Meri Pajunpää

photo by Thibault Gregoire

In this class we will work with improvisation tasks as well as with set material. During the warm up we bring our focus to the present moment, creating heat inside the body with breath and movement, allowing the blood flow to prepare our joints and muscles for the full physical exploration. 
During the class we work with movement principles such as muscular tension and release, pushing and pulling from the floor and from each other, momentum, speed and anatomical precision. We look for awareness of our whole body in movement, learning to shape our energy according to each situation.
In the improvisation part we look at tools for composition, setting up  a common playground in time and space, as well as tools for widening our personal movement vocabulary. Through limitations, playfully opening windows to unfamiliar places.  Searching for new coordinations within the body to create surprising dances. 
As much as I am interested in working on very concrete movement principles, I would like to keep as an underlying thread through the class, that our dancing is always in relation to something, to each other, to the music or to the space. I'd like to invite the dancers to bring their own taste and color into the frame we are working in. To allow their whole personality into the dancing, letting the pleasure of moving drive us beyond our familiar limits.

photo by Joeri Thiry
Meri Pajunpää started dancing in Finland and continued to professional studies at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, MTD, graduating with BA in 2008. Since her graduation Meri has been working with choreographers such as Francesco Scavetta (touring the Surprised Body project 2010-2014), Sanna Myllylahti, Arno Schuitemaker, Jenni Kivelä, Vera Tussing and Peter Savel among others. In 2010 she founded together with a group of dancers and musicians an improvisation collective Tail Collection, which performed in the Netherlands between 2010-2011. Along her career as a performer, Meri has also been teaching contemporary and partnering classes at the Helsinki Dance Company, Conservatory of Turku, Tanssille ry in Helsinki, Treenit ry in Tampere, Akropoditi Dance Centre in Greece, Sign Six and Volksroom studios in Brussels.  At the moment she is based in Brussels and continues to work as a free lance dancer/maker.