Production info

Aaltokoski’s homage for the human body. “Directed by media artist Milla Moilanen, Deep focuses on Aaltokoski’s pale, grayhound-like body. With his wing-like shoulder blades and skull-like face, he is a gorgeous, iconic human animal. Whether live or on (brilliantly shot and edited) film, Aaltokoski’s every shape and physical articulation captures attention.”

– Donald Hutera, Dance Europe / October 2004

Realized in co-operation with media artist Milla Moilanen, Deep combines a live dance performance with computer animation. In this piece, Aaltokoski’s qualities as a performer and choreographer are manifested exquisitely. His body takes different shapes that captivate the spectator’s attention. On one hand, his body is concretely flesh and bones, on the other hand a sensitive nexus between nerves and feelings.

Deep represents life in itself.

Choreography and Dance: Alpo Aaltokoski
Lighting Design: Matti Jykylä


Script and direction: Milla Moilanen
Dancer: Alpo Aaltokoski
Editing: Raimo Uunila
Animation: Milla Moilanen
Photography: Keijo Kivioja, Milla Moilanen
Music: Miikka Kari, Epa Tamminen

Duration: 18 min

Premiere: 22.2.2000 Washington, USA

Press reviews

Inger-Margrethe Lunde, Aftenposten 16.11.2007 (original in Norwergian)

For more than a decade Finland has been a pioneer within modern dance. Nomadi Productions, a succesful production company has produced several acknowledged choreographies. Alpo Aaltokoski from Finland confirms that the country still has something exiting, something different, to offer when coming to contemporary dance. …Deep, a solo danced by the choreographer himself, to a rich and multifaceted data animation. The 15 minute long performance became a study in psyciology. He deconstructs the body, isolates bodyparts, arm, shoulder, face in simple movements, linear as much as turned round the axe of the body. He foldes muscles and joints in a stripped language of style. We see as much of the skeleton of the man as we see the skin over the muscles. In quadrates and cones, marked by light, he moves almost like an animal. This is enchanged by the animation. The dance is almost like a scanning of the body movements. It gives associations to butodance and illusions of a bird. A type of rest, but still a sence of escape and flow.

Merja Koskiniemi, Aamulehti 26.4.2004

Deep, an impressive solo piece by Nomadi Productions, is a thrilling experience that rewards on many levels. Aaltokoski’s body and his movement material are ingeniously combined with the movement of animals and different elements of nature.

Johanna Tuukkanen, Savon Sanomat 26.10.2003

Deep is an delightfully multifaceted study of the close relation between the human body and other animal species and living organisms. – The dancer’s metamorphoses both on stage and in the computer animations by Milla Moilanen are astonishing, and at the same time subtle, almost unnoticeable. – Deep is an integrated whole, its every moment carefully planned and articulated.

Laila Lampinen-Hietikko, Kokkola-lehti 12.2.2003

The solo piece Deep, by experienced dancer/choreographer Alpo Aaltokoski, a man who likes to cut his own path, is based on a computer animation by Milla Moilanen. Aaltokoski’s movement is extremely accurate and quite astounding. His dance contains that undesignated element which flows from human to human and carries one away. He uses facial expressions in an astounding, very fast and physical way. I would have been glad to see the material on video performed live instead!

Kaisa Kurikka, Turun Sanomat 26.5.2003

Deep is like a physiological study of the origin of movements. It claims that all living organisms follow the same rules of motion. – – Aaltokoski’s Deep is based on a media art work of the same name by Milla Moilanen from 1994. The computer-animated video constitutes the final part of the choreography, and the male dancer on video is juxtaposed with Aaltokoski performing live on stage. In the first part of the piece, Aaltokoski moves across the stage in a buto-like manner. Attention is drawn particularly to his upper body, his arms and amazingly loosely protruding shoulder blades, moving in a way that brings to mind the motions of some kind of lizard-bird. Aaltokoski’s brilliant movement is ungraceful but soft, and flows rhythmically. By exposing his upper body, Aaltokoski lets the spectator in a way see under his skin, even inside his muscles.
The first part of Moilanen’s video is a direct allusion to 19th century French scientist Etienne-Jules Marey, whose breakthrough creation, chronophotography, anticipated the motion picture. Marey was particularly interested in the origin of motion and how motion can be measured. The first part of the video is composed of jerky clips reminiscent of Marey, displaying Aaltokoski executing the same movements as on stage. The video then becomes a collage, with a male figure in front of colour-manipulated pictures of different plants and bones of various creatures. Even though Marey in his time and Moilanen with her video attempt to show how movement functions, they are both surpassed, perhaps surprisingly, by the real performer on stage. Something actually present in real life always creates a stronger visual impact. Time is an important factor in seeing. In a video image, time is shattered into fragments, whereas stage time and a human figure on stage are in a time continuum.

Donald Hutera, Dance Europe / October 2004

Directed by media artist Milla Moilanen, Deep focuses on Aaltokoski’s pale, grayhound-like body. With his wing-like shoulder blades and skull-like face, he is a gorgeous, iconic human animal. Whether live or on (brilliantly shot and edited) film, Aaltokoski’s every shape and physical articulation captures attention.

Omar Khan, POR LA DANZA – revista trimestrial de danza – no 64 – otoño 2004

A sus 46 años, el finlandés Alpo Aaltokoski ha llegado a un dominio tan absoluto de cada parte de su cuerpo que sus representaciones convocan al asombro. […] Las nuevas tecnologías no le son ajenas y el vídeo y sus múltiples posibilidades han sido sus más recientes aliados escénicos. De hecho su vídeo-danza Deep, es algunas veces mostrada junto a un pequeño solo, en el que despliega las posibilidades de su cuerpo flexible y expresivo. Mientras el video, a toda velocidad, va penetrando en su piel y los músculos hasta llegar al esqueleto, que carece de sexo, su presentación en directo parece querer hacer lo mismo, una radiografía anatómica, que muestra la ductilidad de su cuerpo y su capacidad expresiva.

Performance history

Premiere: 22.2.2000 Finnish Embassy, Washington, USA

Other performances:
15.6.2000 Pirkanpohja Art Centre, Ähtäri, Finland
13.7.2001 Managua, Nicaragua
7.2.2003 Kokkolan talvitanssit Festival, Kokkola, Finland
24. and 25.5.2003 Dance Theatre ERI, Turku, Finland
20.9.2003 Hällä Stage, Tampere, Finland
27.9.2003 Vaasa city theatre, Vaasa, Finland
24. and 25.10.2003 Kuopio city theatre, Kuopio, Finland
5.11.2003 Dance Arena Festival, Helsinki, Finland
25.11.2003 Embassy of Finland, Berlin, Germany
14.12.2003 Teatro Nacional de Ruben Dario, Managua, Nicaragua
17.1.2004 Teatro Nacional de Ruben Dario, Managua, Nicaragua
31.1.-2.2.2004 Central School, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
14.4.2004 Tanssivirtaa Festival, Tampere, Finland
14.5.2004 Sala Teatro Victor Romeo, Managua, Nicaragua
15.5.2004 Casa de los Tres mundos, Granada, Nicaragua
30.7.2004 Full Moon Dance Festival, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
18.11.2004 Festival Internacional de Solos y Duetos en Danza, Teresa Carreño Cultural Center, Caracas, Venezuela (1)
21.5.2005 Tanssia Tyrkyllä Dance Festival, Oulu, Finland (1)
14.10.2005 Contemporary Dance Festival San Luis Potosi, Centro de Difusión Cultural Raúl Gamboa, San Luis Potosi, México

21.2.2006 Les Hivernales Festival, Big Danse Théâtre, Avignon, France (1)
3.-4.3.2006 Starsands Theater, Goyang Arts Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea (2)
27.5.2006 The World Village Festival, International Cultural Centre Caisa, Helsinki, Finland (1)
17.8.2006 Internationale Tanzmesse, Robert-Schumann-Saal, Düsseldorf, Germany (1)
30.9.2006 Tanssin Aika Festival, Siltasali, Jyväskylä, Finland (1)
27.9.-2.10.2007 Stoa the Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (4)
14.11.2007 Kulturarena Bærum, Sandvika, Norway (1)
23.5.2008 Studio Eri, Turku Finland (1)
2.6.2008 Teatro Liceo, Salamanca, Spain (1)
18.10.2008, VPK Theater, Pyhäsalmi, Finland (2)
15.-16.5.2013 GARAGE Art Space, San Francisco, USA (2)
25.7.2014 Teatro Astra, Teatro a Corte festival, Turin, Italy (1)

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