top of page
  • Instagram
  • Facebook


"Dance artist Maria Nurmela's solo piece Closer to the Wild Heart creates an impressive and engaging experience through the arts of contemporary dance, sound and light design. The piece is elegant and abstract, subtle and poetic, and also profoundly corporal. The performance is described as a 'portrait of a woman between reality and fiction'. Indeed, here contemporary dance is not seen as mere aesthetic expression, but as corporal intensity and as an effect turning into reality.

Kalle Ropponen uses light to sculpt a stunning figure of the performer and Jaakko Vastapuu's magnificent sound design constructs a subtle narrative framework through a dynamic interplay of rhythm and silence, gramophone sounds, electronic and classical music. The crew's work is based on the idea of sustainability through minimizing consumption. The stripped-down production gives rise to an artistically brilliant work.

Nurmela is a versatile dancer-choreographer and movement teacher with an impressive national and international career. Her technical skills, expressive force and charisma are unquestionably in a league of their own." 

("Into the essence of liberating movement", written by Mia Hannula, published in Turun Sanomat on Sep 17th, 2016)

“The Finnish dancer and choreographer Maria Nurmela performed her abstract and intimate dance in the impressive space of the castle cellar and thanks to the festival she attracted an audience that would not normally attend an abstract performance. She impressed them not only thanks to her choreographic work, but also thanks to her dialogue with the gothic cellars.” 

( Written by Barbara Duskova about Closer to the Wild Heart, KoresponDance Festival, July 2022)


“ The multilayered nature of Maria Nurmela's latest work, Falling Through The Disappearing Light, is evident in all its different elements. The work unfolds in a wide variety of dimensions, offering aesthetic and affective insights. The work is inspired by H.C. Andersen's The Little Match Girl (1845), but the performance does not attempt to replicate its story but is inspired by the themes and motifs of the fairy tale. “ (Written by Kaisa Kurikka about Falling Through The Disappearing Light, Turun Sanomat, 6.11.2021)

“ It’s an intimate performance with the audience seated ‘in the round’, and it deals with themes we all can easily relate to: the need for physical communication, the drive to challenge old power balances and stereotypes. It has been performed extensively around Europe and it really touches the hearts of audiences regardless of their knowledge of contemporary dance.” (Written by Mirna Zagar about The Days,  The Vancouver Dance Center, The Days Project´s tour in BC, June 2022)


“ The performance ended in front of the main entrance of the museum. I was obliged to shout my thanks in a non-Finnish way. But somehow the whole performance had been so un-Finnish. So different, so inventive.” (Written by Mari Koppinen about Dawnings,  Helsingin Sanomat, 11.3.2017)


” Maria Nurmela dances with her senses to the full, tuning into her surroundings in these sometimes surprising situations.  Fascinating encounters and dialogues take place between her and people passing by.  What a brilliant artistic sensibility she has ! ”  ( Written by Mia Hannula about The city of people by FREE collective&Anniina Kumpuniemi. Turun Sanomat 2015)

” Nurmela´s choreography for Passion, is a must ”

(Written by Jouko Grönholm about Passion - love according G.H.Kolmas Tila. Teatteri ja Tanssi 3/2015)

” Each dancer was a jewel, but I was especially taken with Maria Nurmela’s melting quality in Wavelengths.” (Wavelenghts by Tero Saarinen Company at the John F. Kennedy Center. Written by Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post 2013)

”..Maria Nurmela also stood out with her bizarre mix of sad and manic expressionism coupled with a soft, adagio movement quality.” (Next of Kin Tero Saarinen Company 2008. Written by Graham Watts, Ballet. Co)

bottom of page