Dance Group Ihanat

The dance ensemble Ihanat is a Finnish group that has been active from the year 2014. The group focuses on giving each dancer space to be seen through their strengths and on adjusting the artistic practice to serve every dancer’s special needs. The dance ensemble Ihanat is directed by the dance and performance artist Riina Hannuksela and the dancer Elisa Lejeune.

The group brings to the festival their new series of solo dance performances called Gen Z – Portraits. These performances continue the group’s long lasting artistic process that started in the years 2019-2021 when they made performance sketches with the dancers Sofia Johansson, Vappu Virkkula and Minttu Heinonen, who were 18-19 years old at the time.

In the years 2022-2023 three dance movie shorts (Gen Z-trilogy) were made in cooperation with the dance artist and movie director Kati Kallio. The characters from the movies will come to life on stage in the solo pieces that will be performed at the festival. 

The dance ensemble Ihanat aims to find new ways of working where every dancer can dance and perform safely within the boundaries they set for themselves. The dancers are an integral part in the creation of the choreography, the world of the piece and dramaturgy of the whole. Ihanat was chosen as the flagship project of The Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2022. 

Curators comments: “The dance ensemble Ihanat has very talented dancers whose movement really bring out what’s vital and important in modern dance. It’s important to see bodies and persons dancing who are something else than what is produced at all the modern dance schools. The group is exemplary in showing us how diverse the movement can be in modern dance and how dance practice can respect the bodies and boundaries of the performers. Their mentality radiates to the whole field of modern dance at large and reminds us of the impact that outsider art can have!”