Veli in residency @ Mustarinda / Part I



From Mustarinda,

I started this year a research project focused on the concept of natural resources from the perspective of dance and choreography. What I try to do is to combine dance and choreographic practices with the practices of moving in the nature. My objective is to understand better the relation and the conceptual difference between 'nature' and 'culture' generally as a citizen and more specifically in relation to my practice as an artist. The natural resources are not "out there to be found", but are always defined in a specific relation to self and the surrounding environment. This relation is based on how we perceive things, it's grounded on perception. Dance as an art form is practically involved on the question of perception and especially its relation to movement and performance. Perception practices are part of the training and technique dancers investigate, develop and apply. Now, if natural resources are defined in a relation which is grounded on how we perceive environment and ourselves, then altering how we perceive things should provide a possibility to change the relation and therefore the understanding of how we define natural resources. Can the economy of attention practiced in the performing arts be applied in human relation to other living things? In the research I'll approach this question with the help of three concepts: sensibility, responsibility and sustainability. Taking these literally as abilities to sense, respond and to sustain. I'll investigate on ecological understanding of phenomenas trough the filter of dance and choreography. Later I will try to apply some concepts, forms, structures and principles from ecological thinking in my choreographic practice.

Quite recently, dance as an art form has been more present in the visual art world and entering its spaces such as galleries and museums. At the moment I find myself going to the opposite direction, into the woods and wilderness. Here, far from cities and crowds I'm practicing seeing and moving. I’m not making objects or representations, but observations and passages – practicing perception in relation to myself, and the surrounding environment. Exploring forms, collecting materials and channeling experiences. 

The Mustarinda residency is situated on the second highest summit in the Kainuu region, adjacent to the north-east edge of the Paljakka nature reserve, Finland. The surrounding view is of valuable, and in some places, completely untouched old-growth forests. see more


June 3

Yesterday I meditated on a motorcycle for 420 kilometers, arriving to Paljakantie 61 FI-89400 Hyrynsalmi at 5pm. Gas run out only once and in a walking distance from the station, on a highway though. In the evening the outdoor sauna was prepared and during several hours of bathing I had an opportunity to listen stories about Mustarinda, the forest and its inhabitants as well as the region and its people. I also learned about the compost-powered water heater that had been built on the yard. 



June 4

Today I visited the observation tower to see where I am. Up there I did one of the exercises that I’ve been doing for some years now in different environments, places and spaces. It is an adaptation of the form that I got to know from Deborah Hay while taking her workshop in Helsinki in the fall 2009.

Observation tower 》》》

Observation tower 》》》

Horizon 360:

Scan the space with gaze by turning around the vertical axis while standing

See everything

No stops

No going back

Let the light and the view it carries come towards you

Turning resolves into stepping on spot, this is the weight shift

The relation of weight shift and gaze is the dance which brings you here and now, helps you to arrive where you are


June 5

A walk in the forest. Discovering in the woods the Econtainer by Sandra Nyberg. Horizon 360 practice on a swamp. 

Horse's  Arse Waterfall at 3 am

Horse's  Arse Waterfall at 3 am

Globeflower pentagon #shakespearesacredgeometry

Globeflower pentagon #shakespearesacredgeometry

June 6

After lunch I installed myself outside to do reading and writing on two subjects: living things and the concept of self. When I was about to begin to read it started to rain little green bugs. Aphidoideas descending from the sky carried by the wind were landing on A4 which I had for notes. Next 10-15 min I draw their multiple and simultaneous passages cross the paper. Here by you can see the composition:


Passage of the aphids

Passage of the aphids



Somehow I did stay on the subject, but the altered conditions required some resilience within the work. I gave my attention momentarily to these other living things and as an exchange those gave me passages to draw and material for my work. A sort of economy.

Someone else enjoying the trace of honey

Someone else enjoying the trace of honey

If I as a human, as an animal, as a living thing would not bring my attention primarly on distingtive factors, but instead to shared factors (of being/existing) between humans and other living things, I might be able to be respond to them in a respectful and sensible way. Instead of ignorance and abuse, which are often dominating characteristics of human relation to other living things and also to itself.

Self: the difference between that which is in the thing and that in which the thing is. *

Living thing: is a thing that temporally intensifies and supports its self by using energy. *

(* Tristan Garcia: Form and Object ) 


June 7

Weather, a rare summer storm is hitting soon Finland,  rising from the North, snowing is possible!  Video:  tallaista_suomeen_osu/8938907

Weather, a rare summer storm is hitting soon Finland,  rising from the North, snowing is possible!




Heading soon to the heart of the storm. 

Crystal workshop with Mikko Hyvönen in Brussels is delighted to invite you for the morning workshop for advanced dancers with Mikko Hyvönen from 29 February to 6 March.

We appreciate your reservations in advance through, max. 10 persons.

Image: Timo Wright

Image: Timo Wright

Practices for 2016 - Crystal workshop

What can it mean to practice dancing and performing in 2016, when every project is very different and trying to define performing arts from a new standpoint? What can be practiced? Are there any meaningful practices for dancer or performer anymore?

In this workshop we attempt to work around those questions by stealing practices from different methods, choreographers and teachers and by attempting to create our own meaningful or meaningless experiments.

Most practices that I'm interested of at the moment intend on developing our energetic and vibrational sensibilities including magical, spiritual, ritualistic and ecstatic elements to work with dance, movement, voice, breath, healing and imagination. - Mikko Hyvönen

Clandestine Sites: GreenField showing in Tallinn

GreenField is moderated showing series of work-in-progress  Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava in Tallinn, which is meant for the artists to take a break from rehearsals and test the raw material they have have gathered with the audience, all GreenField performances are for free.

Veli Lehtovaara, Eleanor Bauer and Ville Ahonen participate in the GreenField showing on Thursday 12 November at 19:00. Free entrance, welcome!

More information here.