Photo by Chelsea Rowe

Art stuff

Thursday, December 17, 1998

Bay Area Reporter It's always thrilling to see ambitious new performance projects launched, and nerve-wracking to watch and wonder whether they'll actually take flight. So it is with palpable excitement and a wee bit of trepidation we (the queer arts community) anticipate the debut of "KUNST-STOFF," an experimental and eclectic-art company that aims high, despite its clunky Finnish name (which translates to "Art Stuff"). Its creators hope to tap into the "tremendous artistic potential in the Bay Area that is unreleased due to the polarization of local artists," and to "bring to the people the most interesting and talented performance and visual artists, dancers, musicians, composers, writers, film makers, and personalities under the one consensual umbrella to create THE MAGIC." Whew! If only every producer could match ambitions with deeds. Yet we hold out high hope for this endeavour, in large part because of the impressive histories of its founders, Tomi Paasonen, and Yannis Adoniou. Paasonen, a native of Finland, claims to have been "raised by wild reindeers in the vast tundras" of his homeland. Sure. But he has had a fabulous ballet career, dancing all the classics with various companies beginning with "Das Hamburger Ballet" in Hamburg, Germany, where he achieved "soloist status and tight buns" (his words, not ours). A freak accident ended his dancing, but left him free to co-create KUNST-STOFF, which he promises will deliver "mind-expanding experiences." We can only hope. Greek native Adoniou, who has performed with Lines and other San Francisco dance companies, has created numerous dance theater works locally, including a program recently seen at the Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival. His aim with KUNST-STOFF is to create events where dance, film and visual art influence each other. To inaugurate their baby, the duo and many local dancers and performers will present an extravagant array of delights, from dances to dramas to films to an exhibit to live music to DJ dancing. We'll be holding our breath.