Elina Pirinen Mortal Tropical Dances ennakko9 c Venla Helenius
Show photographer Venla Helenius

Elina Pirinen: Mortal Tropical Dances

  • Schedule

    Fri 5.5.2023 at 19:00

    Tue 9.5.2023 at 19:00

    Wed 10.5.2023 at 19:00

    Fri 12.5.2023 at 19:00

    Sat 13.5.2023 at 19:00

    Sun 14.5.2023 at 15:00

  • Duration 1h 30 min., no intermission.

    Age recommendation +16 years.

Programme (pdf)

How to share the earth-shattering power of life? Award-winning dance artist and music maker Elina Pirinen’s long-awaited new symphonic creation Mortal Tropical Dances will fill the large stage of Dance House Helsinki with special dances arising from our inner tropics, wild live music, mesmerising colours and scents.

The sensual core of Mortal Tropical Dances focuses on the ceremonies of hunger for life driving our inner tectonic plates, and their individually changing forms. The production brings the daring and wise heat of the human subconscious to the stage. Mortal Tropical Dances connects intensively with the audience by dancing, playing, singing and praying out energy, sex, hope, madness, deep joy, suffering, humour, imagination, warmth and comfort.

Ville Kabrell has through-composed all of the massive layered live music for the production. The performers in the production include an international ensemble of seven dancers, and eleven musicians from various genres of music.

Vocal ensemble Lumen Valo will be seen and heard on stage with various doom guitars, carillons and percussion instruments, machines, strings, growls, mantras and prayers written for the production. Ville Kabrell and Lumen Valo will be joined by drummer Tatu Rönkkö and guitarist Pyry Nikkilä.

The dancers performing Mortal Tropical Dances are Karolina Ginman (FI), Una Björg Bjarnadóttir (IS) & Felix Urbina (MX) from Iceland Dance Company, Simone Benini (IT), Adrian Bartczak

(PL) & Caroline Eckly (FR) from Carte Blanche Norway and Elina Pirinen (FI).

The production’s artistic working group also includes dramaturg Heidi Väätänen, light and stage designer Mikko Hynninen and costume designer Jouko Korkeasaari.

With her productions, Elina Pirinen wants to create counterforces to the world as we know it, long dominated by a fearful and depressing atmosphere. The more alive, broader, wilder and fearless the stage canvas is, the easier it is for us all to reflect our whole lives on it and open new doors to maintain the meaningfulness of life.

The work is part of Dance House Helsinki’s SPARK project. Supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, SPARKS is an artistic development project which is carried out in 2020–2023. The project will produce three premieres for both the Erkko Hall and Pannu Hall.

Content warnings: The performance includes theatre smoke, scents, bodily fluids and loud music and scenes where the dancers are in close contact with the audience. Age recommendation +16 yrs.

Ticket information

Standard tickets | 42 €
Discount tickets | Under 25, Students, Unemployed, Civil Servants, Conscripts: 25 €.
Please be prepared to present a certificate entitling you to a discount.
Pensioners | 38€
Professional ticket |
Members of STST and SVÄV: 25 €. Purchase limit one ticket.
Group ticket |
minimum 10 persons: 36 €. For group bookings contact: info@tanssintalo.fi

Pay What You Can | A small number of "Pay What You Can" tickets are also available for all Dance House Helsinki's productions, as well as for Zodiak and TSC productions. PWYC tickets for Mortal Tropical Dances are available at the info point that is located at the Cable Factory's Glass Courtyard and here. Read more about Pay What You Can tickets and other ticketing policies.

Note: To ensure good visibility to everyone, The Erkko Hall auditorium is steep. Please note that there is no lift to the upper section. Only the first row seats are fully accessible.


Choreographer, lyrics

Elina Pirinen


Ville Kabrell

The piece also includes an excerpt from Beata Viscera (ca. 1220) by the French composer Pérotin.


Heidi Väätänen


Adrian Bartczak, Simone Benini, Una Björg Bjarnadóttir, Caroline Eckly, Karolina Ginman, Elina Pirinen, Felix Urbina

The Dancers have participated in creating choreographic material through their embodiment.


Tatu Rönkkö

percussions, bells, dulcimer

Pyry Nikkilä

guitar, dulcimer

Ville Kabrell

synthesizer, guitar, dulcimer

Vocal group

Lumen valo


Anna Ruotsala & Titta Lampela


Hanna Graeffe & Riikka Noreila


Aaro Haapaniemi & Arttu Hartikainen


Erkki Hannonen & Juha Suomalainen

Costume designer

Jouko Korkeasaari

Lighting and spatial design

Mikko Hynninen

Choreographer's assistant

Karolina Ginman

Technical sound designer

Antti Kainulainen

Costume designer's assistant

Heidi Väätänen

Artistic mentor

Carmen Mehnert


Maija Eränen

Libidian Wonders: Administration

Outi Järvinen / Arts Management Helsinki


Venla Helenius

Teaser video

Sinem Kayacan


Dance House Helsinki, Zodiak – Centre for New Dance, Carte Blanche – The Norwegian National Company for Contemporary Dance, Libidian Wonders

Supported by

Finnish Cultural Foundation, as part of Dance House Helsinki’s SPARKS project, Nordic Culture Point, Arts Promotion Centre Finland

Biographies of the working group

Elina Pirinen

Elina Pirinen’s artistry and practice is entangled in choreography, dancing, music making, experimental writing and pedagogy. Her art is making love with subconscious registers, deep primary affections and intelligence through them, constructing psychic, imaginative free states as a shared immersion. Pirinen’s works have been shown all around the world and she has been awarded with the Finnish state prize 2022 and Prix Jardin 2015 in Vienna. Pirinen regularly works as a visiting pedagogue at Uniarts Helsinki’s Theater Academy, the Theatre Arts Degree Programme at the University of Tampere, Zodiak - Center for New Dance and the interdisciplinary summer workshop Sukset Ristiin Susirajalla. Pirinen makes art rock music with her ten-member orchestra Al2Be3, and does volunteer work with animal protection.


Ville Kabrell

Ville Kabrell is a sound designer and composer. Kabrell is captivated by sounds with an enveloping and ethereal quality and is currently exploring this interest by working with synthesizers and acoustic instruments in collaborative artistic processes.

Heidi Väätänen

Heidi Väätänen is a dramaturg and writer. She has made multidisciplinary art, particularly in the field of contemporary dance with a.o. Elina Pirinen and Karolina Ginman. Väätänen's debut novel Chloé S's Dictionary was published in 2022. Alongside her artistic work, she has taught dramaturgy and writing at the Theatre Academy of the University of Arts.

Adrian Bartczak (PL)

Adrian Bartczak – mover, teacher, choreographer. His education comes from various workshops and coachings. He worked consistently as a freelancer since 2008. During this period he collaborated with various artists such as: Michał Ratajski, Tomasz Rodowicz, Rob Hayden, Sarah Shelton Mann, Rosana Gamson, Minako Seki, Roberto Olivan, Jacek Owczarek. From 2011 on he was both teacher and choreographer in the Polish dance collective KIJO. Adrian has also cooperated with Chorea Theater since 2012. Since August 2016 Adrian has been part of Carte Blanche, Norwegian National Company for Contemporary Dance.

Simone Benini (IT)

Simone Lorenzo Benini is an Italian freelance dancer, based in between Austria, Italy and Switzerland. He graduated with a major in dance performance at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, in Salzburg in 2022. During his studies he has collaborated with different international artists such as Milla Koistinen, Oded Graf, Manuel Ronda, Adrien Hod and Csaba Molnar. In his own research he enjoys working with improvisation, theatre and somatic techniques. He uses those tools to dig deeper in the human subconscious and to address political topics.

Una Björg Bjarnadóttir (IS)

Una Björg Bjarnadóttir graduated as a dancer from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2015 with an exchange in Artesis, Royal Conservatorium in Antwerp, where she was based after her graduation and worked with choreographers like Jan Martens, Inaki Azpillaga and Agostina D’alessandro. She created and performed two solo works, VERA in 2017 and Wet Dreams of a Mermaid performed in Reykjavík City Theatre in 2021. Björg has danced with Iceland Dance Company since 2018, where she has worked with choreographers such as Erna Ómarsdóttir, Saga Sigurðardóttir, Pieter Ampe, Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, Steinunn Ketilsdóttir and Tom Wienberger. She has danced in two other works of Elina Pirinen, Brume de Mer and Rhythm of Poison.

Caroline Eckly (FR)

Caroline Eckly started her professional career as a ballet dancer with Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse. She rapidly turned to contemporary creation and worked as a freelancer in France and Germany, among others with Blanca Li. She worked at the National Theatre in Nuremberg, Germany between 2002 and 2008 where she danced for various choreographers. She joined Carte Blanche, the Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance in 2008 and has participated in all the productions since, along with doing her own projects.

Karolina Ginman

Karolina Ginman is a freelance dancer and choreographer. Through her artistic practice she tempts the body to speak beyond reason, opening gateways for poetic material to bloom from the subjective and collective preconscious. Ginman’s latest stage works include Fluvial (2022) and A Human Ensemble (2020). She regularly collaborates with choreographers Mikko Niemistö, Elina Pirinen, Margrét Sara Guđjónsdóttir among others, and has engaged in several working periods with Deborah Hay both in Finland and in the US. She currently works with the 3 year Finnish state grant for artists.


Felix Urbina (MX)

Felix Urbina Alejandre is a Mexican dance artist based in Reykjavik. He graduated from SEAD (AT) in 2017. Felix has been a member of Bodhi Project (2017–18), the Iceland Dance Company (2018-23) and has collaborated with Needcompany (2014), Shalala (2019) and Elina Pirinen (2021-23). Felix has facilitated different dance, improvisation and creative workshops all throughout his career. As an artist he grounds his practice within a decolonial, queer and emancipatory perspective; his wish is to offer reflections regarding embodiment, and the radical political implications of the performing body.

Tatu Rönkkö

Tatu Rönkkö is a distinctive percussionist and sound artist. Rönkkö has worked extensively in Finland and internationally in the field of experimental music and performing arts for over a decade as a solo artist as well as with artists such as Nils Frahm, Lampen, Liima, Efterklang, K-X-P, Vincent Moon, Catarina Neves Ricci, Jimi Tenor and Raoul Björkenheim.

Pyry Nikkilä

Pyry Nikkilä is a freelance actor and musician. As an actor Nikkilä has worked in Finnish National Theatre, Helsinki City Theatre, Q-teatteri, Ryhmäteatteri, Teatteri Takomo, Teatteri Jurkka, KOM-teatteri, Turku City Theatre, Hämeenlinna City Theatre and Tampere Factory Workers’ Theatre. He has also performed in several TV-series, movies and radio plays. Among other music projects Nikkilä plays in AL3BE2 with Elina Pirinen and Ville Kabrell.

Lumen Valo vocal group

Lumen Valo is an eight-person vocal group celebrating their 30-year career this year. The group has been a pioneer in Finland as an a cappella ensemble focusing on early music. In addition to their concerts, they have made several radio and television appearances and released ten albums.

The core of Lumen Valo's repertoire is unaccompanied vocal music from the 1400-1500s, but they have also regularly performed contemporary music. Lumen Valo has collaborated with Elina Pirinen previously in Angel (2016).


Jouko Korkeasaari

Visual artist Jouko Korkeasaari’s (artist name Muotikummitus, Fashion Ghost) wearable-art is inspired by different subcultures, fashion trends and gender. They like to challenge our ideas of gender roles and stereotypes through playful and thought-provoking work. Korkeasaari is interested in exploring new techniques and materials, from DIY-inspired wearable art creations to photographing themselves as characters from alternative culture characters. Korkeasaari's work is driven by the desire to transform old bits and bobs into something glamorous or grotesquely weird.

Mikko Hynninen

Mikko Hynninen is a sound and light designer who works in the field of performing arts, visual arts and compositional art. He has collaborated with numerous choreographers and directors both in Finland and internationally.

Antti Kainulainen

Antti Kainulainen is a sound designer focusing in spatial and material aspects of sound. He works with dance, theatre and other performing arts as well as moving images.

Logot Pirinen

Become our friend!

Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.