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A still from Matkalla, 2022
Eeva-Maria Mutka
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My art

My practice sits on the edges between Theatre, Dance and Visual Art.

My lineage is in the field of new dance and somatic, experimental performance. I have been particularly influenced by Japanese Butoh, Skinner Releasing Technique, Body and Earth somatic movement work - and Buddhist thought & practice. For nearly 20 years I lived on an old farm at the edge of the wild, and I have learnt a lot from the daily encounters with what I call the ‘march of the wild’ – the tension and balance of our effort and nature’s force.

 

In all my work, be it with the independent choreographers I have collaborated with to create performances, or groups of children, or those who have suffered a stroke….I seek to touch a tender listening through the senses. I encourage and allow a flow of responses and transformation in the body, unhindered by the usual social norms/masks. Images and meanings come up that are pre-verbal and unique to each individual. With somatic embodiment, simple choreographic scores and the philosophy of non-striving, I see a natural grace emerge in people as they move, connecting with their inner life of sensation and imagination. Seeing and being seen empowers us. When we meet ourselves and each other’s worlds with curiosity and humanity, powerful and deeply meaningful images appear.

Biography

Eeva-Maria

 

is a performer, maker and community dance leader currently based in Bristol, UK.

She grew up on the Arctic Circle, Finland, but has lived in the UK since the age of 17.

She trained initially at London Academy of Movement and Dramatic Art 1989-92, and has since continued her professional development in dance and somatic movement work, gaining qualifications to teach Body and Earth and Space Dance/New Butoh work, to deliver the Touch Trust programme and the Youth Mindfulness 8 week programme.

 

Since the 1990’s she has been performing internationally in dance theatre & film, site specific works, cross art form improvisations, cinema and TV in the UK and Finland.

She works with people of all ages and abilities, including Creative Dance with children, parent & child Movement Play, young people with disabilities, adults with learning disabilities, and the elderly in care home & day club settings, most recently as part of the Bristol based Alive Charity. E-M has lead weekly sessions for Stroke Association Wales (2020-21) and assisted Rosetta Life in projects to do with Vision Loss & Proprioception after Stroke (2021) and Heart of Care with Bristol Black Carers (2022-23).

 

Eeva-Maria has been funded by ACW for her own project Shimmer /Symudliw (2020-21) and by Groundwork Pro for project Seeds (2020). In Spring 2021 Eeva collaborated with poet Jonathan Edwards to create a short dance poem-film called Paper roll - (Homage to Jack Kerouac) for NDCW/Literature Wales commission series Plethu.

 

Performance projects include: Multi award-winning dance short Matkalla (On The Journey) - a Scotty Hardwig film co-created with Andrea Olsen and Eeva-Maria 2022, Mujokan with Butoh UK at Kew Gardens 2021, Lady of the Lake with Michael Harvey and Stacey Blythe (2021), Pneuma by Miranda Tufnell, Sylvia Hallett and David Ward (2013-2021), and Close Streams (2016-18), NorthHidden Behind Darkness (2012-) and Explicit Faith (2004) with Gaby Agis. E-M has collaborated with many others including Sally Dean & Charlotte Oestergard (Traces of Tissues) Jo Fong (Witness-Portraits of Women Who Dance), Jessica Lerner (Just Being...), Florence Peake & Jonathan Baldock (Apparition of the Phantom Limbs), Jo Shapland (Dance For Neanderthal), Tanja Raman/Taikabox, Tetsuro Fukuhara, Salamanda Tandem. Eeva-Maria is featured in Photographs in two books -The Place of Dance, Moving Between Worlds by Olsen & McHose, and interactive websites body-earth.org website (translated in 12 languages).

 

Between 2002-2021 Eeva and her husband Andy Paget ran rural creative retreat

p e n p y n f a r c h near Llandysul in SW Wales. She designed and co-ordinated an annual training programme Body, Movement, Environment 2003-2010 and they provided studio and accommodation to artists from all over the world till 2021. Since 2013 Eeva and Andy have been developing their work as 'this is somatic' focussing on an on-going practice of Embodying Change.

 

In 2024-25 E-M will tour Y Llyn with Michael Harvey Storyteller, funded by ACW, and create new collaborative work with Visual Artist Vera Boele-Keimer for exhibitions in Bristol & Stroud. Eeva feels passionately about the importance of sensory experiences and creative opportunities for all, for learning, health and happiness. Sustainability education starts with ourselves, our own bodies.

Take a look at upcoming Improv teaching at www.facebook.com/thisissomatic/ 

Below, a small selection of images from my own making work, as well as links to my work as a performer over three decades.

Movement based
Making work

“I want the poem to ask something and, at its best moments, I want the question to remain unanswered.”  ― Mary Oliver, Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems

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Performing images,
with links to films
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Click on image to view this experiential resource. Created by Olsen & McHose, filmed and edited by Scotty Hardwig, performed by many wonderful dance artists and somatic practitioners, including London & penpynfarch filming: Susanna Recchia, Fabiano Culora, Andrea Olsen, Caryn McHose and Eeva-Maria Mutka. 

Community Arts Work

Click on image to view and read more about a Youth Dance film 

A Fragment of Wild/Tameidyn Gwyllt (2021)

made in West Wales over a couple of years, directed by Stirling Steward & Eeva-Maria, and produced by Maynard Abercych 

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Click on image to view 

Mary Lovely as a Tree (2016),

a poetic portrait film made by Eeva-Maria & Siri Wigdel, as part of Age Cymru's cARTrefu Performing Arts residency at Awel Tywi, Llandeilo. Mary was 104 then and will be 112 in March 2024,

Wales' oldest person.

E-M's Creative Dance logo, relevant to all ages

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