Photo: Janne Mikkilä

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

KILL Carmen on tour in Finland – storm warning for Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kemi and Ylivieska

Helsinki, Cirko – Center for New Circus Oct 28–29
Jyväskylä City Theatre Nov 1
Ylivieska, Cultural Centre Akustiikka Nov 5
Kemi City Theatre Nov 8

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s KILL Carmen will be ripping through Finland this autumn with 28 performances. The internationally acclaimed show will be staged in Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Ylivieska and Kemi in October and November. The work will tour Finland as part of Art Testers, a project intended for school pupils and run by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. At the same time, it will be shown at theatres in the same towns, with evening performances open to the public.
KILL Carmen brings the story of Carmen kicking and screaming into the present day. The work has drawn inspiration from Prosper Mérimée’s original story, flamenco classics and also Quentin Tarantino’s films. Roni Martin leads a nine-member Spanish-Finnish orchestra, playing music with echoes of funk and Balkan music and engaging in the on-stage events, each in the role of Don José. The dance roles are played by Spanish flamenco dancers Mariana Collado (Carmen), Carlos Chamorro/José Maldonado (the bullfighter) and Mexican dancer Karen Lugo (Carmen).

KILL Carmen debuted at the Helsinki Festival in autumn 2015. Since then, the acclaimed work has been performed at the Flamenco Madrid festival and at the Festival de Mayo in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Normally, it is not financially feasible to tour an international production of this size in Finland, but the Art Testers project enables KILL Carmen to be performed in various regions around the country. A group of 19, including stage managers and other essential personnel, will be hitting the road,” says Kaari Martin.

“I’m particularly looking forward to performing for year-eight school pupils, who are a really unforgiving crowd. And I’d like to remind audiences attending the evening performances that this isn’t going to be like a normal theatre production; there’s no need to be all prim and proper,” laughs Martin.

A group on international artists on stage
The dance roles are each performed by two dancers: the role of Carmen is played by Mariana Collado, a rising young star from Spain, and Karen Lugo, an internationally renowned dancer from Mexico. The role of the bullfighter is shared by seasoned performer Carlos Chamorro, who has won several awards and also leads his own experimental group, and promising young dancer José Maldonado.
The live nine-piece orchestra features several top musicians from various musical backgrounds. The orchestra includes Spanish flamenco virtuosos Juan Antonio Suárez Cano, Victor Carrasco and Pablo Suárez, Finnish percussionist Karo Sampela, who plays in Spain’s most important flamenco groups, and Henrik Perelló, a classical violinist who has served as concertmaster at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and the Finnish National Opera. The wind section includes Antero Priha, Samppa Leino and Erno Haukkala, familiar faces from various other groupings. The orchestra is led by the composer of the work, Roni Martin, who also performs in the orchestra as a singer and electric guitarist. Alongside the Martins, the performance is directed by Atro Kahiluoto, an Artist Professor and a theatre director.

On stage: Victor Carrasco (ESP), Mariana Collado (ESP) / Karen Lugo (MEX), Carlos Chamorro (ESP) / José Maldonado (ESP), Erno Haukkala (FIN), Samppa Leino (FIN),  Roni Martin (FIN), Henrik Perelló (FIN), Antero Priha (FIN), Karo Sampela (FIN), Juan Antonio Suárez Cano (ESP), Pablo Suárez (ESP)

Performances and Tickets:
Helsinki, Cirko – Center for New Circus Oct 28–29. Tickets from € 20,50,
Jyväskylä City Theatre Nov 1. Tickets from € 35,50 €,
Ylivieska, Cultural Centre Akustiikka Nov 5. Tickets from € 10,
Kemi City Theatre Nov 8. Tickets from € 38,50,

Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara, Mexico

Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara, Mexico

KILL Carmen to visit Mexico

2015 KILL Carmen conquered Helsinki
2016 KILL Carmen attacked Madrid
2017 KILL Carmen seduces Mexico

KILL Carmen has been invited to perform at the international Festival de Mayo arts event in Guadalajara, Mexico in May 2017. The festival has been organised since 1998, and hundreds of artists participate every year. The programme includes concerts, exhibitions, film screenings and dance performances. Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin will perform in the Teatro Degollado theatre that was established in 1866 and is located in the historical centre of the city.

Last year, the festival’s programme included Compañía Antonio Gades from Spain. Their classic interpretation of Carmen was based on the opera composed by Georges Bizet in 1875. This year, the same Teatro Degollado stage will see something completely different as Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s KILL Carmen strips the story of all romance.

“Carmen’s violence and insanity is shown as Prosper Merimée originally described it in his novella. Our performance also includes larger issues regarding the state of the world today but let’s leave those for the spectators to find,” says Kaari Martin who is responsible for the choreography.

“Our performances may not look or sound like traditional flamenco. Despite that, the tension and texture of KILL Carmen is based on the structures of flamenco. The destructiveness of passion can be presented in a very raw manner,” tells composer Roni Martin.

Of the Spanish and Finnish musicians travelling to Mexico, eight play the part of Don José. Dancing roles feature the Spanish flamenco dancers Mariana Collado (Carmen) and Carlos Chamorro (Torero).

KILL Carmen
- Artistic direction: Kaari and Roni Martin
- Choreography: Carlos Chamorro, Mariana Collado, Kaari Martin
- Music: Roni Martin
- Dramaturgy: Atro Kahiluoto
- Direction: Kahiluoto–Martin–Martin
- Light design: Ville Virtanen /Jukka Huitila
- Costume design: Erika Turunen
- Make-up and hair: Kaisu Hölttä
- On stage: Victor Carrasco, Mariana Collado, Carlos Chamorro, Erno Haukkala, Samppa Leino, Roni Martin, Henrik Perelló, Antero Priha, Karo Sampela, Juan Antonio Suárez Cano and Pablo Suárez

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin's performances in Mexico are organized on co-operation with Helsinki Cultural Center and Instituto Iberoamericano de Finlandia.


Composer, musician Roni Martin will release an album featuring new music in May. Known as a versatile musician, Martin combines musical elements from the Balkan region’s multicultural tradition with flamenco and rock on his album. This combination created Kalabalik Brass Band.

The new album is a love letter to Helsinki.

“Throughout ages, this city has been a meeting point of cultures, and I myself am a descendant of immigrants. Both my grandparents fled to Helsinki during WWII, and like them, I have always strongly felt at home here. I wanted to make these layers of culture audible on the album,” says Martin.

The musicians playing on the album are in part same as in Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s KILL Carmen performance. In addition to Martin, the musicians include wind players Antero Priha, Erno Haukkala and Samppa Leino as well as percussionist Karo Sampela. All the musicians have gained experience in many different connections from rock and jazz to flamenco and classical music. 

The album release will be celebrated in May 2017 in the Theatre House Universum. The same event will also be the premiere of a new solo performance by choreographer and dancer Kaari Martin.

- Tuesday 9 May at 19:00, Theatre House Universum, Helsinki Finland
- Wednesday 10 May at 19:00, Theatre House Universum, Helsinki Finland

Theatre House Universum is located in the neighbourhood of Punavuori in Helsinki at the address Perämiehenkatu 13.


Kaari Martin, an internationally-renowned choreographer and dancer, has been appointed Programme Manager at Dance House Helsinki.

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin at womex!

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin will be attending the Womex World Music Expo in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in October.

Meet us at Music Finland's stand nr. 1.71-1.74.

A Return to the crime scene with KILL Carmen:
new performances in 2017-2018!

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin's KILL Carmen is participating in the huge three-year Taidetestaajat (Art testers) project organised by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. The project will allow every schoolchild in the eighth grade to visit two arts institutions or events, the theatre, opera, visual arts and dance events, for example. They will visit one venue in the region where they live and one in the Helsinki area.

"Performing to young people is wonderful and frightening in equal measures, which keeps us nicely on our toes," says choreographer Kaari Martin.

In addition to enjoying the performance, the teenagers can meet the artists of this international troupe and they will be invited to join Carmen’s passion workshops, which will be run by the choreographer herself with dramaturge, theatre director Atro Kahiluoto.

"Passion is fire - there's no life without passion but it also burns and blinds you," says Kahiluoto.

The project will reach out to 200,000 teenagers and teachers over the three-year period, and it is part of the programme that celebrates the centenary of Finland's independence. The project is coordinated by the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers.

KC Mariana Savoy 02:2016.JPG


Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin will be attending to International Tanzmesse from 31st Aug to 3rd Sep, Düsseldorf. Company will be represented by Artistic Director, Kaari Martin and Producer, Sari Lakso. Meet us at Dance info Finland's booth 90. See you there!

#‎dancefinland‬ ‪#‎booth90‬ ‪#‎tanzmesse2016‬

KILL Carmen at the Flamenco Madrid 2016 festival

KILL Carmen will be next performed at Teatro Fernán Gómez in Madrid as part of the Flamenco Madrid 2016 festival. 

“We’re happy to be able to present our own version of Carmen to the biggest market for Flamenco. Getting selected to be involved in such a major Flamenco festival is recognition in itself. It’s a really top-class festival, featuring names like Antonio Canales, a legend of Flamenco dancing,” says Kaari Martin. “We were particularly pleased that our visit was highlighted in the festival’s official communications – we were the only one to receive this honour out of 20 performances involved.”

“Overall, the programme for Flamenco Madrid is rather traditional, even though there is also some modern Flamenco involved. KILL Carmen won’t necessarily be that easy for some to swallow – the work is not exclusively Flamenco and it involves having a good laugh at Carmen. It could be in for a mixed reception but – as ever – we’re not willing to make any concessions.”

KILL Carmen 24 June 2016, 9pm, Teatro Fernán Gómez, Madrid

KILL Carmen at the Helsinki XVIII flamenco festival

KILL Carmen premiered in the Helsinki Festival on August 28-30, 2015. The sold out performances were embraced by both the audience and the critics. The reviews said, for instance, the following:

"The power duo of contemporary flamenco, Kaari and Roni Martin, has brought the world-famous Carmen to today's audiences with vehemence…The modern Carmen is an enchanting and entertaining performance full of detail yet it manages to sum up the novella in one verse: "We never lived until we died." (Hannele Jyrkkä, Helsingin Sanomat).

"Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin has a phenomenal ability to recreate an artistic universe of their own from the impressions of a classic story. What seems to allow them to achieve this is an in-depth knowledge of tradition, an unfailing understanding of history, great technical skills and creative approach." (Mia Hannula, Turun Sanomat).

The next performance of KILL Carmen will be at the Savoy Theatre on February 12th, as part of the Helsinki XVIII Flamenco Festival.

KILL Carmen at the Savoy Theatre Friday 12th February 2016 at 19. Tickets 38/32 € from Savoy Theatre and Lippupalvelu.

More information and tickets:

Photo by Kim Laine

Photo by Kim Laine

Compañía aims abroad

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin has been granted a notable donation by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for enhancing their project to go international. The company has indeed taken their works around the world this year: The Raven, La Femme Rouge and On a String interpretation of the Sibelius Violin Concerto were performed in Italy, France, Germany and South Korea. Internationalization began in the spring focusing especially in Spain and Middle Europe.

“We already have a substantial network in Spain, but taking better use of it requires time and financial resources. We are happy and thankful we can perform our own version of Carmen in the greatest market of flamenco. The performances in Spain also reach buyers from other parts of Middle Europe”, Kaari Martin explains.

KILL Carmen will be performed at the Flamenco Madrid Festival in the summer of 2016.

Photo by Kim Laine

Photo by Kim Laine

Music plays an even more important role

Compañía will bring Roni Martin’s music more into the spotlight. The company participated in the WOMEX - World Music Expo for the first time. This year the event was held in Budapest (October 21-25). The annual event is one of the most important international networking platforms for the world music industry.

Martin has gained plenty of recognition for his music during the last couple of years. For instance, the music composed for Pippi Longstocking won the Thalia award for the theatre music act of the year in 2010, and Martin was awarded for the best original score for dance in the world’s most prestigious choreography competition, Certamen de Coreografia de Danza Española y Flamenco, in 2012. The latest work of the company, KILL Carmen, was, for example, described as follows:

"The orchestra’s interpretation of Roni Martin’s versatile music, that takes influence from funk, flamenco, and Balkan music, is thrilling.” (Annikki Alku, Demari) and

“Roni Martin has definitely found his place as a mastermind in a greater context.” (Tove Djupsjöbacka, Hufvudstadsbladet).

Picture: Kim Laine

Picture: Kim Laine

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin would like to thank

After KILL Carmen's premiere and three sold out performances at Helsinki Festival it is time to give a special compliment to all who have taken part to this process. This piece would not have been possible to made without these extremely gifted and motivated people!


Carmen: Mariana Collado, Toreador: Carlos Chamorro, Don José: Erno Haukkala, Samppa Leino, Henrik Perelló, Antero Priha, Karo Sampela, Alfredo Santos, Juan Antonio Suárez "Cano" and Roni Martin, Cleaner: Pablo Suárez.

Dramaturgy: Atro Kahiluoto

Visual and technical design & execution

Ilari Suonpää, Ville Virtanen, Erika Turunen, Kaisu Hölttä, Johanna Vehmas, Anja Behm, Riina Nieminen, Kim Laine, Jarkko Antikainen, Janne Mikkilä, Ali Kesanto.

Production team

Nea Granlund, Joonas Antikainen, Minna Korpimies, Benjamin Herala.

Thank you also Paul Väänänen, Juan Covarrubias, Irene Lehtonen, Johannes Hallikas, Antti Eronen.
And many thanks to the audience, supporters, families and collaborators. Last but not least, thank you Helsinki Festival! Olé!

15th September Artistic Directors, Kaari and Roni Martin

Next performances of KILL Carmen in February 2016 - Stay tuned!

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s KILL Carmen opening night at Helsinki Festival in August 28

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s new work KILL Carmen premieres at Helsinki Festival in August 28-30. Roni Martin leads an orchestra of nine members that fluently mixes funk, flamenco and Balkan influences. In the dance roles we see Spanish flamenco dancers Mariana Collado and Carlos Chamorro. 

The absurd and impudent world of KILL Carmen laughes at the death itself. Different art forms melt together when this powerful international artist group takes over the Cable Factory’s Pannuhalli. 

”We wanted to create a piece for stage that crushes the romantic images related to Carmen. Prosper Merimée’s original story is brutal right from the start, and as for the French Merimée, also for us it is easy to observe Spanish culture with outsider’s eyes. Luckily our Spanish artists are already used to our humour”, says Kaari Martin.

In the live-orchestra of nine top musicians play Spanish flamenco virtuosos Juan Antonio Suárez Cano, Victor Carrasco and Pablo Suárez, Finnish percussionist Karo Sampela who plays in some of the most important Spanish flamenco groups, and a classical violinist Henrik Perelló who has worked as a leader at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and Finnish National Opera. In the wind instruments play Antero Priha, Samppa Leino and Erno Haukkala. Composer Roni Martin leads the orchestra and will also be heard as a vocalist and electric guitarist. Artist professor and theatre director Atro Kahiluoto is in charge of directing the work together with Martins.

Tickets & info: - Helsinki Festival

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin would like to thank!
Arts Promotion Center Finland, City of Helsinki, Ja & A Erkko Foundation, J & A Wihuri Foundation, Kone Foundation, Niilo Helander Foundation, Broadway Finland, Embassy of Spain in Helsinki, Villisilkki, Peña Flamenca de Helsinki, Pääkaupunkiseudun Kierrätyskeskus