This performance is realized in partnership with Goethe-Institut Bulgarien and it is part of the Tempus Fugit project, organized by the Goethe-Institut Bulgarien and the French Institute of Bulgaria. It is based on an idea from the Metheor artistic collective, in the frame of the French-German Cultural Fund and Without Distance Platform, which is part of the project „Life Long Burning (LLB) – Towards a sustainable Eco-System for Contemporary Dance in Europe”, co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union and National Culture Fund.
Tomi Paasonen’s work is characterized by always doing things he has never done before. The 50-year-old choreographer, director, and former ballet dancer realized that now it is time for his first solo piece, which he has been avoiding for decades. Thus he began working on “Retrospectrum – 5 Solos for 5 Decades”. In the performance, he steps on the stage as a performer – something that he hasn’t done before in any of his own pieces – and lets the kinetic and aesthetic archives of his own works flow through his own body.
“It’s a look back that moves forward and a retrospective that opens worlds resulting from a process of consolidation, distillation and self-embodiment.” – shares the artist.
For 9 months, before stepping into the studio, he underwent a deep archival period of his almost 70 projects created between 1991 and 2018. Creating a deeply personal piece, this is a queer autobiography that goes through the most important life stations using ideas, materials and methods drawn from his own body of work. From growing up as a queer boy in 70s Finland, to his career as a ballet dancer, to travelling the world as a choreographer, to his return to Finland to take care of the passing of his parents. Now, incorporating elements of it back onto his own body, Retrospectrum refocuses a life’s work into a new form.
Tomi Paasonen, born 1970 in Helsinki, Finland, is a choreographer, artistic director, dancer, curator, mentor, and teacher After dancing as a soloist at the Hamburg Ballet of John Neumeier (1989-1994), at Lines Ballet by Alonzo King in San Francisco (1994-1995), and The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago (1995-1997), his dance career was cut short because of an accident. In 2002 he moved to Berlin, where he launched PAA (Public Artistic Affairs) and worked internationally as a choreographer and stage director, branching out into other genres. During the years 2013-2018, he was Artistic Director of ITAK in Finland. 2019-2020 marked the year of his return back on stage after 23 years. His autobiographical “Retrospectrum – 5 solos for 5 decades” is his first ever solo piece he has choreographed for himself. His work has been performed and produced throughout Europe, in New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
Paasonen has worked in a wide variety of contexts and has realized projects with dancers and artists from different disciplines as well as laymen, differently abled dancers and different kinds of minorities. Over the years, he has developed a diverse archive of choreographic and aesthetic working methods and approaches. After 5 years of working primarily as a curator and artistic director of a dance center in Finland, he has returned to his home and life in Berlin.
A production by Tomi Paasonen in Co-production with DOCK ART BERLIN.
With funding from Berlin’s Senate – Department for Culture and Europe
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