Tomi Paasonen, Choreographer
Tomi Paasonen is a Berlin-based director, choreographer and visual artist born in Helsinki, Finland. After dancing with the Hamburg Ballet, Alonzo King's Lines Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet, he co-founded KUNST-STOFF, a San Francisco based inter-disciplinary physical theatre and arts-event production company. In 2000 he moved to Berlin, where he launched PAA (Public Artistic Affairs). He currently works internationally sharing his time between these entities and works as artistic planner and currator for ITAK, an organization overseeing the contemporary dance infrastructure in all of the eastern part of Finland.
His eclectic dance-, opera- and media works have a strong aesthetic language that often is rooted in documentary layers, provided by the theme-specific casts he chooses for his productions. His practice of working both with professional dancers, performers, singers, actors and laymen, such as disabled performers, prisoners, sexual minorities and people from all walks of life, has led him to develop an expansive array of theme-specific improvisation and device methods. His stage works often break the spacial separation of audience and stage. Currently his work is increasingly dealing with interactive structures, giving the spectator more power to intervene and shape the event and breaking structures into unpredictability.
Tomi has been awarded with the critic's awards in San Francisco by Allan Ulrich, "Theatre Event of the Year 2000" in Finland for his piece Olotila - State of Being and "Pro Dance Award" in Finland for innovations in the field of dance. KUNST-STOFF has been awarded with the Bay Guardian Goldie Award - Company of the Year in San Francisco and his piece "W" was nominated for the Isadora Duncan Award for best piece of 2004 in San Francisco. Critics Choice "Collaboration of the Year 2007" by Arnd Wesemann / Ballett/Tanz for the piece "Interface". His piece "Monogram" won 2nd price at the International Solo Dance Festival in Stuttgart in 2009. His work has been performed in throughout Europe, in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Brazil, Hong Kong and Tokyo.