International Conference "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

December 16 - 20, 2017


Live solo dance, video presentation and talk by Virpi Pahkinen, a Finnish/Swedish choreographer, director and dancer.   

Virpi Pahkinen’s works are full of secrets; she can be a warrior of the spirit, a spectral gardener or a shaman in metamorphosis. She offers dance as an incantation and creates a meditative atmosphere with her original choreography. She is well known for her stunningly chiselled shapes and almost otherworldy moves. She has perforned on different venues; from black box theaters to opera stages, from Mongolian steppes to floating bridges. 

Virpi Pahkinen has been successfully touring the world in her dual role as choreographer and solo dancer. Her solos have met critical acclaim in over 45 countries including Australia, Mexico, South Africa and Lebanon.

Virpi Pahkinen has had strong connections to Asian artists and the aesthetics. In one of her early work, Bardo, she chose the head-strong Chinese Shen Wei as a dancer and Japanese Akemi Ishijima composed a thrilling electroaucoustic music. Lately Virpi worked with Indonesian dancer-choreographer Mugiyono Kasido in the Yogja Internat. Performing Arts festival and toured nationally in Sweden.

Virpi has also performed and worked with Mongolian dancers and throat-singers in the Drama Theater in Ulaan- Baatar. For Expo/Shanghai 2010 Virpi was a guest dancer in Jin Xings Dance Company.

Virpi Pahkinen has also created works for several companies as Ballet Poznanski, Vietnamese National Opera Ballet, North 59°, The Young Dance Company and Finnish National Opera Ballet.

She has choreographed and appeared in a short dance film for wide screen, Atom by Atom, an existential thriller filmed on the remarkable volcanic mountains of Lanzarote and M de Mafra which was shot at the Palácio Nacional de Mafra Library in Portugal. The work Bardo was also made as a TV-production for The Swedish Television. The film Bardo 010 was awarded the Golden Antenna in Bulgaria 1998, and has been broadcasted in Singapore, Japan, The Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Her musicality and her interest in light as architecture has attracted artists of the highest quality, the lighting designer Jens Sethzman for instance, the composers Chieko Mori and Akemi Ishijima and live-musicians such as Jon Rose (violin, etc.) and Sussan Deyhim (song).

In 2001, at the International Solo Dance Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Virpi Pahkinen won the 1st Choreography Prize with her solo Prayer of the Scorpio. In 2002 she was awarded Carina Ari Foundation Gold Medal.

In 1996, Virpi Pahkinen was awarded Finland’s Culture Prize for young artists, and Svenska Dagbladet Opera Prize.

The Swedish Section of International Association of Theatre Critics awarded The 2009 Dance Price with motivation: "Virpi Pahkinen is one of Swedish dance’s most unique artists. In her solo work she creates her own universe through her vibrant musicality and sense of form. Her distinct and extremely flexible gestalt seems at times to have crawled out from the dry waves of vast desert, at other times to be a transparent membrane for cosmic power."
She has taken part as a dancer in several of Ingmar Bergman’s theatre productions at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm: The Bacchae, Peer Gynt, Goldberg Variations, Space and Time, A Winter’s Tale and Ghostsonata.

In 2009 Atena Kustannus published Virpi Pahkinen's debut book Käärmeensyöjá (Snake-eater). The Daily Newspaper, Keskisuomalainen described: "The wild freedom of Snake-eater's details and the poetic visions of its prose are a source of both power and levity."

In June 2011 Virpi Pahkinen was awarded Litteris et Artibus, a Swedish royal medal for her outstanding artistic contributions as a dancer and choreographer and 2014 City of Stockholm´s Cullberg prize.

Virpi Pahkinen was born in Finland. She studied piano at the Conservatory in Helsinki, and trained on the choreographer course at the University College of Dance in Stockholm in 1989-1992.


In the shadow/light of the theory of Omega Point that describes the universe that is evolving towards higher material complexity and consciousness, the question arises - how can our bodies that still have its old design reflect in this time-complex?

The Spider, the creator in mythology,  seems to appear from nowhere, travelling through the electrified desert and navigating in a magnetic memory field. The layers of silence are rippled by the harsh waves of koto strings. The dark breath of the music opens up the space. Are we here to drown or to illuminate or maybe involved in some cryptogamic space games? Entagled in the web, swayed and threatened.

Let us put ourselves into an interesting position with God.

With this project SPIDER Virpi Pahkinen aims to show a unique collaboration with dance and music between Nordic countries and East Asia and create spiritual understanding and dialogue between the continents.

The presentation will consist of 3 parts: live solo dance, video presentation, talk + questions and answers.


Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"