The first senior's course of the spring season 2021 will be instructed by Maria Nurmela. In Maria’s classes we start by identifying the three potentials of our body: listening to our own breathing, identifying the physical connections and kinetic chains of the body, and exploring the potentials of our capacity for motion.

During the classes, motion extends from the centre of the body towards the periphery, to off-balance motion, spirals and drops. Different kinds of improvisation and composition tasks form a shared choreographic fabric over the course.

Maria’s practice is based on somatically oriented dance and dance instruction as well as the release technique. She also draws inspiration from her long experience as a dancer in numerous works by well-known choreographers, and from her own multidisciplinary, multisensory performance processes.

Maria Nurmela, recipient of the ABOA grant in 2020, has worked as a dance freelancer and performer in contemporary dance since 2002. Her works have been performed at festivals both home and abroad, including venues such as March Dance – Critical Path in Sydney (2019) and the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris (2018). Her works often take place along multidisciplinary boundaries and in unusual venues, sometimes also assuming the form of a film.

Maria has performed in works by choreographers such as Tero Saarinen (Tero Saarinen Company, 2002–2017), Susanna Leinonen (Susanna Leinonen Company, 2019–2020) and Susanna Linke (2012–). In 2018, she launched a project entitled The Days ( with her colleagues dancer Ville Oinonen and the British choreographer Theo Clinkard.

In addition to her artistic projects, she works as an instructor in various schools, such as the Theatre Academy in Uniarts Helsinki. Her artistic work has been supported through grants and residences, and in 2008 she was designated one of the most important dancers in Europe in the international Ballet/Tanz yearbook.