TOMI PAASONENChoreographer, director and multimedia artist, based in Berlin and born in Helsinki, Finland. He shares his time making pieces for KUNST-STOFF, a multimedia dance- and art production company he co-founded in San Francisco in 1998 and directing stage art, creating choreographic structures, making video installations, interactive works, photography and teaching dance in Europe where he operates under the name PAA (Public Artistic Affairs).
Tomi Paasonen bridges experimentalism and classicism, staged documentary and conceptual thinking, device methods and technical awareness. He has made visual concepts for productions, directed opera and creates his pieces with dancers, singers, actors and laymen. A particular passion towards the minority aspect has led him to work with people with disabilities, prisoners and sexual minorities.
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CURRENT AND FUTURE PROJECTSMinato Dreams
Premiering 03.03.2013 at Suntory Symphony Hall, Blue Rose Room in Tokyo, this piece will be a structured group improvisation for movement and voice with 70 performers. The cast consists of a mixture of dancers and laymen performers with an age span between 7-70. The prerequisite of participation is to be a resident of the Minato-ku harbour prefecture in Tokyo. At the beginning of the process, Paasonen has asked the participants about their childhood dreams and what they want to be remembered for. With live electronic music by DILL, this mass choreography attempts to be a collective portrait of this area of Tokyo and the people living in it.
4 Solos for 4 Tattoos
These four short solos are the first Tomi Paasonen has choreographed for himself, since his time in ballet school in the 1980ies. Proposed by the Finnish video artist Elina Brotherus, each solo focuses on one of his tattoos, 3 dedicated to a beloved, the 4th one in memory of the accident that ended his dance career in 1997. The video was shot in Helsinki in May 2012 and will result in a video piece for galleries and dance video festivals. Projected premiere July 2013.
RETROSPECTIVE / 15th Anniversary Season of KUNST-STOFF
Premiering in November 2013, we celebrate the 15th season of KUNST-STOFF, with a retrospective programme. A new piece is derived from studying the works created for KUNST-STOFF during the past 15 years.
This piece is a collaboration with sound artist Ilpo Väisänen (Pan Sonic / Angel). The piece will be constructed as a nature documentary about the modern man, his habits and habitat. The cast consists of three dancers and a collection of motorized taxidermy robots. The movements, aesthetics and soundscape will be rooted in the dancers every day life, using trash, bureaucracy, advertisements and animal parts to build each component. Planned to premiere in the spring of 2014.
This duet between, a biologist and a ballet dancer, explores the concept of hybridization of disparate elements. Scheduled to premiere in Ahrenshoop in the early spring of 2014, the choreography consists of blending ballet technique, pointe shoe work and its mannerisms deconstructed by contemporary improvisation techniques. Simultaneously a scientist will hold a lecture on the theme of hybridization from a scientific point of view. The content of the lecture is gradually deconstructed by a sound artist, by turning it into a live generated soundscape through loop techniques. Eventually the two elements blend into one another, as they change roles and become symbiotic to one another.
POINT OF NO RETURN
This production, still in it's planning stage, is a reconnection and confrontation with Tomi Paasonen's relationship with classical ballet. After not having touched ballet technique artistically in over a decade, Paasonen is currently looking for opportunities to workshop his ideas, to finally result in an independent production using the pointe shoe as the main source for generating movement. For both male and female dancers.
A choreographic piece for a vocal choir is in the planning with contemporary Finnish composer Perttu Haapanen. Rooted in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the choir will be moving freely among an unseated audience, creating a moving body of voices that the audience is surrounded and moved by.