Double Dutch
 - In Archive

Choreographers and performers: Ilona Jäntti and Natalie Reckert

Director and producer: Pirjo Yli-Maunula

Composer and musician: Antye Greie

Costume and set design: Pirjo Valinen

Lighting designer: Ainu Palmu

Dress maker: Laura Luosujärvi

Make up and hair designer: Yanski Sova

Set maker: Eero Turusenaho

Photos: Matt Hennem

Graphic design: Tomi Hurskainen

Production: Flow Productions & JoJo – Oulun Tanssin Keskus

Financial support: Oulun Valistustalo oy, The Arts Coucil of Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation

Premiere in Oulun Kulttuuripesula, Oulu, Finland, May 8th, 2009

Double Dutch combines circus skills with contemporary dance and electronic music. The title, Double Dutch, refers to made up nonsensical language and word games such as Gibberish.

The piece is inspired by communication in all its forms: spoken and movement language, conscious and unconscious messages sent out by the body and different visual signs. The ensemble has set out to create multi-layered work that is open for interpretation.

Double Dutch is directed and produced by Finnish dance artist Pirjo Yli-Maunula. The piece is performed by London-based circus performers Ilona Jäntti and Natalie Reckert. Jäntti specialises in aerial work and Reckert in hand balancing.
Electronic soundscape for the production is composed and performed by German Antye Greie. Scenography and costumes are designed by Pirjo Valinen who has recently received the Finnish State Prize for Theatre Costume Design. Lighting and videos are designed by Ainu Palmu. The work has been produced in collaboration with Finnish Flow Productions and Jojo Oulu Dance Centre.


Ilona Jäntti was born in Oulu, Finland. She studied at Cirkus Piloterna in Sweden where she specialised in aerial skills including hoop, rope, silks and trapeze. She has also trained as a dancer at Laban Centre in London. She obtained a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies in 2006 and graduated with a Masters degree in Choreography at Laban Centre in December 2008. Ilona has performed professionally since 1999 and has collaborated with a diverse range of circus, dance and theatre companies and venues, including Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Opera House, Laban Centre, The Place, Cirque Bijou and Generating Company in Britain. Finnish collaborators include Circo Aereo, Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth, MedAndraOrd and JoJo Dance Centre.

Natalie Reckert is a highly skilled German hand-balancer and dancer. After a successful career in sports acrobatics she graduated from The Circus Space in London with a BA Hons in Circus Arts in 2007. Natalie has performed her solo show in several festivals and theatres including Shunt and Roundhouse in London, Circus Futures Festival in Bristol and La Piste Aux Espoirs in Tournai, Belgium. Collaborations with dance and circus companies include Stumble Circus in Manchester, Storm with The Generating Company in Bogota, Colombia and Off the Wall with Stan Won’t Dance in London National Theatre.

AGF, alias Antye Greie, is a German singer, digital songwriter, producer, performer,e-poet, calligrapher and digital media artist. Her work is marked by the artistic exploration of digital technology. She converts fragments of html scripts, software handbooks, news, emails into a form of electronic poetry and deconstructed pop which she presents as live performances and sound installations in museums, auditoriums, theatres, concert halls and clubs all over the world. AGF lives and works in Hailuoto, Finland.

Ainu Palmu is a Helsinki based lighting designer who has mostly been workingwith contemporary dance and new circus. She is curious about how austerity and sensitivity are parallel in a performance and finds light the perfect media to exhibit that parallelity since light has no materia but is simultaneously a necessity.

Pirjo Yli-Maunula is a freelance dance artist from Oulu, Finland. She has been working as a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and producer since 1980. She has been involved in various dance festivals and organizations, including the management of Oulu Dance Studio (1982-98), has worked as Artistic Director of JoJo – Oulu Dance Center (1998-2002) and of the Full Moon Dance Festival (2003- 2006).  She has appeared in contemporary dance works of several of the most recognised Finnish choreographers and has performed widely, both in Finland and abroad.  In 2005 she was rewarded with 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 got a two-year grant from the Arts Council of Oulu province.

In 2006 the National Arts Council awarded Pirjo Valinen the Finnish State Prize for Theatre for her costume designs.Pirjo Valinen has been working at Oulu City Theatre since 1975. She is known for her endless experiments using new materials and working methods in costume design. Experiments with paper have become the distinguishing “brand” of Valinen and she has successfully designed entire theatre costumes using paper. Pirjo Valinen’s costumes have been displayed in several exhibitions in Finland and internationally, and she has been awarded in Prague Quadriennale. She has also taught extensively in Finland, giving lectures and training in costume design in The University of Art and Design in Helsinki and at the Universities of Oulu and Lapland.

Performance history:

Oulu, Kulttuuripesula May 9th – 16th, 2009 (6)

Helsinki, Stoa, at Cirko-festival May 12th, 2009

Hammerfest, Norway, at Barents Dance Festival, 19 November, 2009