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Photo: Wendy Yo



Susurrus describes the intangible whisper, rustle or murmur.

Susurrus was a performance collective initiated by independent dance artists, Renae Shadler and Maria Nurmela in 2017, in collaboration with lighting and set designer, Kalle Ropponen and sound artist, Samuel Hertz. As an international team from different artistic landscapes (Finland, Germany, Australia and the USA) the group was active until 2020 in creating a hybrid collection of diverse performance and social engagement actions that encouraged environmental awareness. Susurrus engaged in the research of site-responsive and immersive performance – as well as online formats – creating a series of projects developed in residency and adapted to each performance context. 

As part of the creative process, the Susurrus group collaborated with Aerocene Foundation, an artistic and scientific community initiated by visual artist Tomás Saraceno. The core of the foundation is the Aerocene Sculpture, a light-weight 6m x 8m sculpture that is inflated by air, lifted only by the sun and carried by the wind. The Susurrus Group coordinated two launches of the sculpture at Hellerau and Ehka-productions to study how its ethereal movement could be translated by human bodies onto the stage. The group were then invited to share their research in a performative workshop at ON AIR: with Aerocene symposium at Palais de Tokyo Museum in 2018.


Online Platforms 

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the group created a virtual adaptation of Leaning into the air, whispering the wind for Elektron Art Festival, Estonia in 2020 performed live by Maria Nurmela in Finland and Renae Shadler in Germany.

Immersive Journeys 

Leaning into the air, whispering the wind a performative workshop created for the ON AIR: with Aerocene symposium at Palais de Tokyo Museum, Paris in 2018.


Part of, within workshop for Critical Path – Sydney (Australia) and Supercell Festival – Brisbane (Australia) in 2019, and ‘Dancing + Speaking + Sensing Within’ BetOnest Summer Workshop Series (Germany) in 2017.


Critical Path (Australia, 2019), Ehkä-productions Kutomo Art Space (Finland, 2018), Routa Company (Finland, 2018), Hellerau - European Center of the Arts (Germany, 2018), BetOnest (Germany, 2017) and Dansomètre (Switzerland, 2017).

Read an article by Renae and Maria on the Aerocene blog >

Read an article in Finnish "Tanssi virtaa katsojan kautta" >

Kainun Sanomat 7.8.2018



Concept, Choreography, Performance: Maria Nurmela, Renae Shadler

Light/Set Design: Kalle Ropponen

Sound Design: Samuel Hertz (previously Korhan Erel)

Supported by an Art Promotion Center Mobility Grant – Finland, Australian Embassy – France, Finnish Institute – France, 
Tanssikoulu Tanssitiimi / Kirsti Nurmela – Finland

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