Improtango festival

Improtango-festivaali 2020

The Improtango Festival is a unique dance festival that combines art dance and social dance. Its basic premise is to offer top-notch art experiences as well as low-threshold events that anyone can attend. It gives the participant a holistic dance experience. The festival will be held for the third time this year.

TangoNyky Duet Evening

Festivaali huipentuu päätapahtumaan Musiikkitalolla sunnuntai 18.10.2020. Ohjelma muodostuu neljästä duetosta. Iltaan on kutsuttu tanssin huippuja tanssin eri genreistä.

The festival culminates on Sunday 18th October at the Helsinki Music Hall. Once again the festival has invited an exciting group of front-line dance artists to create a duet inspired by Tango, especially for the evening. This year's commissioned choreographers are Katja Koukkula, Jussi Väänänen, Ismo-Pekka Heikinheimo, Tanja Illukka, Mia Jaatinen, Minna Karttunen, Minttu Pietilä and Miro Puronen. Bandoneonist Mikko Helenius will lead the Soul Strings string orchestra. They will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Anni Elif Egecioglu. The evening will also feature a duet by the festival's artistic directors Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop. The couple will also lead an audience dance session at the close of the evening accompanied by Mikko, Anni and the Orchestra.

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tangonyky-huippu-duettoilta

Improtango

Improtango is a new approach to social dancing developed and refined by Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop. In place of repeating fix movement sequences, it goes beyond these structures reimagining new variations and creating endless possibilities. Based on the argentine tango but infused with contemporary ideas, Improtango focuses on clear and intuitive communication, creating a genuine shared dialogue where both partners have an influential role. With simple yet not easy exercises, Improtango is suitable for everyone who wants to enjoy dancing with a partner.

Improtango Library Tour

The festival continues with Improtango library tour during November. It is a relaxed and approachable happening with performance and class by Choreographers Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop. The bandoneonist Mikko Helenius will provide the music.

Timetable

  • 12.11 6pm Malmi Library
  • 19.11 6pm Kallio Library
  • 25.11 6pm Rikhardinkatu Library

Improtango Course

Improtango course at Salmisaari Sports Center! Course duration 5 weeks, hours on Saturdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The price of the course is 60 € / pair. 19.9, 26.9, 3.10, 10.10, 24.10

The course will focus on direct and intuitive communication, practising with simple improvised exercises on creating a genuine shared dialogue where both partners play an influential role. We will go beyond the typical structures of tango to reimagining new variations and creating endless possibilities.

Choreographers: Minna Tuovinen & Martin Heslop

Tuovinen ja Heslop

Finnish/English choreographers Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop have been among the most creative and innovative dance artist in Finland since they started working together in 1991. In more than 30 years of collaboration, they have created over 60 works. Through their ensemble As2wrists Dance Company they have staged 17 full scale premieres most of which were commissions from leading national and international festivals. The company has toured in Europe and South America.
Choreographers, dancers, filmmakers and educators, this prolific and innovative couple have brought fresh and unique approaches to all aspects of their work in dance. As educators, they have taught and inspired generations of Finnish dance artists mainly through their work in Helsinki Theatre Academy and by teaching and choreographing in different dance schools and institutions throughout Finland. Their international teaching career has taken them from Berlin to the Favelas of Brazil. They both studied at the Laban Centre in London, which profoundly influenced the methods and techniques they currently use in their educational work. Creative bodily communication, Improtango and Improcamera are three unique methods they have developed to teach creativity and communication through movement.

As2wrists Dance Company

As2wrists dance company

Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop formed As2wrists Dance Company in 1999. The company's unique style is a result of them working intimately together over 30 years. Their work is dynamic and richly complex, combining strong emotional themes and original movement material. These sumptuously beautiful works in which sound, lighting, scenography and movement merge into a potent artistic force have been well received. National and international festivals have commissioned many of their works. The company has performed in festivals throughout Europe and South America.

Tuovinen and Helsop have been working with video and multimedia since their first choreographies. Heslop is an accomplished photographer and graphic designer. He has created all the company's visual and multimedia material. Since 2006 they have been collaborating with the argentine videodance pioneer Silvina Szperling. Together this trio of artists has created three short dance documentaries about dance in South America. They have also developed a teaching collaboration which has seen them teaching Improcamera workshops in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Finland.

As2wrists Dance company

Works by As2wrists Dance company

TangoNyky Duet Evening (2018-2020), Virgin Milonga II (2017), Virgin Milonga (2016), Scifitango (2014),Tango Noir (2012), Tango for the Radically anonymous (2011), Tango for No Body (2009), Mango Moves on (2009), Tango for the emotionally famous (2006), Anastamaa (2004), NakedMangoFallen (2002), Antiplastinen (2002), Crawl the Butterfly Back (2001), Zwei Akte (2000), Läpinäkyvät (1999)

Virgin Milonga

Virgin Milonga II

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen

Dancers: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen

Dancers: Jarkko Lehmus, Milla Virtanen

Music: Mikko Helenius

Premiered: Musiikkitalo, Helsinki

Scifitango

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Costume: Kaisa Kemikoski
Premiered: Stoa, Helsinki

Tango Noir

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: Kokoteatteri, Helsinki

Tango for the radically anonymous

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers: Natasha Lommi, Reija Wäre, Teemu Kyytinen, Pekka Louhio, Kaisu Hölttä
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: Kuopio Tanssii ja Soi festivaali

Tango for the emotionally famous

Choreography: Minna Tuovinen, Martin Heslop
Dancers: Teemu Kyytinen, Reija Wäre, Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: KokoTeatteri, Helsinki

Anastamaa

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers:Jonna Aaltonen, Reija Wäre, Teemu Kyytinen, Minna Tuovinen, Martin Heslop
Sound design: Tuomas Toivonen
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Jussi Kuittinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: Täydenkuun Tanssit festivaali, Pyhäjärvi

NakedMangFallen

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers: Jonna Aaltonen, Reija Wäre, Cesár García, Sampo Kivelä, Francis Guardia, Minna Tuovinen, Martin Heslop
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Jussi Kuittinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: Täydenkuun Tanssit festivaali, Pyhäjärvi

NakedMangoFallen

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers: Jonna Aaltonen, Reija Wäre, Cesár García, Sampo Kivelä, Francis Guardia, Minna Tuovinen, Martin Heslop
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Jussi Kuittinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: Täydenkuun Tanssit festivaali, Pyhäjärvi

Crawl the Butterfly Back

Choreography: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Dancers: Anne Raudaskoski, Satu Halttunen, Susanna Leinonen, Samuli Roininen, Valtteri Raekallio
Lighting: Pasi Pehkonen
Set design: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen
Costume: Minna Tuovinen
Premiered: Primo Festivaali Kööpenhamina/Malmö

As2wrists Dance company
As2wrists Dance company

Teaching and Teaching Methods

Improtango
Improtango is a new approach to social dancing. In place of repeating fix movement sequences, it goes beyond these structures reimagining new variations and creating endless possibilities. Based on the argentine tango but infused with contemporary ideas, Improtango focuses on clear and intuitive communication, creating a genuine shared dialogue where both partners have an influential role. With simple yet not easy exercises, Improtango is suitable for everyone who wants to enjoy dancing with a partner.

Improcamera and Laban
In 2009, Tuovinen and Heslop directed a dance documentary in Northeast Brazil with Brazilian director Alexandre Veras and Argentine director Silvina Szperling. Veras had a particular interest in Laban's theories and their application to camera work and film. The quartet decided to hold a workshop to explore how Laban's effort theory could inspire the creative interaction between the body and the camera. The first joint course for dancers, choreographers, videographers and directors was held in Paracuru, Brazil at the end of the same year. From these initial workshop, Tuovinen and Heslop developed Improcamera a technique for creating expressive video content.

As2wrists Dance company

Creative Bodily Communication(CBC)
Central to CBC is the practice of creating with others. The practical exercises explore the inner world of movement through the basic building blocks of form like space, shape and time. Also, elements such as metaphor and archetypes are investigated to add depth and storytelling to the creative process. Improvisation gives the confidence to express your truths authentically, and instinctively whether amid the creative performance or simply within the rhythms of your everyday experience. It also gives the ability to reimagine any situation in multiple ways to create variations, solve problems and invite endless possibilities.

Improtango
As2wrists Dance Company
As2wrists Dance Company

International Work

Teaching
The company has produced and implemented several international tours, training and collaborative projects worldwide, either as short-term visits of one or two weeks or then projects lasting several months. All visits have included a performance as well as a workshop.

MovesOn
In 2009, Tuovinen and Heslop started MovesOn international cultural development cooperation project. It aims to create long-term partnerships with local dance companies and organizations to promote social and economic equality through dance. They have implemented several large-scale cultural development cooperation projects in Argentina and Brazil.

Bom Jardin
Located in one of Fortaleza's most impoverished favelas, the Bom Jardin Cultural centre was one of the group's most exciting projects. The choreographers worked with local dance teachers and young dancers for two week; improvising on the neighborhood streets and creating a performance with the group. The visit ended with a performance by the workshop participants at the Cultural Centre's theatre.

Itapipoca
Itapipoca is a remote town in northeastern Brazil. There, the choreographers visited a local dance company. Despite the challenging conditions, the local dancers ambitiously maintained a dance school and a dance company. The Balé Baiao dance company's mission is to get the local community involved in the dance. The visit by As2wrists Dance Company was a significant boost to the company's profile in the area. During an intensive week, the choreographers taught improvisation, repertoire material and prepared a demo performance together with the company members. The dancers were also part of a dance documentary for which material was filmed on a stunning beach location. The visit ended with a duet performed by Minna and Martin and a demo performance by the Balé Baiao dance company at the House of Culture, the walls of which were adorned with political slogans. The choreographers returned to Itapipoca for a second time to continue the collaboration.

Paracuru

Paracuru
Paracuru is a small fishing village in northeast Brazil and the home of ex-ballet dancer Flavio Sampaio and is where he runs a ballet school and dance company. This ambitious company have performed all over Brazil and travelled to many international festivals. Minna and Martin have had the great pleasure to work with the company on many occasions. One of the highlights of the collaboration was the filming of "A Postcard from Paracuru", a dance documentary conceived and filmed by Tuovinen and Heslop. During the filming, Minna and Martin had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the dancers and their families. These experiences have remained indelibly in their minds.

Bahia Blanca

Bahia Blanca
In Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Minna and Martin worked with the local Cuatroicuarto dance company. One of the most extended projects so far. They spent four months in the city. The result was the work Tango for No Body. A work for nine dancers, which premiered in the magnificent city theatre.

Kiertueet
As2wrists Dance company has toured several times in Argentina. In 2007, the company performed Tango for the Emotionally Famous for six evenings in Buenos Aires, gaining widespread visibility in its largest newspapers. The performance was also seen by the famous Argentine Tango singer Susana Rinaldi.

The following year, the company toured with the same work to Santa Fe, Rosario, Marcos Juarez in Argentina, and Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. In 2012, the group produced and performed a dance documentary about the woman's role in argentine Tango, called A step in the Tangocean. The choreographers filmed the documentary in Buenos Aires in collaboration with director Silvina Szperling. It has been screened at several dance and dance video festivals around the world.

In 2013, Minna and Martin performed their highly acclaimed work Tango Noir at the VideoDanzaBa Festival in Buenos Aires. Then, they performed at Córdoba's major theatre festival, the Internacional Festival del Teatro Mercosur. As part of the festival, the choreographers also held an Improcamera workshop with Silvina Szperling in collaboration with The Centro Cultural de España. The tour ended with a performance in Marcos Juarez, as part of the city,s 100 year anniversary celebrations.

In 2014, the group travelled to Cali, Colombia, where the company''s choreographers led a 2-week residency at Javeriana University. They held an Improcamera workshop with Silvina Szperling. The multidisciplinary workshop was attended by students from the media arts, communication and dance departments. The theme of the workshop was the creative body in an urban environment. The workshop's highlight was a day-long filming visit to the centre Cali, coloured by dangers, surprises, and oppressively hot weather. The video and audio material was compiled into a video installation presented at a local gallery. The installation also included live performances by the students. During the 2-week visit, the choreographers also performed Tango Noir at the Alfonso Borreo Theater.

In 2016, the group conducted a Tango Noir performance visit and an Improcamera residency in Patagonia, Argentina. The visit ended with a premiere of Still Moving in Puerto Madrid.

Improcamera
Improtango
Tango Noir - A multi-level and fascinating performance combining contemporary dance and Tango

Choreographers/Dancers - Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop

Lighting design - Pasi Pehkonen

Tango Noir explores the stereotypes that infect the way we relate. Set in a typical Tango context and punctuated with Film Noir and 80’s punk music this dramatic and often humorous story moves towards its inevitable tragic ending at least fictionally. Tango Noir has been praised for its psychological depth, intelligence and precision. The piece has been performed with great success in Finland and also in Argentina and Colombia.

Tango Noir in the world
Tango Noir is a provocative work and questions several elements and themes related to tango. The Company has performed the work in a wide variety of spaces; in large theatres and small intimate restaurants. The work has toured all over Finland and Europe. Also, it has been featured on several tours across Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. The work has received a fantastic reception everywhere and has become one of the Company's most popular works.

Väestoliito blog Posted on 19/11/2013 by Heli Vaaranen

Minna Tuovinen from Finland and Martin Heslop from England have modernized Argentine tango. They are performing at Kanneltalo after a successful tour of Argentina. The man in Tango Noir is like many we see in argentine tango, a genuine peacock. The woman makes it difficult for the guy, she goads him in a sexy, needy, defiant way. The red-haired and feminine Minna fits her role nicely. Martin, as a handsome and long-haired charmer, in his desperate love, is intoxicating to look at. His despair makes him injured, even paralyzed. A woman revolves around the perimeter of a man, with all the power in her hands. I left the theatre full of enthusiasm. The music, colours, and pictures of the evening roared in my mind. Canadian psychologist Sue Johnson has long compared relationships to dance, but this performance goes far beyond psychology books. They touched on the power struggle in a relationship and how tender it is to be humbled unconditionally in the face of love.

Tango Noir Tango Noir Tango Noir Tango Noir
As2wrists Dance company
Scifitango - Loneliness is becoming an epidemic

Choreographers/Dancers - Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop

Lighting design - Pasi Pehkonen

The future of love
It is the year 2050 and the future of love is under threat. Loneliness is becoming an epidemic. One of these millions of unfortunate people is Bob. He looks at the cable channel and notices Sciftango partners in the ad. A man's life changes. Can Scifitango's partners offer Bob the opportunity for a new and creative approach to searching for love and sharing new visions for future happiness? Or is Bob just one broken soul that attracts others like him?

Subtleties and contradictions Sciftango is an intense and enigmatic contemporary Tango work created by choreographer couple Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop. It is full of subtleties and contradictions. Dance creates imperfect copies of the fleeting moments and structures of our inner world. Gestures can be interpreted in many ways, perhaps as expressions of love, aversion, or indifference. Nonetheless, they remind us of human fragility and vulnerability.

Scifitango Dating Agency There is a fundamental block occurring on a global level that disconnects people from living their ultimate truth and destiny even while it is seemingly in front of them. Don’t live in a loveless void. Call Sciftango dating. Our operators are ready to take your call 24/7.Scifitango is the future of love. We at Scifitango dating will give you the possibility to create and express new approaches to love and dating and to share a new vision for future happiness. Our dancestroids are completely reliable and come with the 6 month’s money back guarantee. The greatest gift you can give to someone you love is a 6 week free trial at Scifitango dating, but remember we at Sciftango give you a step to love but it takes two to tango.

Helsingin Sanomat Arvio: Kulttuuri 26.4.2014 2:00
Jussi Tossavainen


Minna Tuovinen and Martin Heslop are on their own path, doing trend-independent dancing. It is a long time since the last time I've seen their work. They have never left cold. In the past, the style of an artist couple was very abstract. That's why the novelty Scifitango surprises with its narrative and plot style. Tango yes, but no vertical wrestling. Tuovinen and Heslop have been studying Argentine tango in Buenos Aires for years. Scifitango is a performance about loneliness set in a bleak future.

The year 2050 is presented in the same familiar futuristic style as in Blade Runner or Metropolis. It's exciting that the future always looks pretty much the same, let's describe it at any time. We live in the future with our smartphones, but it's pretty dull. In the future, there must be foil costumes and reduced white spaces, as here. The story is inconsolable. The man portrayed by Heslop is one of a million loners who hires a tango partner from the shopping channel - that is, a kind of prostitute. The character presented by Minna Tuovinen is an android which offers temporary artificial feelings.

The man seems to realize it but still falls back into the tech dungeon over and over again. It feels a little tongue in cheek in places, but it affects us because the couple presents it in full power. Heslop's earlier "formalism" has also turned into discouragement, eroticism, and deeply interpreted sadness.

Studying tango has done the couple good and brought humanity to the dance. Fun elements have been placed in futurism, such as dial phones, vinyl records, and Roy Orbison's vocals. It tells of a person's longing for a "better" past. Scifitango is honestly pathetic, but that's what tango is!

Scifitango Scifitango Scifitango Scifitango
Improtango
2FilmDance

As2wrists Dance Company has produced several short dance documentaries filmed in South America, Finland and England.


Tangocean
A Step in the Tangocean

A step in the Tangocean is a dance documentary exploring the womans role in argentine tango. The documentary was filmed in Buenos Aires. It has been performed at the Loikka Festival and the VideoDanzaBa Festival in Buenos Aires.
Directed: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen, Silvina Szperling
Filmed: Martin Heslop
Editing: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen


Postcard
A Postcard from Paracuru

A Postcard from Paracuru tells the story of a company of dancers in a small fishing village in northeast Brazil. The documentary was shot in Paracuru, northeast Brazil.
Directed: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen, Silvina Szperling
Filmed: Martin Heslop
Editing: Martin Heslop, Minna Tuovinen


Rheya
Rheya Eiainako

Rheya Eiainako is inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky's film Solaris. It is a short video shot in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki.
Directed, Filmed and Edited by Martin Heslop and Minna Tuovinen


Tourists
The tourists

The tourists
Shot on location on the beautiful Isle of Skye. The Tourists is a short video following to two confused tourists on a journey around the island.
Directed, Filmed and Edited by Martin Heslop and Minna Tuovinen
Improtango