Here to stay
 - In Archive

  • Choreography and dance: Melissa Monteros, Wojciech Mochniej, Jukka Huitila, Pirjo Yli-Maunula
  • Guest stars: Ghislain Carosio, Henna Holma in Finland and Natalie Poissant in Canada
  • Dress design: Pirjo Valinen
  • Dress makers: Maija Mattiina Pihlaja, Heidi Kesti
  • Light and Sound design: Jukka Huitila
  • Graphic design: Tomi Hurskainen
  • Photos: Pekka Mäkinen
  • Production: Flow Productions (Finland), W&M Physical Theatre (Canada) ja JoJo-Oulu Dance Centre (Finland)
  • Collaboration partners: Comagnie Itinerrances (France), Delfos danza contemporanéa (Mexico), Hurtownia Ruchu studio Tanca (Poland), Culture Centre Valve (Finland)
  • Supported by: Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • Premiere: Culture Centre Valve, October 9, 2010
  • Duration: 50 min.

– A poetic statement on the behalf of oceans –

A collaboration between artists in Canada and Finland, Here to Stay is a poetic and wildly theatrical dance for the planet´s bodies of water.

Water is connected to our subconcious, intuition and memories. It symbolizes the extremes of a conflicted world: beauty and comfort, cruelty and death. This acclaimed international work explores the individual´s relationhip with the sea, through psychology, mythology and ecology.

The sea is a place of life and death, but also as a source for consumption and waste, provides the lively template for the dance theatre journey under-taken on Thursday at the High Performance Rodeo.

Her to Stay, inspired collaboration that spanned two continents and took several years to bring to fruition, closes tonight at Vertigo Studio.

Too bad the engagement is not more in keeping with show´s title, you end up thinking, so more people outside the realm of contemorary dance could enjoy the sheer spectacle of its conception and the care that has obviously gone into its execution.

[…] Like a cubist painting, Here to Stay plays on different sides of our realtionship to the sea and our perceptions of it, freely mixing mythology with dining and sushi. Well-pointed and atmospheric, Here to Stay is strongly stated show, of which you could say it always hold water, yet never gets wet.

[…] 4 stars out of 5

Bob Clark, Calgary Herald, Jan 21, 2012


A native of Los Angeles, Melissa Monteros is an active performer, choreographer and teacher. She has been a guest teacher and performer for dance companies, universities and festivals in Europe and North America, and her artistic work is informed by her frequent international travel. Monteros has a Master of Arts in Dance from UCLA, a BFA from the University of Utah, and has studied and performed with many distinguished dance artists. She has created work on companies in both North America and Europe and for theatre and film. She was a Fulbright Award recipient to Poland and Artistic Advisor to Silesian Dance Theatre. She is named in the Report on Contemporary Dance for the Congress on Polish Culture (2009) for her contributions to contemporary dance and has received honorary awards from two institutions in Gdansk for her contributions to dance in that city. She is currently Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Her work has been seen in Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Poland, Germany, and Italy, as well as Canada and the USA.

Born and raised in Lublin, Poland, Wojciech Mochniej began his career as a street dancer. At a local ‘culture house’ he discovered contemporary dance with teacher Renata Pyszniak and a new passion was born. He was an original member of Silesian Dance Theatre Poland, where he danced from 1991-1994, and where he met Monteros. Together they launched W&M Physical Theatre in 1994. Mochniej has performed in the works of many prominent artists, including: Anna Sokolow, Talley Beatty, Mark Haim, Stephanie Skura. Risa Jaraslow, (New York), Alpo Aaltokoski (Finland), and Avi Kaiser (Belgium/ Israel). As an improviser he has studied with Chris Aiken and David Dorfman and performed with Ray Chung and Milan Kozanek. His work in theatre includes study with Polish actors Jan Peszek, Grzegosz Bral and Jacek Ozimek. Mochniej has received awards from both Gadansk and Lublin for his contributions to dance in Poland. He was the founder of Dance Explosions, Poland, and he has been involved in the Zawirowanie Festival in Warsaw since its inception in 2005. Mochniej has been a Guest Artist at the University of Calgary since 1995. He was invited to choreograph for the Polish TV version of “So You Think You Can Dance”. His solo and group work is highly sought after and has been presented internationally.

Pirjo Yli-Maunula is a dance artist from Oulu, Finland. She has been working professionally for 30 years. She especially enjoys working with multidisciplinary productions and collective work processes, in which her roles may vary from director and producer to choreographer and dancer. Yli-Maunula collaborates on both a national and international scale, spending about a third of each year in artistic residences and touring. Yli-Maunula has also worked in management and as the director of Oulu Dance Studio, as the guiding regional artist for the province of Oulu, and as the artistic director of both JoJo – Oulu Dance Centre and the Full Moon Dance Festival. In 2006, she founded a dance production company called Flow Productions together with Maria Littow. Yli-Maunula received the Oulu City Culture Award in 2005, and an achievement award (Tanssin Mainetekopalkinto) from the Union of Finnish Dance Artists in 2008.  She was nominated for Artist of the Year 2011 in Oulu.

Jukka Huitila, MA, is a visual designer working mainly in the field of performing arts. Huitila has conceived visualizations for jazz bands, music and dance festivals, performing arts, galleries and other spaces. Performing has been a part of his design work since 2005, his artistic ideology has been influenced by his interest towards Live Art and performance art. Huitila works internationally and is frequently visiting as guest designer in various festivals and works for new productions as well.

Henna Holma is a dancer and dance teacher from Oulu, Finland. She graduated from the Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences in 2001 as a teacher of contemporary dance. Since then, she has worked as a dancer with several interesting choreographers, for example Favela Vera Ortiz, William Petit and Satu Tuomisto. She is a teacher at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences and in the art college at Kiiminjoki. She is on the administrative board and artistic committee of Jojo- Oulu Dance Centre. As a dancer, Holma is interested in the concept of deepening and broadening performance in a multidisciplinary way.

Ghislain Carosio is a movie and theatre actor, a dancer and a street performer. He has studied contemporary dance, theatre and clownery. Carosio performs in France and internationally. As a dancer, he has worked with e.g. Christine Fricker’s Compagnie Itinerrances in Marseille and with W&M Physical Theater in an earlier production of “Triangular Theories of Love” in Canada.

Pirjo Valinen has worked as a costume, set and poster designer for the Oulu City Theatre since 1975. Valinen’s works have been on display in several private and collective exhibitions. She has also worked as a teacher in e.g. the Aalto University School of Art and Design (TaiK) and in the Universities of Oulu and Lapland. Costume designer Pirjo Valinen is known for her untiring use of new materials and experiments with new work methods. Over the years, she has developed into one of the most unique theatre costume designers in Finland. Her special hobby has been bold experimentation with paper as a medium. She has created a broad array of different work techniques using paper, and has been successful in applying them to theatre costumes which are either partly or fully crafted from paper.

Performance history:

October 9-16, 2010 Culture Centre Valve, Oulu, Finland (6)

January 19-21, 2012 High Performance Rodeo Festival, Calgary, Canada (3)

jazz bands, music and dance festivals, performing arts, galleries