This is Pirjo Yli-Maunula:
Pirjo Yli-Maunula is an Oulu-based dancer whose career has spanned over 35 years. A woman of many talents, Yli-Maunula continues to work as a dancer, choreographer, curator and a producer.
Defined by colleagues as “a charismatic performer” and “an arresting presence on stage”, Yli-Maunula is not afraid to put herself on the line in her work. Yli-Maunula will throw herself completely at any given production while maintaining a characteristic precision and clarity of movement. Her work is defined by sensuality and attention to detail. Yli-Maunula strives to create complete, meticulous works of art which nevertheless build upon improvisation and spur-of-the-moment insight. The touchstones of her work are rapture, passion, determination and persistence.
Yli-Maunula takes part in many collaborations both in Finland and internationally. She loves to travel, and typically spends four months out of a year on tour and in residency. Yli-Maunula has performed in Mexico, Venezuela, South Korea, Russia, Canada, and in several European countries.
Yli-Maunula feels especially at home with multi-disciplinary and collaborative works, and has worked with artists in the fields of video, music, photography, new circus, theater, literature, games, new media, as well as costume, light and sound design.
In addition to creating a substantial body of work, Yli-Maunula has excelled in developing the infrastructure for dance in Northern Finland since the early 1980’s. She held an executive position at the dance studio Oulun Tanssistudio, co-founded the dance teacher program at the Oulu Conservatory, worked as Regional Artist for dance at the Oulu Regional Arts Council and co-founded JoJo – Oulu Dance Centre. In 2006, Yli-Maunula co-founded a production company, Flow Productions, with dancer Maria Littow. She has worked as the artistic director of Full Moon Dance Festival in 2003-06 and 2014-16. At the moment she is member of the Central Arts Council (2016-19).
In 1998, Yli-Maunula was awarded a 3-year artist grant of the Arts Council of Oulu province and in 2001 a 5-year artist grant of the Arts Council of Finland. In 2005, she got the Oulu City Culture Award and in 2008, she was awarded by the Union of Finnish Dance Artists for her achievements in the field of dance (Tanssin Mainetekopalkinto). In 2009 she was awarded a 2-year artist grant of the Arts Council of Oulu province , in 2011 a one year grant of the Arts Council for Dance and in 2012 a one year grant from Finnish Cultural Foundation. Yli-Maunula was the first recipient of the title “Artist of the Year” as selected by the city of Oulu in 2011. National Council for Circus and Dance awarded Yli-Maunula with a five-year Artis Professor grant for 2014-18.
Links to videos of Yli-Maunula´s work on Vimeo
Pessi ja Illusia: https://vimeo.com/143598997
Scars – https://vimeo.com/77844225
Susurro (gallery version 2013) – https://vimeo.com/64300023
Susurro (stage version 2013) – https://vimeo.com/63876270
Svartisen (2011) – https://vimeo.com/34122444
Karsikko (2011) – https://vimeo.com/35430024
Elegia (2010) – https://vimeo.com/18044504
Double Dutch (2009) – https://vimeo.com/7040639
Links to the works of other choreographers that Yli-Maunula has performed in:
Jyrki Karttunen: Alla (2001) – https://vimeo.com/11747127
Alpo Aaltokoski: Lupauksia (2000) – https://vimeo.com/13044105
Jaana Turunen: Soolo Toiselle (2007) – https://vimeo.com/21749622
Johanna Tuukkanen: Map of Scars (2012) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EROHuuS5Kwg
Solveig Leinan-Hermo: Whispers by the Pearly Gates (2013) – https://vimeo.com/59889015