Pirjo Yli-Maunula

This is Pirjo Yli-Maunula:

Pirjo Yli-Maunula is an Oulu-based dancer whose career has spanned 40 years. A woman of many talents, Yli-Maunula continues to work as a dancer, choreographer, curator and artistic director.

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 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. She has worked as the artistic director of Full Moon Dance Festival in 2003-06 and 2014-16. In 2006, Yli-Maunula co-founded a production company, Flow Productions, with dancer Maria Littow.

List of grants and awards:

1998: 3-year artist grant, Arts Council of Oulu province

2001: 5-year artist grant, Arts Council of Finland

2005: The Oulu City Culture Award

2008: Award by the Union of Finnish Dance Artists for achievements in the field of dance

2009: 2-year artist grant, Arts Council of Oulu province

2011: 1-year grant, Arts Council for Dance

2011: Artist of the Year, city of Oulu

2012: 1-year grant, Finnish Cultural Foundation

2014: 5-year artist professor grant, National Council for Circus and Dance

2018: A Special Award for the production The Secret Garden, Northern Event Awards

2018: Lifetime achievement award, North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund

2019:  Pro Finlandia medal

2020: 1 –year artist grant, Arts Promotion Centre Finland


Links to videos of  Yli-Maunula´s work on Vimeo

Hylky (2020) https://vimeo.com/446867730

The Secret Garden (2018) – https://vimeo.com/285139017

[mute] (2017): https://vimeo.com/238583984

Torni (2016): https://vimeo.com/181067675

Pessi ja Illusia (2015): https://vimeo.com/143598997

Panopticon (2015): https://vimeo.com/117169396

Varjakka (2014): https://vimeo.com/100538611

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