Movement doesn’t lie, dance changes people – the Finnish Dance in Focus 2019 magazine is out

Sanna Kangasluoma, 10.9.2019

The new issue of Finnish Dance in Focus talks about everyone's cultural right to art and dance. Dance is an archetype of empathy and connectedness – just the thing the world needs more of right now. FOCUS is an English language magazine about artists, phenomena, and ideas on the dance scene in Finland –and elsewhere.

On the cover: Ode tho the Forest,
chor. Hanna Brotherus.

People’s brains become tuned to each other’s frequency when they watch a dance performance – this is shown by neuroscience research. This may increase empathy in a broader sense and improve people’s ability to cooperate, explains Hanna Poikonen, dancer and doctor of neuroscience, in this issue of FOCUS.

The right of people to be involved in dance, regardless of age or ability, is a cultural right rather than a rehabilitative activity. Kati Raatikainen tells in her writing about a project in which three persons defined as learning disabled perform on stage as dancers – and get paid for it. Elli Isokoski works with elderly people and makes dance films with them. Hanna Brotherus creates choreographies for ordinary people on the basis of issues that are important to them.

These three choreographers share a common aim to put at the forefront the people who are often seen by us only as the passive objects of actions, and give them the possibility to become visible, independent subjects who tell their own stories.

Also in the new FOCUS: Artist and writer Teemu Mäki writes about WAUHAUS’s performance Fluids, and gives an excellent example of contextualizing contemporary dance in our society: Lubricant creates an apt portrait of our world where it is hard to stay stand steadily and still, he states.

And what is so attractive about baroque music and especially Monteverdi for contemporary choreographers? This you can find out in the article in which for example the latest choreographer to be inspired by Monteverdi, Tero Saarinen,  tells about his creation Third Practice (2019, with Helsinki Baroque Orchestra).

In the FOCUS, we also proudly shed the spotlight on four choreographers who have already started working in international environments: Mira Kautto, Jenni-Elina von Bagh, Tanja Råman, and Iiro Näkki.

The “Choreographer in Focus”, the multi-awarded and recognized Kaari Martin says that flamenco is just one of her tools, and opens up her world in the interview by Tove Djupsjöbacka.

And finally, we are happy to quote Teemu Mäki:

The physical, sensory medium of dance can be extremely powerful. It can cause such great internal upheaval that our minds, our existence, and our behavior is changed.

The free magazine is published by Dance Info Finland once a year.

We have sent it to subscribers around the world in September. If you didn’t get it and would like to have a copy, please send us an e-mail to