Maria Nurmela and Ville Oinonen
Alert Bay, British Columbia
BC Movement Arts Society with The Dance Centre
The Days invites the audience to share an encounter with two exceptional Finnish dancers Maria Nurmela and Ville Oinonen.
Dance artists Nurmela and Oinonen collaborated with London based choreographer Theo Clinkard, to create a work that resulted in engendering a world of ever shifting negotiations, complex feelings and comic disconnection and constructed from a singular physical concept that sustains throughout the work. Caught in an impossible loop of absurd and heartfelt exchanges, the performers journey takes the form of a lifetime shared in this compelling performance about care, resilience and the desire for connection.
The project (conceived by Nurmela and Oinonen) is more than a simple performance. The Days engages with local communities and diffuse the hierarchies between different bodies as performers and movers. On stage, Nurmela and Oinonen are joined by two honoured community participants, a man and a woman aged over 65- years, in each city of performance.
Since graduating in 2002 from the Folkwang University, the prestigious school of Pina Bausch and German dance theatre tradition, Maria has been working professionally both in Finland as well as internationally in the field of contemporary dance, theatre and performance. She has collaborated as a dancer with known choreographers including Susanne Linke, Helena Franzén, Yuval Pick and Tero Saarinen, in whose Company TSC she has worked since 2003, also as a stager of Saarinen’s creations, teacher of TERO technique, and leading TSC’s community outreach project Apollo tanssii!.
Maria’s own choreographies consist of trans-disciplinary and site-specific performances combining different theatrical tools. These often immersive and multisensory works have been performed in Palais de Tokyo (Paris 2018), Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (Turku 2017), Judson Memorial Church (NY 2010), among other venues. In her artistic career she regularly teaches at institutions such as the University of the Arts Helsinki. Her artistry has been recognized by a Ballet/Tanz Year Book nomination as one of the most remarkable female performers of 2008, as well as by numerous grants and residencies.
Ville Oinonen is a Finnish freelance dancer who has danced in more than forty works professionally. Oinonen graduated in 2006 from Kuopio Music and Dance Academy to be a dance teacher but immediately after his studies was engaged with Dance Theatre MD.
For approximately half of his career, Oinonen has worked as a professional dancer, dancing with the Dance Theatre MD (2006–2009, 2014–2017) in pieces by many well-known Finnish choreographers such as Jyrki Karttunen and Tero Saarinen. The rest of his career he has worked as a freelancer, and this has taken him to Sweden to work with Helena Franzén and the award-winning dance company Art of Spectra, among others. Occasionally, Oinonen also works as a teacher himself in places like TROIS C-L Centre de Création Choréographique Luxembourgeois.
Clinkard’s practice spans choreography, theatre design, performance and pedagogy. Since launching his company in 2012, he has steadily built an international reputation for creating affecting and visually arresting work that focuses on the communicative potential of the body and the empathetic nature of dance in performance.
Through his work, Clinkard celebrates dancers and dancing. His process begins by responding to context and designing unique situations for audiences and specific casts of performers, as environments for memorable connection. Increasingly, he is working with somatic practices and the imaginative realm, to understand how the performer’s live enquiry can articulate a landscape of feelings and ideas for the viewer. Clinkard creates work for small, middle and large-scale theatres as well as non-theatre settings. Company productions include Ordinary Courage, Of Land & Tongue and This Bright Field; his recent large-scale work for twelve dancers and live music that was co-produced by Dance4 and premiered at Brighton Festival, before touring the UK. His company has toured to Chile, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and presented work at both British Dance Edition and Tanzmesse in 2016. Commissions include, Somewhat still, when seen from above for Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch and The Listening Room for Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. Recent commissions also include Candoco Dance Company and a new work for twelve dancers with autism or learning disabilities, commissioned by The Talent Hub. Clinkard is an Associate Artist at Brighton Dome and Festival, Dance4 and an Honorary Fellow of Plymouth University.