Pirjo Yli-Maunula

This is Pirjo Yli-Maunula:

Pirjo Yli-Maunula is an Oulu-based dancer whose career has spanned over 30 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. Currently she is the artistic director of Full Moon Dance Festival.

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

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