Artistic directors

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Kaari Martin

Flamenco dancer, choreographer, pedagogue, the second Artistic Director of Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin. ”I have not consciously chosen to combine flamenco with modern dance. My style is a result of the need to express myself freely. ”

Kaari Martin (born 1972) aimed at becoming a concert pianist, until she saw the movie Blood Wedding by Carlos Saura. She got fascinated by flamenco and instantly began taking dance lessons. During her career, Martin has studied both in Finland and in Spain, where she learned from the top names of flamenco, like Antonio Canales, Ángel Rojas and Rafaela Carrasco. Besides dance, she has studied flamenco singing.

Kaari Martin is an internationally noted artist, who has performed both in solo and different groups. Martin has worked as a pedagogue both in Finland and abroad, and in year 2000, she worked in Spain with a scholarship as a visiting expert on culture.

In addition to teaching, performing and composing choreographs, Martin has acted as a member of different board of members and planning workgroups for several flamenco corporations and festivals. She represented Finland in the artistic senior leadership team of a Nordic flamenco festival arranged in Stockholm in 2005, and has directed an experimental flamenco festival of her own together with her husband Roni Martin. In addition, she has written articles and reviews about flamenco for specialist magazines devoted to the art of dance.  

Martin sees the choreographies KILL Carmen, La Femme Rouge, The Raven, and Pippi Longstocking, all of which she has composed for her own company, as her most important works. Other significant recent works include On a string, which is an interpretation of the violin concerto by Sibelius, performed together with the Finnish National Opera prima ballerina Minna Tervamäki.

In December 2012, The Raven won the first prize for solo choreography, music and costume design in the world’s most prestigious choreography competition, Certamen de Coreografia de Danza Española y Flamenco, in Madrid. In 2014, The Finnish Cultural Foundation honored Martin with the award for an outstanding cultural accomplishment and triumph of Finnish flamenco.

The latest wide production KILL Carmen was embraced by both the audience and critics.

Currently, Kaari and Roni Martin work on several smaller productions and prepare the next grand production Anna Karenina that will premiere in 2017. Kaari Martin has received the state artist grant for the years 2012-2016. 

Roni Martin

Composer, lyricist, musician, producer, Artistic Director of Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin. Roni Martin (born 1976) has made a versatile career in music, playing in several different bands, like Winha and Revolution Soul Band, composing for television, film and multimedia productions, and acting as a producer and sound technician.

Roni Martin first began collaboration with Compañía Kaari Martin in 2003, when he was responsible for the sound engineering for La Kalevala. The following year, he wrote the music for Jörö-Jukka together with Jukka Orma and Rauli Rantanen. Ever since, he has been responsible for the music and lyrics for the most important works of the company. Martin also performs as a musician and conducts the orchestra in the company’s performances. In addition, Martin has composed music for other flamenco companies and choreographers, like the Spanish Ángel Rojas, and directed an experimental flamenco festival together with his wife.

In 2004, Martin made his long lasting dream come true and wrote flamenco influenced music for ten of Pentti Saarikoski’s poems with his associate guitarist Jukka Orma. They released an album called Of the World and carried out a tour in Finland by the same name, where Kaari Martin performed choreographies adapted to the music. The songs of the album are still performed annually in different occasions, and the 10-year anniversary edition of the album was released in 2014.

Roni Martin released his first solo album Roni Martin in February 2010. At the same time, he won the Thalia award for the theatre music act of the year for his music for Pippi Longstocking. In 2010, the compilation album 4 Movements for movement was released, comprising Martin’s music for dance pieces. Currently, Martin is working on a solo album inspired by Helsinki, and a live compilation album of songs for dance pieces not released earlier. A live recording of the company’s latest work KILL Carmen, loved by both the critics and audience, is also on its way.

In December 2012, The Raven won the first prize for solo choreography, music and costume design in the world’s most prestigious choreography competition, Certamen de Coreografia de Danza Española y Flamenco, in Madrid. The award is even more special, as the piece was performed in Finnish, and on the Day of Finnish music.

Besides live recordings, Martin is preparing the company’s production of Anna Karenina premiering in 2017.