Classes and teachers

The information underneath is old. We will update this around october 2017.. check back then

These are the planned activities for SOS 2017. However, there might still pop-up some classes or other activities, that will be listed in this page once confirmed.



Other activies

Intensive: Jamming Skills : “We’re all alone in this together” (Malcolm, Terhi)

Jamming is the core of CI practice. Many classes and workshops focus on the technical and qualitative aspects of the form. But technical skills are not necessarily the most important skills one needs to enjoy a jam. What else could help you survive and thrive in jamming situations?

In this intensive we explore the different aspects of a jam. We will share some of the strategies that help us: how to transition to our dancing bodies; how to balance our own needs with those of a group; tracking our dance as it unfolds; how to stay improvisational; entering and exiting duet and trios; and much much more.

Come willing to try out things and share your thoughts and experiences and ready for lots of dancing.

Intensive: Acrobatics and sport (Ilona, Otto Panu, Ville )

Acrobat: One who changes one’s viewpoint on short notice in response to the circumstances.

This is the journey to realm of sweat. Jumping, Flying, Supporting, Balancing. We will go to the edge and drop down. Ground is our friend and dance partner. Disorientation is not our way. We will practise orientation and disimprovisation.
Come to dance with us if you like to dance BIG dances. You will be challenged to be big, strong and fast. We will not have averse to have effort.
We will practise skills that are needed in dancing fast, big and high. So we will stay with basic elements of CI and look how they work in bigger frame.
Before you come to festival, please train running, weight lifting and judo. So you will be prepared.

Some thing we might look at:
– small dance – in to fall and fly in group and quartet
– different levels of use effort
– constant awareness – point of contact
– capebility to go to all directions in every moment
– up side down
– back space
– connecting all this more to poetry then to sport

Circumstances do change, I wish I would, but I doubt it.
And yet, I might be your circumstance, you might be mine. And we do changes, shapes if not else,
pathways or leeways.
Am I looking for a constant, or for a change?

Intensive: Contemplative Contact Improvisation (Petri)

– Practise of Freedom trough Intense Unknowing –

Contact Improvisation is a joyfull, spontaneous, pleasurable, highly intelligent and out-of-conventional-box way of connecting to others trough shared movement and fysical contact. It can be also a transformative tool when practised as contemplative art.

Guidelines of practise :

Spirit of practise is highly explorative. Material for movement is unfolding in organic way by accepting what is present in ever-abundant here-and-now. Loyalty to yourself and importance of choosing in each given moment what is the most meaningfull choice to act and what is not – is emphazized. Unknown is embraced, autopilot sacrificed and spontaneity engouraged. Heart will be our compass, intuition our way. Surrendering to the most simple, to the most natural – is supported. Clear communication of respectful boundaries is reminded. Mind will be controlled in relaxed way and brought repeatedly back to essential, liberating process of yourself trough your way of knowing, being, and moving. Inner call and guidance will be engouraged to listen and respect to the maximum. Bodies are loved trough movement until total fullfilment from practise arrives.

In this Intensive you may experience :

-Heart centeredness
-Presencing to here-and-now
-Awareness to the most emerging and obvious experince

-Unknowing : expanding from area of rational knowing to knowing by heart, guts, sensies, instinct and inner intuitive guidance towards ever-expanding mystery of the moment

-Contacting practised not only as fysical movement activity but also as bio-energetical, auric (thoughts/feelings) and astral (soul) movement activity
– Respecting authenticity and uniqueness of each moment, each experiencer, each movement and each dance in their own way of unfolding and existing

– Gourage : Embracing safety-seeking comfortable auto-pilot-zone until one is ready to open for new-and-now

– Supporting flow of wisdom of Life as it manifests trough you, your dance and trough collective voice of temporary movement community which you are part of

– Joy, fun, play and sport serving study of expansion of conciousness

– Togetherness of hearts as a way for collective conciousness expansion

– Contacting in your self and contacting to other practised in balancing way

– Full involvment to what you do with total detachment

– Contact improvisation as a self knowledge and spiritual practise

– No lifting techniques, but a lot of inner freedom skills

Fits for awareness and movement practitioners with basic skills already in contact improvisation.

Class: CI Performance Laboratory (Iiris)

In the laboratory we explore the unique quality of CI as a practice and as a form of performance. How a dance performance can serve as a ritual and a shared collective experience, where the roles of a performer and a viewer can be renegotiated and mixed? We will start with guided sessions and exploring improvisation scores and noticing what sort of dances, situations and presence different scores evoke. We may become aware of choices and possibilities we engage with in improvisation and different ways we may engage in the dance for example trough exploring our perceptual awareness. Then we proceed into more independent exploration in small groups.

Class: Playground lab Vol. 2 (Samuli)

We begin together and end together. We will not use words. We will play, create, be cheeky, have the possibility to challenge ourselves and others, taking steps from the known to the unknown and back again. The table will be laid and ready. Take your place and we begin the exploration.

Within one space, we will have many different worlds that one may enter and exit at will. The worlds have clearly defined rules that allow different degrees of freedom concerning interactional possibilities. The worlds will be framed by marked areas on the floor and the invisible walls that erect as the spaces become qualitatively differentiated from each other through the different scores at work. Welcome to immerse and loose yourself in this amusement park of myriad possibilities!

Class: Lifting feathers (Samuli)

In this class we will explore how to find lightness and effortlessness in lifts in the middle and upper levels. We will approach this through establishing a solid base, an elaborate spine, optimal alignment, and remembering how it feels to reach trustfully from our center, through our extremities, into the surrounding space. The class is intended for those who are more or less new to the form.

Class: Experimental anatomy and bodywork towards jam (Mirva)

We will explore floor work, movement through the space and by using experimental anatomy that hopefully will support the jam. By experimental anatomy I mean experiencing your different body parts through movement and through images. These short classes have strong improvisational influence and are aiming to support the journey towards jamming. Bodywork and hands on work will be part of these classes.

Class: Human body – great adventure for a willing soul (Sanna)

Human body is an amazing vehicle and organism, an ecosystem of its own yet interrelated with everything around it planetarily and universally. We often use only a small part of our spectrum of abilities sticking into the comfort zone, that which we know well enough to be sure to perform it successfully. When we start to relax into not knowing we start opening up to our potential.

In this class we will gently explore the scope of our abilities and expression, feel into and experience our maximums and minimums in a non pushing way. Intention is to create a safe bodily base and atmosphere for “failures” to become welcomed moments of opening and new possibilities. Emphasis is on contact IMPROVISATION, so turn off your autopilot and join this shared exploration.

Class: Oh life! CI and everyday interaction (Anna)

This is a lab will explore contact improvisation in the context of everyday life and skills of connection and interaction. We will investigate the relation between life and dancing via different structures that give a light frame to work and try things out. I have personally been interested in this topic also in my dissertation ‘Contact improvisation as an art of relating: The importance of touch for building positive interaction’.

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Other activities: Sharing Circle (Petri)

We will sit down and form a circle.
We will embrace a present moment.
We will arrive into our untamed wisdom of our hearts.

We will listen, feel and notice what is meaningful to share with others.
We will choose direction in our sharing which is the most calling and opening for our soul.
We will share, verbally and nonverbally.
We will close circle after hour and fortyfive minutes.

This collective practice helps you to connect to the heart of the present moment – as you experience it trough your being. It cultivates deep listening skill of your self, others and the moment. It helps you to practise your authentic expression inside temporary community. It helps you to align your speaking with your innerly felt truth at the heart of the present moment. It purifies your talk.

Our bodies and being are speaking all the time no matter if we let out words or not.

Flow of the expressions is unfolding in natural and organic way following unifying principle which is in unknown way healing and known by our hearts.

Other activities: Meditation : Centering in Heart (Petri)

Sitting half an hour.
Focusing in heart and in present moment.
Choosing to bring attention back to heart repeatedly.

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Naama SOS 2012-2-valoisa
Anna Jussilainen

Anna is an independent dance and performance artist specialising in contact improvisation, somatic techniques and community dance. She is a member of the performance art company Reality Research Center in Finland and her work has largely focused on improvisation and bodily interaction with the audience. Her interest in different ways of interacting and creating realities has resulted in her working in many community settings including most recently in Nicaragua. She holds MA’s both in Community Dance and in Cultural Research and currently works at the Arts Promotion Centre (Arts Council) Finland.


Annukka Bali
Annukka Toivonen

Annukka has practiced CI actively for 13 years and the form is one of the greatest passions of her life. Alive connection to oneself and others is an essential source of joy in her dance. Workwise she is a multifielded teacher specialized in dramapedagogies, non-violent communication, peace education and contact improvisation. Her previous studies also include psychotherapy and natural therapies. She graduated as a community pedagogy in 2009 and is currently working as a trainer and project coordinator at the Peace Union of Finland.


Iiris Raipala

I am dance artist; performer and teacher living in Helsinki, Finland. I graduated in 2004 as Master of Arts in dance from the Theatre Academy of Finland. I also studied dance in School for New Dance Developement (S.N.D.O.) in Amsterdam and in many workshops around the world. I’ve been working closely with improvisation and contact improvisation in several performing groups. I am one of the organizers of Goa contact festival and Skiing on Skin -festival in Finland. I graduated recently as certified iyengar yoga teacher. The combination of exact alignment of yoga and free flowing movement of contact improvisation brings balance for my practice as well teaching. At the moment I am in the middle of my studies as therapist and holistic counselor, which has affected my approach to teaching dance into more accepting and encouraging people for their own expression and truth, as well as exploring how dance can truly empower and transform our state.


Ilona Kenova

is Czech dancer and dance teacher living in Finland.
She works in field of contemporary dance and contact improvisation.
She is mother of 2 great boys .


Linda Priha

My body is a stage. I am a witness. My mind is listening and my soul is the source. My
life is a miracle.

Linda ( is a freelance dancer, performer, dance teacher,
choreograph. Besides creating her own work she’s been working with choreographers like
Soile Lahdenperä, Jouni Järvenpää, Mirva Mäkinen, Tomi Paasonen, Jyrki Karttunen, Pipaluk
Supernova (Denmark) and William Petit (France). At the moment Linda is studying
osteopathy and is deeply inspired by the huge universe of the body.


is a somatic movement researcher, educator, mentor and artist. In his classes, he shares his inquiry of what it is to be a thinking, feeling, moving subject in this world, through developing a dialogue with ourselves and our environment, in which we are empowered to be our own experts and to challenge received notions of anatomy and identity. He is certified to teach the Feldenkrais Method® and the Body And Earth work developed by Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose. He studied for two years at SNDO Amsterdam and has an MA in Dance Peda- gogy. He made extensive studies of Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Movement Shiatsu, Body Mind Centering and experiential anatomy.


Mirva Mäkinen

Mirva Mäkinen graduated (MA) from the Dance Department from the University of Arts, Finland in 2000, before that she did masters of Physical Education from University of Jyväskylä. 2010 she start to do doctoral studies in University of Arts in Helsinki, her research is about Somaesthetics of Contact Improvisation.

From 2000 onwards she has been a dance teacher, choreographer and lecturer for dance at the Kallio Upper Secondary School of Performing Arts. She has been teaching in several international dance and contact improvisation festivals. Mirva has been working with with many different dance companies and choreographers, here few of them: Dance company Karttunen Kollektiv (choreographer Jyrki Karttunen), New Circus Company Circo Aereo, choreographer Joona Halonen, Echo Echo dance company (North Ireland), collaboration with Frey Faust and collaboration with Joerg Hassmann. At the moment she is working with Finnish choreographer Valtteri Raekallio.

In dance I am interested in the feeling of flow and soft movement. I love to investigate movement, its rhythm and different ways of inhabiting the body. A feeling of dancing is created by being able to switch the body from total relaxation to extreme intensity and tension. I call this the body’s ability to breathe and create movement.


Otto Akkanen

a wave
Form passing materia
Materia passing form
Not a half
Not yet whole
a shore to crash on


Panu Erästö

Panu is a dedicated mover living in Helsinki. He is currently influenced by capoeira and other soft martial arts. He is also interested in the physical side of a human body; in particular, pilates type of stuff that he is also teaching. Panu likes also aerial acrobatics, sleeping, gardening, and chocolate.


Petri Taipale

Petri loves to dance contact improvisation and loves to teach it also. He likes rolling, falling and weight sharing. He loves the flow of movement , but also likes to be still and just listen. Petri likes to participate to co-creation of present moment. He just loves to be in contact with him self, and sometimes with others too.

Petri has practised CI for 11 years. Some years he has practised super intensively with strong and burning passion. Some years he has just found himself from parking several floors without any good inspiration to move. Nowadays he just simply loves to move his beautiful long bodyparts all over the spaces and share his locomotion.


Samuli Lehesaari

I found my way to the sphere of CI in early 2000 when the Helsinki community was just kicking off. It was love, fear, and curiosity at first touch. Many years have passed with countless festivals, workshops, and contemporary dance training in Germany. Now I’m back in Finland finishing off my masters in psychology, dancing, and exploring this life and the different possibilities of being a human in movement and being. Even after many years, CI remains for me an exceptionally creative and nourishing form of human communication and expression.


Sanna Valkeapää
Sanna lives in Helsinki and among other things works with somatic methods (touch work, Authentic movement, Aguahara, movement improvisation) with individuals and varied groups of people. Sanna loves nature and is curious about bridging the seemingly outer nature (ecology) with human inner nature (physiology, psychology). Her dearest hobbies are visual arts and vedic astrology.


Terhi Rasilo

I have danced a lot in my life. My background is in contemporary dance and my CI experience is about as old as this SOS festival. After a couple of years in Montreal I’m finding my place in Finland again. I love to study and ask questions and look at things from different perspectives. I enjoy dances that move in the space, being outside and having slow, calm mornings. I have a scientist’s mind and body that wants to move.


Ville Johansson

I like dancing and exploring movement. My dancing spirit is coming from gratitude of life and being. Imagination in wide sense helps me to integrate body with life. Mystery in movement goes beyond rational mind but helps to be here and now. As a participant in this cosmic joke, I would like to reduce stress and create happiness. Dancing is my way. Bullshit is my day. Papu is my son.


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