Dance and new media

Some recent works within dance and new media practices.


Moving Digits – Creative Europe project (2019-2020)

Connection Retrieval interactive installation demo 3/2020 in Tallin.
Photo by Stephan Jürgens

Moving Digits: Augmented Dance for Engaged Audience aims to enhance audience understanding and engagement in contemporary dance performances, and to allow to experience dance in an augmented way (even after the performance). The project also aims to empower dancers, choreographers and technicians with further tools for expression, archival and analysis. The project is a partnership between Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI, Portugal – Lead Partner), Hochschule Düsseldorf (HSD, Germany) and Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava (STL, Estonia). Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT, Portugal), Plux (Portugal), Tanzhaus NRW (Germany) and University of Greenwich (UK) are associated partners. The project has a duration of 2 years, starting 1st October 2018.

The artistic work done during this project was an ongoing exploration to implement a coherent narrative on stage by combining high-tech and low-tech technologies within live dance performance. The process was focusing on finding a balance between the technical tools of live visualisation and sound creation, combined with the compositional tasks given to the performers to create the dance. The outcomes were a series of performative explorations of the mediated body with an overarching title Connection Retrieval created together with the artists involved in the project.

I was playing with prioritising particular senses to articulate movement into compositional scenes and episodes. In doing so, I have attempted to portray the power of embodied mind and imagination, and the inherent need to be heard, seen and touched whilst searching for connectedness to others. My choreographic objective was to look at ways to layer the different elements, whereby the connection between the movements, visuals and sounds can be strengthened in order to create a narrative, whilst simultaneously allowing each element to exist through its own dramaturgical logic.

Concept and choreography: Hanna Pajala-Assefa 
Dancers (Tallinn, Aug/19): Madli Paves, Christin Taul
Dancers (Düsseldorf, Oct/19): Einav Katan-Schmid, Ella Tighe
Dancers (Tallinn, Mar/20): Ella Tighe, Tanja Råman
Visuals, sound and interaction by, respectively: Stephan Jürgens, Raul Masu and Jochen Feitsch

Connection Retrieval

OVI – The Door (2020)

Two countries, three cities and four artist met virtually and came up with this small dance film The Door. This was a new, light and inspiring process where I felt myself merely as a pilot and mediator filtering the materials induced by these extraordinarily fine co-artists. Dancer Riikka Kosola and musician Elisa Af Hällström sound designer Janne Auvinen.
The ’Koronankohottamat’ concept was created during Covid19 for contemporary artists to interact and express their creativity during the lock-down in spring 2020.

The Door – dance film

R E S O N A N C E (2019)

Performance #1 at Nordic Forum for Dance Reseach 14th International conference: Parctice, Participation & Politics, 14.6.2019, Theatre Academy, Helsinki

Interdisciplinary choreographic and research process in collaboration with neuroscientist Hanna Poikonen.

The Sounding Motion interdisciplinary artistic platform investigates various possible relationships between body and sound through wearable electronics. The project has invited practitioners of a wide range of fields to collaborate in various forms and formations with movement-initiated sound production/alteration as a starting point. It has produced courses, workshops, research periods, demonstrations, performances  and concerts, supported by various art funders since 2016. Resonance is the group’s latest performance project. It works with resonating elements in space as extensions of the dancer’s body, and alterers of dancer and audience perception. Through working with the concreteness of objects and the body, imposing upon them the interactional aspect of technology, Resonance touches upon the third that is their symbiosis – it’s poetic essence and presence to be perceived and shared with the audience.

Choreography, performance
: Karolina Ginman
Co-choreography, performance: Hanna Pajala-Assefa
Sound design & interactive scenography: Eero Nieminen
Costume design: Liisa Pesonen
Lighting design: Mateus Manninen
Neuroscientific dialogue, text: Hanna Poikonen
Photos: Okko Parviainen

Britten for Body and Cello (2018)

In Britten for Body & Cello – Unspoken words we explored composition of movement and music as a ongoing collective task while being affected by all beings in the space. Inspired by Benjamin Britten’s cello sonata this work became a physical concert concieved together through attentive listening by a dancer, cellist and sound designer. We attempted to interpret and transpose Britten’s pacifistic themes into current times while surrendering into unspoken uncertainty.

Choreography and dance: Hanna Pajala-Assefa
Cello: Iida-Wilhelmina Sinivalo
Sound design: Aki Päivärinne
Light design: Ainu Palmu
Photo: Andre Capitao