Secret Charm is a research project examining being a performer and a dancer: after twenty years of professional experience what is at the heart of performing? Can you hide your personality behind the movements or behind being a dancer? How exposed and sincere can you be in front of the audience?
Crumpled paper is used as a form of decoration and the costume has a similar papery texture. There is therefore a suggestion of disposability.
Some themes examined in this work also include the society’s demands for efficiency and productivity and the individual’s longing for a simple life – finding true presence and harmony. The title Secret Charm is inspired by internal qualities everyone possesses but are not always easy to discover.
Choreography: Anu Sistonen
Dance: Jonna Aaltonen
Music: Emre Sevindik
Sound design: Simo Heiskanen
Lighting design: Brice Durand
Costume: Jonna Aaltonen / Anu Sistonen
Photo: Teemu Kyytinen
Duration: 25 min.
Premier: 4.2.2016 Schungfabrik, Kayl, Luxemburg
Finnish premier in Turku 11.2.2016
– Regional Dance Center of Western Finland (LTA),
– Centre de Création Choréographique Luxembourgeois (TROIS C-L),
– The Finnish Cultural Foundation,
– Arts Promotion Center Finland, Dance theatre ERI
Anu Sistonen – choreographer
Anu Sistonen is a Finnish dancer, teacher and choreographer. After training at the Finnish National Ballet, she joined the company and was casted in the principal roles of classical ballets like Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. She subsequently turned to modern and contemporary dance to broaden her horizon with acclaimed choreographers like Mats Ek, Jiri Kylian, John Neumeier and Ohad Naharin.
After a substantial period working with Finland‘s most outstanding choreographers at the time (Jorma Uotinen and Tero Saarinen), Sistonen moved to Paris and then to London. She has taught all over Europe (Germany, Finland, France, UK, Luxembourg, Sweden) and has returned to the Finnish National Ballet repeatedly as a guest teacher.
During the years 2000–2017 Anu Sistonen was based in Luxembourg. Her new pieces were regularly featured on the programmes of Luxembourg‘s various cultural venues and institutions, including the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg. In 2017 Anu moved back to Finland and is now based in Helsinki. She continues working as a freelance choreographer and teacher in Finland and elsewhere.
Jonna Aaltonen – dancer
Jonna Aaltonen (1972) is a freelance dance artist (graduated from the Conservatory of Turku 1995), NLP Practitioner and dance-movement therapy method practitioner.
At the moment she works intensively as a freelance dance artist based in Finland. During her over 20-year-international career she has worked broadly in the field of dance and theatre: in contemporary dance productions, dance theatre, musical and opera productions. She has danced in more than 80 different pieces and worked with more than 40 choreographers (incl. Mats Ek, Nigel Charnock, Benoît Lachambre, Michael Klien, Anu Sistonen, Tommi Kitti, Carl Knif etc.). Aaltonen has also been a member of several reputable companies in Europe, for example Norrdans, Sweden and Volksoper Wien, Austria and the Royal Swedish Opera. In addition she has dance in several freelance productions both in Finland and abroad. Aaltonen has performed and toured worldwide: in Europe and Canada, Japan, Korea, China and Dominican Republic.
Emre Sevindik – composer
Emre Sevindik, born in 1973 in Luxembourg, studied audiovisual communications in the Netherlands from 1993 to 1996. Having been involved with creations for theatre and other stage performances, today he mostly works on musical compositions for dance, theatre and film. By cutting and pasting original samples taken from various far-flung sound sources and from his own playing, he invents a world of weird and soothing electronic shapes and sounds that remain accessible to most ears.
Simo Heiskanen – sound designer
Simo Heiskanen (born in 1969) studied in the Theater Academy in Helsinki 1991–95. Heiskanen has been working broadly in the field of dance and theater – as a dancer and choreographer on numerous theater stages and freelance productions. At the moment Simo Heiskanen works as the artistic director of Glims & Gloms Dance Theater together with Tuomo Railo, with whom he founded the company on 1999. The company is based in Espoo, Finland. Heiskanen is often responsible for the music, sound design and visuals of his choreographies.
Brice Durand – lighting designer
Brice Durand joined the Viracocha and Des Bestioles theatre companies as director/ lighting designer in 1999 after his studies at the Grenoble Science Faculty (F) and Metz Performing Arts University (F). In the same period he worked as a sound engineer on short films. His work as a visual artist and lighting designer is predominantly in theatre and contemporary dance with various companies. Durand also writes occasionally and his texts have been adapted also for the stage.