encouraging dialogue, participation and sustainability.
IMG_1160 IMG_1162 IMG_1168
The conference was organized during Helsinki Design week which I haven’t really attended before, I don’t think. I’ve once visited Habitare fair a few years ago but that’s about it. I didn’t really have time to visit the different events this week but it was nice to notice them just by walking on the streets. But I did get to visit the HDW Design Market at the Cable Factory. What a great event! On the website it says that “the Design Market is the largest design outlet event in the Nordics and, year after year, one of the favourites of the Helsinki Design Week programme. For the tenth consecutive year, big and small brands gather to Kaapelitehdas to sell designs ranging from fashion and interior design to housewares. This time the event is bigger than ever”.
And yes, it was really busy and yes, there were great brands selling their designs at relatively good prices, some better than others. I had to check out my favourites like Terhi Pölkki, Lumi Accessories, Minna Parikka and Secto. There was also a quite a good representation of smaller and younger brands there such as Tauko Design whose Leijat trousers I tried on for the first time… and bought them, too! It was also nice that there was some street food, cafes, a wine bar etc etc. Me & my son enjoying the busy market on Saturday morning:
IMG_1178 IMG_1174 Upcoming weeks will be even busier as the ANTI Festival is in couple of weeks and before that, I will attend a meeting in Berlin and some events in Helsinki, too.

But tomorrow, I will have a day off! And I will sleep in, rest, stay at home and keep my hands off my computer.



Map of Scars at Full Moon Dance Festival this week

This Sunday we are performing Map of Scars at the Full Moon Dance Festival in Pyhäjärvi, Finland. I’m so happy to re-visit Pyhäjärvi as it is the festival where my works have been performed more than at any other festival. I’ve performed Milk, Outstanding Performance and Acts of Clothing there. On Friday we are rehearsing in Kuopio and then travelling to Pyhäjärvi on Saturday and performing on Sunday, on the opening day of the festival. Hope to see you there!

The rest of my days 11-28 in Australia were busy with IETM Satellite meeting in Melbourne and the caravan to Sydney, my talk at the Arts House and research for my upcoming project and PhD. But I had a day off when I visited Healsville Sactuary, which was quite magical! And I’m so happy I did that day tour.

Walk in the rainforest:P1080210 P1080214At the William Ricketts Sanctuary:P1080353
My first ever Espresso Martini in Melbourne:IMG_1013
Spotted Marimekko magazine at the local laundry in South Melbourne: P1080360
A surprise guest at my door:P1080362Melbourne skyline from Footscray:P1080370
Wearing Marimekko and Minna Parikka:P1080514Visiting Heide Museum:P1080528NGV: P1080530 P1080532 P1080535A view from St Kilda where I went to watch pinguins at sunset:P1080539 P1080542 P1080545 P1080553 P1080555 P1080566Oysters at a premiere, Melbourne style:P1080587On a walk: P1080600 P1080603 P1080606 P1080608 P1080609 P1080611My talk:P1080589Australia was magical, inspiring, fun and an amazing opportunity to focus on my work and thoughts! So thank you ITAK, the regional dance centre of Eastern Finland and Moriarty’s Project in Melbourne. Also a big thank to Angharad Wynne-Jones, Sophie Travers and Alison Halit and everyone I met and hang out with!!!

When I came back from Australia, my days were busy with the upcoming ANTI Festival, my son’s graduation and Meet Johanna Tuukkanen performance.

Days of happiness, emotions, work, family, exhaustion, grief and disappointment…

Hope to see you in Pyhäjärvi!

Wishes, wishes,

Melbourne days 6-10



My time here seems to fly!

The last days I’ve spent working in the studio, reading about cities by Nigel Thrift, on work emails, seeing performances at the Next Wave Festival (saw Fluvial and Kids killing kids on Saturday which were both great), meeting up with some friends, artists and organizers and wandering about in the city and in Fitzroy… It’s quite inspiring to be on my own!

I’m aware that my aspirations for this month are ambitious – too high. But I’m trying to make most of it! Working on my new project, my PhD, letting myself to be inspired and excited about works I see, artists and curators I meet…

Melbourne city with its famous Lanes is buzzing but quite relaxed. Melbournians are famous of their hospitality – and they deserve to be! I’ve had only one very rude encounter at the Next Wave Festival club Shebeen where a waitress treated me like I was the most irrelevant person on earth. Well, it was a busy Saturday night and I’m not a young trendy hipster but still… I don’t particularly feel that I want to spend my money there – since my order wasn’t really much of an importance to that particular waitress.

Some pics of the famous Lanes:
P1080153 P1080154 P1080156I don’t really understand what’s going on with the horses on Swinston St.?
A Saturday afternoon walk from South Melbourne to the Queen Victoria Market:


Had a great coffee at the Market Lane Coffee:
P1080167 P1080164 P1080169Popped into Uniqlo, one my favourite shops! They’ve just recently opened the first shop in Australia and it’s in Melbourne! So it’s pretty packed and busy… I love their ultra light down jackets, I have a few… But I spotted some Finnish design there as well! Horray Tove Jansson and the Moomins! Horray Paola Suhonen and Ivana Helsinki!
P1080170 P1080171 P1080173 Melbourne offers a great variety of amazing food… Here some Vietnamese steamed dumplings.
P1080176Another morning run in Albert Park: 
IMG_0957My home street! P1080184All Australian made! Leggings by Zoya. A treat for myself from Smith St., Fitzroy. IMG_0965Tomorrow I’m off to Healesville for a day trip. Have to get some sleep now!


Melbourne day 4

My sleeping is still all weird. But got some reading of non-representational theory done. Very good. And I’m really into it, but need to read more.

In the evening I saw three performances at the Next Wave Festival. Natalie Abbots Maximum, Madonna Arms, and Club 3.0. Great night! Was also really nice to catch up with Sophie and Angharad.

On my way to Arts House Meat Market I popped into the Vans store to have a look at shoes that my daughter would like to get. Didn’t buy shoes but got a coffee cup for free! Nice, I actually need it.


Melbourne day 2

An early morning run/walk to St. Kilda. 11 km.
Strength training at the studio.
Alexander technique and stretching.
Music and a short improvisation.
Smoked salmon and feta salad.
Facetime with my son.
Fireplace lit.
Non-representational theory.
A sleeping pill.

After a rather restless and sleepless night I went for an early morning walk/run/jog around Albert Park and St. Kilda. It was windy and raining on and off but I really enjoyed it. I was carrying my camera, iPhone and keys.


beginning of my PhD

It was such a great experience to visit Zodiak in Helsinki with Map of Scars in February! Four beautiful performances, touching moments, tears, friends, lovely dinners and great talks. I’m always over optimistic about my time and energy and of course, I didn’t manage to do as many things as I had hoped. But I really enjoyed being a visiting artist at Zodiak and being in Helsinki… So thank you to our audience and to the Zodiak crew!

Since the beginning of March, I’m focusing on my PhD for the rest of the spring and working only part time. I’m really excited but also struggling a little bit to find a rhythm between reading, writing, ANTI work and my training. At the moment I’m reading theoretical background including Bruno Latour, Niklas Luhmanna and Nigel Thrift…