Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Kaari martin and ismo eskelinen at Riihimäki Summer concerts

On 5.-6.6. Kaari Martin will perform the works of classical Spanish composers at Riihimäki Summer Concerts with the guitarist Ismo Eskelinen. The guitar virtuoso Eskelinen is one of the most internationally successful musicians in Finland, and his latest performances have been, among others, as the guest soloist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a soloist of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie during their tour in Germany and performances in significant music festivals in New York and Dresden. Martin and Eskelinen have performed together before, for example, at the Tampere Chamber Music Festival 2018.

More info:

Photo: Kim Laine

Photo: Kim Laine

Kill carmen goes to russia

KILL Carmen travels to Petrozavodsk. The work will be performed twice at The Musical Theatre of the Republic of Karelia on 12.6. as a part of the international Nord Dance Festival on 8.-16.6. The theatre is one of the biggest theatres in Petrozavodsk and it has, for example, plenty of ballet and opera in its programme. In addition to touring in Finland, KILL Carmen that premiered in 2015 has been performed in Spain and Mexico, and it has been a hit among the audience and the reviewers.

More info:

Photo: Jesús Robisco

Photo: Jesús Robisco

Spanish dancers mariana collado and carlos chamorro to kuopio

Mariana Collado and Carlos Chamorro, the trusted dancers of the group, will perform at the 50 year gala of the Kuopio Dance Festival on 14.6. and 15.6. They will be accompanied by the new generation Spanish musicians, the violinist Víctor Guadiana, the guitarist José Almarcha and the singer Loreto de Diego. The artists will perform both traditional and modern flamenco. The festival 2019 is also the last festival of the artist and the artistic director Jorma Uotinen who dances also in Anna Karenina of Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin.

More info:

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

COMPAÑÍA KAARI & RONI MARTIN continues with the Art testers project

The artist group Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin is once again part of Art Testers project of the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. This time the testers get to see the Anna Karenina performances at the Telakka event venue in Hernesaari, Helsinki. A special kind of pre and after parties have been planned for the young people. During these parties, the artists of Anna Karenina visit schools during November 2019 and January 2020. The performances take place in February 2020 and audiences outside Art Testers have an opportunity to see the performance on Saturday 8.2. at 18 and 20. Ticket sales for the performances will open in August.

The Art Testers offers quality art experiences for all eighth-graders in Finland during the last term year of the project 2019-2020. The participation percent of the term year that starts in August is 99%, which means that almost all upper comprehensive schools in Finland participate. 55 art experiences from different parts of Finland have been chosen as the visiting destinations. ” Art testing has indicated that it is needed. Surprisingly many of the tough guy acting eighth-graders have said that they have experienced something unforgettable” explains Antti Arjava, Secretary General of the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

More info

Taidetestaajat is made possible by: Finnish Cultural Foundation / Swedish Cultural Foundation / Children´s Culture Association


The Spectacular flamenco singer carmen linares concert on the big stage of the kuopio city theatre in april

Carmen Linares visits the Kuopio City Theatre 10.-11.4.

The living legend of flamenco singing, Carmen Linares, arrives at Kuopio on 10.4. to the premiere of the House of Bernarda Alba, a play by the Spanish national poet, Federico García Lorca. Before the play there will be an artist meeting with Linares, the director of the play Anne Rautiainen, the choreographer Kaari Martin and the Spanish top pianist Pablo Suárez. The meeting will be held in the upper foyer of the theatre and it will be interpreted in Finnish. You can ask questions from the performers in Finnish, English and Spanish. The next day after the premiere, 11.4. at 19.00, Linares and Suárez will play a concert at the Minna stage of Kuopio. They will be joined by Linares' daughter, actress Lucía Espín who lives and works in London, and Kaari Martin, a Finnish flamenco dancer and choreographer who is internationally known for her modern adaptations of flamenco.

The poems of Lorca that are both sung and recited and accompanied by the piano and dance will be heard at the Carmen meets Federico concert. The fresh arrangements of the composer-musician Roni Martin that were made for the House of Bernarda Alba will be a part of the performance. The poems of the performance will be reflected on the stage also in Finnish and the lyrics will be available in the programme booklet.

The living legend of flamenco singing and the master of cante jondo style, Carmen Linares, has performed all over the world in all the most important arenas performing both traditional flamenco and with several symphony and chamber music orchestras, and has gathered praising reviews everywhere she has visited. She was, for example, the first flamenco singer that performed with the New York Philharmonic. In Finland, Linares has performed at Tampere Flamenco Festival and Helsinki Festival among others. Linares has been held in high regard due to her unique, powerful voice since she released her first recording at the age of 18. Her career has spanned 50 years already and she is one of the most internationally well-known flamenco artists. Linares is said to be one of the most authentic artists of modern flamenco. Her sound is intensive and clean but she has not become tied up in purism.

Linares has performed the works of many Spanish poets, e.g., the national poet of Spain, Federico García Lorca whose texts she has also recorded. Linares' records Canciones Populares Antiguas with the lyrics of Lorca's poems and La mujer en el cante that includes interpretations of the different styles of female flamenco singers are the master pieces of the history of flamenco, and they have influenced several generations of flamenco artists both in Spain and the rest of the world. Linares says she is a feminist and particularly proud of the fact that she has been able to be the pioneer for the young generation of female singers.

“Carmen Linares’ flamenco intensity, its alchemy of passion...rose to furious, desperate timeless invocations of lost love.” – The New York Times



Photo: Jarkko Antikainen

Photo: Jarkko Antikainen

COMPAÑÍA KAARI & RONI MARTIN IS tourING and teaches courses around finland in march

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin is active in four different cities

Thursday 21.3. Kaari Martin dances El Amor Brujo by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla and the works of Väinö Raitio, a Finnish modernist from the beginning of the 20th century as the soloist for the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra with the conductor Jutta Seppinen at the Kuopio Music Centre.

I have danced El Amor Brujo before but I always make a new version of it depending on the make-up of the orchestra and instrumentation. The works of Raitio are rhythmic and passionate and as if they were created for dance, and they remind me of Picasso, Dali and others,” Kaari Martin describes.

The bold KILL Carmen by Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin will be seen at the Oulu Music Festival at Oulu Areena twice on Saturday 23.3.

On Thursday 21.3. The dancer of the group, Mariana Collado, together with Roni Martin and the trumpeter Antero Priha will perform at a home concert as a part of the Oulu Music Festival. A splendid chamber music ensemble Meta4 will also play at the same event.

Flamenco association Palo Nuevo together with the Oulu Music Festival, Jojo – Oulu Dance Centre and Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin will organise a dance course of Mariana Collado in Tanssikeskus Citydance on 22.-23.3. Mariana will continue from Oulu to Jyväskylä where she will teach an advanced level flamenco students on 24.-26.3.

In March, Kaari and Roni Martin can be seen performing also in Helsinki, e.g., in the election events of the members of Parliament of the Greens of Finland, Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto and Pekka Haavisto. Accompanying them will be the musician, the violinist-composer Sanna Salmenkallio and the Arabic music artist, Iraqi singer Ali Saad.


Compañia kaari & roni martin to collaborate with the flamenco singer carmen linares, the director anne rautiainen and the kuopio city theatre

The flamenco legend Carmen Linares will sing Roni Martin's arrangements for the Kuopio City Theatre play, the House of Bernarda Alba

The singer Carmen Linares is one of the most well-known flamenco artists and the master of the cante jondo style of flamenco. Linares has been held in high regard due to her unique and powerful voice since she released her first recording at the age of 18. Linares is said to be one of the most authentic artists of modern flamenco. Her sound is intensive and clean but she has not become tied up in purism.

Carmen Linares has performed the works of many Spanish poets, e.g., the national poet of Spain, Federico García Lorca whose texts she has also recorded. Linares' records Canciones Populares Antiguas with the lyrics of Lorca's poems and La mujer en el cante that includes interpretations of the different styles of female flamenco singers are the master pieces of the history of flamenco, and they have influenced several generations of flamenco artists both in Spain and the rest of the world. Linares says she is a feminist and particularly proud of the fact that she has been able to be the pioneer for the young generation of female singers.

The director of the House of Bernarda Alba, Anne Rautiainen, has had Linares' album, Canciones Populares Antiguas, among her favourite albums for the past 25 years.

”It is a dream come true to have the voice of Linares' as a part of this performance”, Rautiainen says. ”To me, she is the one whose voice has led me to get acquainted with the poems of Lorca and flamenco. When I heard the raw versions of the recordings made for Kuopio for the first time, I got both goose bumps and tears in my eyes – the arrangements are really exceptional and Carmen's voice, if that is possible, is even more impressive than 25 years ago.”

The five poems of Lorca has been newly arranged by the composer, musician Roni Martin who together with Kaari Martin leads their own international group, Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin. Martin visited Madrid at the end of the year to record the new versions of the songs with Carmen and the top pianist Pablo Suárez.

”The versions of Carmen Linares from 1994 are iconic and have had a tremendous effect on how flamenco is thought about and done these days. This is the reason why when rearranging the songs I wanted to examine them from a completely new angle, and also their use in the play, the House of Bernarda Alba, gave me the opportunity to do so. That is why I ended up composing all the interludes of the poems anew,” Roni Martin says. ”I wanted to create the conditions of a live performance as accurately as possible in the studio, and the songs in the recordings are heard just as Linares and Pablo Suárez performed them live. I think you can hear this wonderfully in the final result.”

”The music of Linares has had a huge impact on the whole generation of flamenco artists also here in Finland.”, Kaari Martin, the choreographer of the House of Bernarda Alba, says. ”My first real flamenco choreography was Linares' Zorongo Gitano for a choreography competition in Kajaani in 1996 and I won the first ever prize in my life”, Martin laughs. ”It is quite appropriate that the captain of the whole project, director Anne Rautiainen, has listened to this particular album while preparing herself for the work.”

Multipercussionist Teho Majamäki will be in charge of the live music parts that alternate with the recordings of Linares. He will also play the role of Bernarda's mother, Maria Josefa.

Federico García Lorca: The House of Bernarda Alba on the big stage of the Kuopio City Theatre, the premiere 10.4.

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Versatile spring of gigs on the way

During the spring, Kaari Martin performs as a soloist and participates as a panelist in several classical music festival such as the Tampere Chamber Music Festival and as a soloist of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra. The bold KILL Carmen of the group will be seen at the Oulu Music Festival at the Oulu Areena. The dancer of the group, Mariana Collado, together with Roni Martin and the trumpeter Antero Priha will perform at a home concert that is part of the Oulu Music Festival. A splendid chamber music ensemble Meta4 will play at the same event. The programme of the Oulu Music Festival will be introduced also in Helsinki at the G-Livelab Club where the Martins perform with the artistic director of the Oulu Music Festival, Jaakko Kuusisto. Other performers of the evening are the pianists Heini Kärkkäinen and Iiro Rantala. On 10.4.2019, the House of Bernarda Alba that is based on the play of Federico García Lorca, the national poet of Spain, will premiere at the big stage of the Kuopio City Theatre. The House of Bernarda Alba is directed by Anne Rautiainen and choreographed by Kaari Martin. The rehearsals of the two upcoming works of the group will start in May, and also many other interesting things will be happening this year - stay tuned!

More information about the upcoming spring performances:

1.2. As a guest, G-Livelab, Helsinki with Kaari and Roni Martin, Jaakko Kuusisto, Iiro Rantala and Heini Kärkkäinen

21.3. Chamber Music Concert at Kempele with Mariana Collado. Roni Martin, Antero Priha and Meta4

23.3. Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin: KILL Carmen, Oulu Areena 

21.3. Flamenco! Kaari Martin as a solist for the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Jutta Seppinen. Kuopio Music Center

10.4.-18.5. Kuopio City Theater´s House of Bernarda Alba, dir. Anne Rautiainen, chor. Kaari Martin

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Kaari martin was awarded the choreographer of the year 2019!

The reasoning of the Ethnogala jury: The Choreographer of the Year addresses the language of her dance form with a unique and special style. Over the years, a whole dance culture has turned into a multilayered performance art in the hands of this artist. The recipient of the award is often described with the words: wild, unpredictable, elegant, anarchistic and sophisticated. In the hands of this internationally renowned artist, the Scandinavian coolness and the Nordic design language intertwine with the sizzling warm dance heritage of Andalusia. The Finnish flamenco art has become an international concept in the wake of the groundbreaking scenic work of this dancer-choreographer. Ladies and gentlemen, more than two decades of magnificent dance art à la the Choreographer of the Year: Kaari Martin.”

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

The year of compañia Kaari & roni martin has had an eventful beginning

Compañia Kaari & Roni Martin started the year 2019 before it even begun: Roni Martin travelled to Madrid in 31.12. to record with the legend of flamenco singing, Carmen Linares and the pianist Pablo Suárez and on week 2, the Martins took part in Together on the crest of the folk wave events:

10.1. Kaari Martin is nominated for the Choreographer of the Year award at the Etnogala that takes place at the Tavastia club in Helsinki. The first-class performances and the presentation of the awards take turns in two different stages. Yle will livestream the gala in Yle Areena and it will be broadcasted live at Yle Radio 1. The programmes can be watched and listened at Yle Areena also outside Finland.
Ethnogala 2017 recording:
More Information:

11.1. Kaari Martin participates in the FolkForum seminar at the Helsinki Music Centre. At 12.45.-13.15 Kaari Martin talks about her experiences in working at international environments from the perspective of both export and leading a multicultural team. At 13.45-14.45 Martin participates in the panel discussion of The future of advancing the export of folk dance. The discussion is moderated by Henna Salo from Music Finland and the other panelists are: Reetta-Kaisa Iles, Sanna Rekola from Dance Info Finland, Tuomas Mikkola and Janne Halonen.
The seminar programme can be found here: 

11.-12.1.  Kaari and Roni Martin perform at the Folklandia cruise in Silja Europa. 134 ensembles that consist of the top names of folk music and folk dance from 10 different countries will be seen on the cruise. The Folklandia cruise will play and dance for 22 hours offering a whole package of folk euphoria for 3000 cruise guests.
More information:

We will inform about the other upcoming performances of Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin later - stay tuned!

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Anna karenina's performances in St. petersburg were exceptionally well received

The adaptation of Anna Karenina that is based on Leo Tolstoy's novel premiered in March 2018. All the performances have been sold out, and the reviews have been excellent– also in St. Petersburg.
”We were prepared for a crushing or at least an extremely critical reception. Instead, the people in St. Petersburg welcomed us with open arms”, Kaari and Roni Martin say.
More Anna Karenina performances will be seen in 2020 at the latest!

”The Dance Macabre at the end of the performance is being danced so prickly and with such a blasphemous drive that the anecdotes of the calm and composed nature of the Finns can be thrown into a garbage bin.” -Kommersant

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

wonderfully received anna karenina at the autumn festivals

Compañia Kaari & Roni Martin's Anna Karenina will be seen at the Tampere Theatre Festival, at the OuDance Festival in Oulu, and at the Time of Dance Festival in Jyväskylä. All the performances of Anna Karenina, that premiered in March, were sold out and wonderfully received by the audience.

”The return of Uotinen to the stage was grand.” - Helsingin Sanomat

”Instead of a classical interpretation, Anna Karenina shows the demolition of classical roles and their deep analysis in the present time.” - Helsingin Sanomat

The three extra performances in June took place at the Pannuhalli of the Cable Factory where the group wanted to visit before the construction of the Dance House Helsinki starts.

”Powerful, packed and glorious. An experience with a capital E from the very first minutes. Possibly the most impressive and fantastic dance performance of the spring.” - Demokraatti

You can check Anna Karenina Facebook feedback here.

Anna Karenina performances Autumn 2018:
8.8. Tampere Theater Festival, Tampere – buy tickets
15.9. OuDance Festival, Oulu – buy tickets
29.9. Time of Dance Festival, Jyväskylä – buy tickets

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

Photo: Janne Mikkilä

Kill carmen travels to pori and hämeenlinna

Internationally praised KILL Carmen embarks on a tour with a total of 20 shows in 27.9.-5.10. This firework of dance, music and theatre that gathered the most contradictory feedback in the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland's Art Testers' project for school children will be performed to new eighth-graders at the Pori Theatre and at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna. At the same time, KILL Carmen will be a guest performance in both theatres with open evening performances for the general public.

Excerpts from the Art Testers feedback:
”It was out of the ordinary and exciting. It inspired to do art more boldly and to let yourself be swept away by art”
”Quite a confusing performance. Dancing was very skillful, and it was fun to see how the performers included the audience.”
”It looked like porn!!!!! But some parts of it were ok”
”The experience was quite cool and maybe a little distressing”
”I was befuddled by the half-naked man and whatever it was that he was doing on the stage.”
”It was annoying that that Carmen person did not die”
”Goddamn it was dirty”
”Really good. A little different from what I was used to but it surprised me nicely. Unusual and colourful.”
”The choreography was quite peculiar, but the dancing was unbelievably amazing.”
”The experience was really wonderful. I wouldn't have wanted the performance to end so soon. I admire the talent of the performers.”
”The performance was interesting and different as well as cleverly done. You could see that people had put their time and work into it. I liked it very much!”
”Really weird and awful”
”Really juicy”
”Two words: I need therapy.”

Performances open to public:
27.9. Pori Theater – buy tickets
30.9. Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna – buy tickets

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju

ON A STRING – a quartet of four strong women

The duet of Minna Tervamäki and Kaari Martin, On a String - an interpretation of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, has expanded into a quartet: for a few years now, the work has been performed with the violinist Minna Pensola and the pianist Heini Kärkkäinen. Pensola is known, for example, from the brilliant Meta4 string quartet and Kärkkäinen is one of the most international classical pianists in Finland. The last time On a String was performed was at the Black & White Theatre Festival in Imatra during the summer, and it will be seen again in the autumn in the programme of the Lahti International Sibelius Festival among others. Due to popular demand, this is the second time the work will be performed in Lahti.

4.9. Helsinki University Opening 2018-2019
9.9. Sibelius Festival, Lahti More info at

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

More Anna Karenina and KILL Carmen performances added to the calendar!

Check here!

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Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s adaptation of Anna Karenina to premiere soon with Jorma Uotinen as Count Karenin

 Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s premiere production Anna Karenina can be seen at Cirko’s studio Maneesi from 22 March to 2 April 2018. The company breaks down the conventions of performing arts by, for example, having the audience sit at the table with the performers. Anna’s husband, Count Karenin, is played by Jorma Uotinen, who will be doing his first dancing role in a long time.

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s Anna Karenina is an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel. The main focus is on the love triangle between Anna, her husband Karenin, and Count Vronsky. At the same time, the timeless piece serves as a commentary on the modern world.

In Tolstoy’s novel, both Anna and her lover Vronsky seek escape in love. Anna is prepared to take on the world for love, but rather than making her feel alive, love takes life away from her, says dramatist Atro Kahiluoto.

The piece extends this theme, exploring the many things we humans find escape in. The world of Anna Karenina was very much about living on the razor's edge: things were spiralling fast towards the revolution and the First World War. History repeats itself, and the Last Supper we see in the opening scene continues all the way through. The doomsday clock has never been closer to midnight, but people choose escapism and the orchestra continues to play until the very end, says Kaari Martin, choreographer and one of Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin’s two artistic directors.

Strong stage presence and musical fusion.

The roles of Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky are played by Mariana Collado and Carlos Chamorro, the company’s Spanish go-to dancers. Count Karenin is played by Jorma Uotinen.

 Mariana and Carlos both have huge versatility of expression and a strong stage presence. They are unfazed by nothing on stage. For the role of Count Karenin, we needed to find someone who could hold his own against the Spanish duo – this was to make sure all three main characters measured up against each other. Only a seasoned, unique artist like Jorma Uotinen could fill these boots, explains Martin.

As with every piece, the music is written by Roni Martin. His compositions are key to the company’s unique expression. The music for Anna Karenina mixes flamenco with Tom Waits -inspired elements and Brechtesque echoes to form a hypnotic entity which, together with the performers, takes the audience on a journey into a warped world that is characteristic to the company’s works.


Why is all this done? We will all be put to our graves, and there will be nothing left of us. And it will be the same with me. Why? -ANNA KARENINA

Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin is pleased to invite You to share a dinner at Count Karenin’s festive table! A doomsday orchestra plays the last waltz under the gleam of crystal chandeliers. Ice sculptures melt away on trays. A bear dances. Love will not be our saving grace.

On stage: 
Mariana Collado, Carlos Chamorro, Jorma Uotinen, Erno Haukkala, Roni Martin, Sanna Salmenkallio, Eppu Helle, Miguel Kolliander, Jukka Huitila
Choreography: Kaari Martin together whit dancers
Music: Roni Martin
Dramaturgy: Atro Kahiluoto
Direction: Martin-Martin-Kahiluoto
Light design and scenography: Jukka Huitila
Costume design: Erika Turunen
Make up and hair: Kaisu Hölttä
Photography: Janne Mikkilä
Livesound: Eppu Helle
Stagemanager: Miguel Kolliander
Costume production: Johanna Vehmas ja Ilkka Salakari, Atelje Hurma
Production: Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin

 Tickets: Helsinki / Cirko, Suvilahti 22.3–2.4.2018. Tickets: 25-39 €,
You can also buy tickets that include bus transport from the Senate Square to Suvilahti and back.

More info: Minna Korpimies, tel. +358 50 387 7325, minna(at)

 The artists in Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin are phenomenal in their ability to take inspiration from the classics and use this inspiration to create an artistic universe that is all their own. This comes from having a thorough knowledge of the traditions, a keen sense of history, impeccable technical skills, and a creative approach to doing things. A piece with a distinctive voice, and free from conventions.”-TS

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Looking ahead to a spring of intense touring

It will be a busy start to the year for Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin. The March premiere for Anna Karenina is just around the corner, and February will see the company give a number of performances of their piece Of the World. Kaari Martin will be touring with artist group Hämärän tanssit, and she will also take to stage together with star dancer Minna Tervamäki at the Tampere Chamber Music festival. In 2017, Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin yet again broke its previous attendance record, with a total of 13,812 spectators. The upcoming Anna Karenina premiere will also mark the 16th anniversary for the company. “We’ve been so swamped with work the past few years that we didn’t celebrate our 10- and 15-year landmarks”, Kaari Martin laughs.

Photo: Reijo Haukio

Photo: Reijo Haukio

Saarikoski two ways

February will see Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin give a whopping 17 performances of their piece Of the World, which is based on poems written by Pentti Saarikoski. All performances will be staged at different schools in the town of Hollola. Premiered in 2004 at Helsinki Festival, Of the World is one of the company’s most frequently performed works. This tour is part of the programme of Konserttikeskus (Concert Centre Finland). Kaari Martin will also be in the line-up for another piece based around Saarikoski’s poems. In Hämärän tanssit, the Finnish poet’s last collection of poems is used to create a multi-disciplinary work of art, mixing dance, music, acting, DJing, sound, lighting and documentary video footage – and it’s all done live, here and now.

3.2. Vuotalo, tickets: 
9.2. Oulun kaupunginteatteri, tickets:
23.2.Teatteri Vantaa, tickets:

Photo: Kim Laine

Photo: Kim Laine

Kaari Martin and Minna Tervamäki at the Tampere Chamber Music festival

Kaari Martin and her first cousin Minna Tervamäki will be appearing at the Tampere Chamber Music festival (15 to 18 February) where they will perform with a line-up of top musicians, including pianist Ralf Gothóni, classical guitarist Ismo Eskelinen, violinist Yuval Gotlibovich and, of course, the festival’s artistic director, pianist Heini Kärkkäinen. Now returning for a second year, the festival continues to highlight the relationship between music and well-being. ”The people I’ve invited to perform at the festival are ones I know can help create a very special experience”, says Kärkkäinen about the festival. “To create a comprehensive sense of well-being, that’s what the festival is about.” The festival programme features classical chamber music from the likes of Brahms, Bartok, Schönberg and Schubert. In addition, festival-goers will have a chance to attend lectures where art meets science.

More info & tickets:

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