Head shot of male Latvian performer Vilnis Birins

Vilnis Bīriņš

Latvia

My most significant experience in movement and dance is with the Ansis Rutental Movement Theater. I was lucky - when I was 19 I was accepted into this group led the genius artist Ansis Rutental (1949-2000). Looking for new ways to train the actor/dancer, he spent time researching the development of an authentic training method. The artistic explorations the method created were extremely successful, leading to innovative and sophisticated performances.

I am still working with this theater and continue to make performances and perform in them.

I also enjoy running classes and workshops. My field is the so-called "stage movement" method, that enables performers to find genuine impulses in body and "not to lie" on the stage. Workshops are intended for both dancers and actors.

Head shot of female Latvian performer Ramona Galkina

Ramona Galkina

Latvia

 Teaches dance and movement disciplines to dance and theatre students at the Latvian Academy of Culture since 2004.

 

She has been a qualified as a certificated Feldenkrais Method ® practitioner (Feldenkrais International Training Program, Vienna) since 2004 and is actively taking part in various advanced trainings and workshops.

 

As a dancer she has worked in a contemporary dance field since 1996 and was a member of Olga Zitluhina Dance Company (1996-2012). Recently as a dancer and choreographer Ramona is working on different projects at the field of dance and theatre.

 

Since 2009 she is the executive director of the International Contemporary Dance Festival “Laiks dejot” in Riga, Latvia.

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Toby Gunn

Sweden

Toby is a British dance artist but has had his permanent base in Sweden for many years. During his carrier as a dancer he has worked with an array of choreographers from across the globe since 1990, and feels that dancing for money is still great fun!


 

He makes solo and collaborative work on a regular basis and has an occasional company, Toby Gunn Et Al.

Toby has a long, and current experience of teaching both open professional classes and in full-time vocational institutions. He is committed to expanding the education contemporary dance artists.

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Marie Hermo Jensen

Norway

Marie Hermo Jensen was born and raised in Hammerfest, Norway. She studied at the School of Contemporary Dance in Oslo (Norway) and has a BA (Hons) from London Contemporary Dance School, where she focused on improvisation and choreography. Hermo Jensen is employed by Stellaris DansTeater, where she works as a dance artist, film artist and project collaborator as well as contributing in administration and marketing. 

 

Hermo Jensen has contributed to Forum for North Norwegian Dance Artists, DanseFestival Barents, the Northern Norwegian regional stage for dance (today Dansearena nord) and Barents Dance Network through Stellaris DansTeater. She is a trustee of Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust in Waikato (New Zealand) and was Artistic and Administrative Director of DanseFestival Barents in Hammerfest, Norway 2016-2018. In 2019 Hermo Jensen started Moving Community in collaboration with Gaenor Brown/Word Sparks Applied Theatre and in 2020 she co-founded TCDC - Taranaki Contemporary Dance Collective. In 2021 TCDC premiered their first production “Sphere” at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth, New Zealand.   

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Virpi Juntti

Finland

A dancer and a dance wonderer/wanderer from Finland. 

  

I have worked mostly as a freelancer dancer since I graduated from the Theatre Academy’s Dance Department in Helsinki 1996, but I have also been a part of two dance companies Tommi Kitti Company (2000-2010) and Gruppen Fyra (since 2003). In them I have worked with the same people for years and that I feel has been a very important reason for me to continue dancing. 

 

For me, the miracle on stage or the flow experience happens through teamwork, through collective thinking.   

 

I am a better person because of dance. Without it I would be at least duller, more tense, lazy, and narrow minded. And the word “dance” consists of the people that I have danced with, like the people in this lifelong dance practice project.  When I have doubts towards this profession and I get tired of it, I just follow the passion and the playfulness of others, and I am back in the joy and humour which are the most important for me in dance practice. There needs to be lightness and self-irony in it. 45+ participants have that. I am blessed and fortunate to be part of this project.  

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Goda Laurinavičiūtė

Lithuania

I started my educational and creative path at Kaunas Contemporary Dance Theater Aura 1989 - 2000. In 2004 I received my master's degree at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy. In addition to dance roles I have always done pedagogical work - I have taught contemporary dance technique, contact improvisation, yoga in all professional dance or acting Lithuanian schools for dance and drama students as well as with dance lovers of all ages.

Awarded the Prize of the Works of Professional Theater Artists "Golden Cross of the Stage" for the role created in 2016 in the performance "Towers of Melancholy" by choreographer A. Naginevičiūtė.

Head host of Norwegian female performer Solveig Leinan-Hermo

Solveig Leinan-Hermo

Norway

Solveig studied dance and pedagogy at The Norwegian Opera Ballet School where she had her first professional dance job, and later studied theatre and cultural subjects at college and university, as well as choreography, different dance techniques and management.

When she founded Stellaris DansTeater in 1980 she formed the basis for professional dance activity in northern Norway, focusing her activity on the Barents Region / Nothern Areas.

 

Through many years she has contributed to the growth of dance as an art form both locally, nationally and internationally. She has worked to establish both DanseFestival Barents and Dansearena nord in Hammerfest, and was one of the founding members of Forum for nordnorske Dansekunstnere (FnnD).

Dance artist Solveig Leinan-Hermo is Director and Owner of Stellaris DansTeater. Stellaris DansTeater celebrates 40 years and Solveig 45 years as a dance artist in 2020.

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Fiona Millward

United Kingdom

I have been a dancer, teacher and choreographer since 1985, enjoying the alchemy of collaboration that underpins these various roles. I am continually inspired by the mediums of movement and touch, believing they offer an invigorating and intrinsic understanding of the world around us, as well as the world within. I feel deeply privileged to be a part of this project alongside such incredible artists. To share our creative practice, exploring all the richness that our ages and experiences brings, is a source of nourishment that feeds my work long beyond our time together.

 

In recognition of the evolving nature of contemporary dance within a changing world, and as part of my commitment to supporting dance artists within the exploration of their unique and multi-faceted creative practices, I co-directed the training programme Independent Dance based at Siobhan Davies Studios alongside Gill Clarke from 1996-2018. In 2001 receiving a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts Fellowship for outstanding contribution to dance.

As well as working as a dance artist, I continue my movement and touch explorations in my work as a Certified Rolfer™, Rolf Movement™ Practitioner, Franklin Method™ Educator, Scaravelli Yoga Inspired teacher and Hanna Somatics Exercise Coach.

 www.fionamillward.com

Headshot of Estonian male performer Renee Nommik

Renee Nõmmik

Estonia

I'm a choreographer, teacher, and dancer from Estonia, Tallinn.

 

I have worked with Fine5 DT (one of the first contemporary dance companies in Estonia) since 1992. I also teach at Tallinn University.

It is very valuable journey for me – to learn to see and understand Life through its essentials - through movement and moving. At any age. Love it.

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Tiina Ollesk

Estonia

Dancer, teacher, choreographer, organizer, movement educator, one of founder Fine5 Dance Theater, lecturer of contemporary dance-art at Tallinn University, pioneer of independent dance in Estonia.

 

I like being connected to the world through movement because it always says something about life.

Headshot of male Finiish performer Oleg Ostanin

Oleg Ostanin

Finland

He has been a professional dancer since 1988 and worked with the companies:
Nord Star Dance Theater (Tallinn,Estonia); Fine5 Dance Theatre (Tallinn,Estonia); Historical Dance Theater Saltatores Revaliences (Tallinn, Estonia); National Opera "Estonia" (Tallinn, Estonia); Dance Theater Raatikko (Vantaa, Finland); Dance Theater ERI (Turku,Finland); Carnival Cruise Line (USA).

 

Currently he teaches ballet classes to children in the sports clubs COCO Sport (Turku, Finland) and VG-62 (Naantali, Finland).

 

He has always considered, and continues to consider, dance as his life's work.

Headshot of project manager Latvian female Baiba Ozolina

Baiba Ozolina

Latvia

Project "Lifelong Dance Practice: Project 45+" producer and manager - 

BAIBA OZOLINA has a classical education from the Latvian Academy of Culture, BA in Culture History, Theory and Management, MA in Theory of Culture and great experience in culture projects management. Starting with organization of cultural events and concerts in Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, continues with project management for Olga Zitluhina Dance Company and The Latvian Association of Professional Contemporary Dance Choreographers.

 

From the very beginning and now working in society PARTY with choreographer Olga Zitluhina as a producer and manager with main activities and responsibilities - organization and production of dance events, performances, workshops and annual International Dance Festival LAIKS DEJOT (Time to Dance, the biggest contemporary dance festival in Latvia since 2006). 

Author and producer of the international Ibsen Scholarships 2013 winner project “Moved by Brand”, from which the well known dance performance“ARA” - 2 National Theater award winner - began. Producing the events of the "Lifelong Dance Practice: Project 45+" from 2016.

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Nikolay Shchetnev

Norway

Dance Artist born in Russia and based in Norway. Studied Choreography at Arkhangelsk College of Culture & Art, Russia.

He has been instrumental in the area of arts management in Russia with the creation of TOUCH, an annual International Festival of Contemporary Dance featuring companies from Russia, Europe and the USA. He is especially known for his work as a solo artist. Aside from his own acclaimed solo and video art work, he has participated in more than a dozen workshops and projects in different countries and has received support and recognition through more than twenty councils and festivals around the world. He has danced for several prestigious companies and choreographers throughout Europe.

His current job is Samovarteateret, Kirkenes, Norway

https://www.samovarteateret.com/

Head shot of female Latvian performer Olga-Zitluhina

Olga Zitluhina

Latvia

Olga is a choreographer, dancer, director of the international contemporary dance festival “Time to dance”, professor of the Latvian Academy of Culture and director of the Bachelor's program “Contemporary dance art”, pedagogue at Riga Choreography School. Member of the Board of the Party Party, Member of the Latvian Dance Council.

Actively teaches and participates in international workshops, dance camps, conferences and residences, organises creative residencies, is Founder and organiser of the international project “Lifelong Dance Practice: Project 45+” ​. She is a jury member of international dance competitions, including being the jury chairman of the contemporary dance festival Tochka (Omsk, Russia).