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Reijo Kela "The Silent People" History Niittykahvila Cafe

Reijo Kela

Reijo Kela was born in Suomussalmi on 8th October 1952. In 1970 he moved to Helsinki and began to study to be a laboratory assistant. An early interest in gymnastics and running inspired him to take lessons in modern dance. So the laboratory assistant become a dancer.

Kela studied modern dance not only in Finland but also in New York under the tutelage of Merce Cunningham, Viola Faber, Sara Rudner, Lar Lubovitch and Douglas Dunn.

In 1978 and again in 1980 Kela was attached to the Raatiko Dance Theatre. Since then he has followed a career as a freelance dancer and choreographer. He has taught in the Finnish Theatre High School and High School of Industrial Art.

"Reijo Kela has choreographed unique dance performances since 1977 for art galleries, fields, forests, swamps, streets and even for theatre premises. His shortest performance lasts 1.5 seconds, whreas the longest performance goes on for 164 consecutive hours. Kela has carried out his works on spots varying from 25 cm2 all the way to 100 hectare fields. In addition, his audience has ranged from one person to 10,000 spectators. Since 1990, Reijo Kela has been carrying out various types of joint productions and improvisation-based performances with a number of musicians.











Reijo Kela creates his unique performances according to the situation and surroudings. He has performed both in Finland and abroad. Freezing Waterfall (2000), for examble, was made in Lillehammer, Norway, together with Nordic musicians and technical experts.

Some of the most significant works for the choreographer himself are Dance for You (1983) for one spectator, Ilmari's Ploughed Field (Ilmarin Kynnös, 1988) on the fields of Suomussalmi, City Man (1989), a 164-hour performance carried out in a little glass house in Helsinki, and Sacrificial Flame (Uhrituli, 1998), made on the sand dunes of Suomussalmi." (Finnish Dance in Focus Journal, 2000)