Helsinki Touch Movement is a project that combines practically oriented research, body knowledge, dance and participatory art methods to focus on the physical body as a somatic and sociocultural locus. It centres on touch, which is our sensory method and also the very oldest method of reaching towards the world and our fellow human beings.

In the Touch Movement workshops the participants approach touch as a comprehensive, motion-producing event. How to became touched and be touched? How to move, improvise and dance inspired by touch? What can touch achieve? Interaction between touch and creative motion is explored as a therapeutic, social, artistic, political and awareness-evoking phenomenon.

The workshops are based on methodological exercises where therapeutic and conscious touching is combined with somatic dance methods, contemplative mindfulness-based techniques and collective and participatory art activities. The aim of the course is to provide the participants a safe shared space for the exploration of creative bodily presence and the experiential interaction between touch and free motion in a guided manner, releasing of physical and mental tensions, exploration of deeper levels of self-knowledge and working towards a sense of connection by finding new paths to dance a shared mental map.

The Touch Movement workshops are part of a practically oriented post-qualitative research project that aims to find new ways of bringing together scientific perspective, body knowledge, bodywork, creative motion and dance as art. The workshops are given by dancer/performers Elena Ruuskanen and Sini Haapalinna, cranio-sacral therapist Mari Kärkkäinen and, in the role of a research mentor, phenomenologist Ilmari Kortalainen.

The Helsinki Touch Movement project aims to produce new insights, new methodology and new working methods. It creates new shared experiences, art and everyday culture relating to touch and the importance of touch for the happiness of individual human beings and the well-being of human communities. Movement of Touch develops connections between practitioners and discourses of different fields, such as dance, philosophy, cultural anthropology, contemplative practice, health and wellbeing, and seeks to actively develop a culture of touch through both personal and shared transformation.

Thursdays 25.1.-8.3. at 6pm – 8pm
Instructors: Sini Haapalinna, Mari Kärkkäinen ja Elena Ruuskanen
Place: Zodiak studio C4
Duration: 7 krt / 14 h
Participation fee: 145 euro
Enrolment by 7.1.
NOTE! The enrolment has ended but there's some places available and you can still enrol by email to

Elena Ruuskanen (1983–) has worked as a dancer in numerous contemporary dance productions and multi-disciplinary art projects. She has also worked as a dance instructor teaching various dance styles, and her deepest passion is to find connections between creative mind, unrestricted motion and improvised dance. Elena is also a care professional. Her presence and treatments have a motivating effect on physical and mental wellbeing.

Mari Kärkkäinen has worked as a craniosacral and SomatoEmotional Release therapist since 1996. Craniosacral Therapy is a method developed by John E. Upledger based on osteopathy. Mari Kärkkäinen specialises in its psychosomatic branch called SomatoEmotional Release. She has also graduated from the University of Helsinki as a work supervisor/coach/facilitator and from the Helsinki Psychotherapy Institute as a solution-oriented therapist.

Sini Haapalinna (1975–) works in the point of convergence between contact improvisation, performance and community art and various art and science practices, often in collaboration with artists, scientists and professionals of different fields. She has studied cultural anthropology at the University of Helsinki and performing arts and theory at the Theatre Academy, and has graduated as a dancer from the Northern Karelia College. Over the past few years, she has – in addition to participating in international contact improvisation events – practised various Oriental philosophies and body/mind techniques with different teachers in Asia.

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Availability is limited, so sign up in time! Welcome letters and invoices are sent to participants’ email address immediately after registration closes. If you do not find the course letter or the invoice in your email please also check the junk mail folder.

Enrolment is binding. Cancellations must be communicated on the last enrollment day by 6 pm the latest. Please check this course's last day of enrollment from above. With the exception of injuries and illnesses certified in writing by a doctor, cancellations made later than the deadline are subject to full course fee.

Zodiak's courses and workshops can also be paid using pre-paid Liikuntaseteli and Kulttuuriseteli vouchers (Smartum Oy) as well as Virikeseteli vouchers (Edenred Oy). You can pay with the vouchers in the beginning of the first class or you can bring the vouchers to Zodiak office (open weekdays 11 am to 4 pm). It is not possible to pay the course fee with cash.

For further inquiries, please contact Elina Ruoho-Kurola,, p. 050 587 0470 (weekdays from 11 am to 4 pm).