three Solos by Tomi Paasonen



During 2020-2021 Tomi Paasonen has created a solo trilogy: “Retrospectrum - 5 Solos for 5 Decades” (2020) which looks back at his long career, transforming his artistic archive into an autobiography, “Antibody” (2020), responding to the present marked by the pandemic. And “Lost And Found” (2021), setting himself in a fictional future.

To celebrate his 30-year career as a choreographer, all three pieces will be played one after the other in one week. This epic balancing act between past, presence and future also serves to bring all three pieces together as a trilogy and on the other hand to crystallize each piece for itself. The merging of all three pieces gives each piece the change to gain individuality in order to contrast with each other.

Reprise Funded by: the Senate Department for Culture and Europe
Photo: Teodora Simova


Wed, August 3, 7pm
Retrospectrum - 5 Solos for 5 Decades

Fri, August 5, 7pm

Sun, August 7, 7pm


Wednesday August 3, 7pm
Retrospectrum - 5 Solos for 5 Decades

In "Retrospectrum - 5 solos for 5 decades", the 50-year-old choreographer and dancer Tomi Paasonen lets the kinetic and aesthetic archives of his works for the first time flow through his own body onto the stage. He has never danced in one of his own pieces. His dancing career ended prematurely in 1997 due to an accident. With this solo he finally realizes something he has avoided for decades. Now it's time for the first solo piece.

After 5 years as artistic director of a dance center in Finland, where he mainly worked as a curator, he returned to Berlin and underwent an all-encompassing archiving phase for 9 months to then continue the work physically in the dance studio. Now, incorporating elements of it back onto his own body, Retrospectrum refocuses a life's work into a new form. It’s a look back that moves forward and a retrospective that opens worlds resulting from a process of consolidation, distillation and self-embodiment.

The piece consists of 5 different acts, each describing a stage in his life and his dance history. In “Schöntanzen” he moves through the lightheartedness of his childhood, followed by “That Old Love” by exploring his experiences in ballet school and his ambivalent relationship to this world. In “The Machine” he enters the nightmarish vortex of his accident and the resulting kaleidoscope of his choreographic work. In "When I'm King, I Just Begin" he dances through the labyrinths of his career as a choreographer. The final part, Perseverance And Persistence, begins with a meditation on his return to Finland to deal with the passing of his parents and culminates in a tribute to the perseverance and persistence of being a freelance artists.

Choreography, Dance, Videos, Soundtrack: Tomi Paasonen
Lighting Design: Asier Solana
Set Assistent: Gabriel Walsh
Sound Assistent: Yuko Matsuyama
Costume Assistent: Anne Fidler
Credit Video: Colin Comfort
With Music by John Metcalfe, Bronski Beat, Mike Koloska, Dr Aaron Wolf Baum, The Space Lady, Kate Bush, Snorri Hallgrímsson und Til Kerlen.
Length: 120 minutes + 15 Minuten intermission

A Production by Tomi Paasonen in Co-production with DOCK ART.
Funding by: the Senate Department for Culture and Europe


Friday August 5, 7pm

This is a new version of the piece “Antibody”, which is a result of collateral damage. Having lost his August 2020 job due to the pandemic, when he was asked to part-take in the Hybrid Festival, he spontaneously decided to dive into a two week process in the studio, to dance, to build, to make a world, to vent and to shed. After a 6 month period of globally, collectively and individually isolating and negotiating every human interaction, we all experienced the epic paradigm shifting wave of the earth shedding itself from our habits and ways of life.

In this reworking of the piece, 5 dance films for still camera and green screen will be integrated into the original concept. Green Screen Dances is a DISTANZEN research project funded by Dachverband Tanz Deutschland supporting artists in finding new ways of creating during the pandemic. This socially distanced solo project gave Tomi Paasonen the opportunity to shoot and choreograph 5 short dance videos alone in a studio in front of a camera and against a green screen background. For this he chose music from 5 music composers: Alex Nickmann, Ixa, David Jude Thomas, Benedikt MacIsaac and Ilpo Väisänen. The forms and compositions of the 5 different films: "Dancing with the Stars", "Mercury", "In Limbo", "TV Screen" and "Consequences of Liminal Circumstances" fully emerged during the process of editing and exploring the diverse possibilities on different ways to use green screen technique as a compositional and choreographic instigator.

This solo ebbs between physical presence and digital ambivalence and deals with the neurosis of the body in a confined space and the “freedom” that the digital realm fakes. It unleashes our paradoxical disconnection from the natural world and escapes into the malleable projections of fake news as a replacement of our desire to connect. The homesickness for the ways of life we have lost is confused by attention to detail, in order to distract ourselves from the invisible threats forcing us question our priorities.

A solo by Tomi Paasonen
Choreography, Dance, Videos, Scenography, Costume, Props and Soundtrack von Tomi Paasonen
Lighting Design: Asier Solana
Last Video shot by Colin Comfort
With Music by Nils Frahm, Róisín Murphy, Boney M Alex Nickmann, Ixa, David Jude Thomas, Benedikt MacIsaac, Ilpo Väisänen and Tom Adams
Produktion: CDC Company Berlin und Hybrid Festival Berlin
Lenght: 70 min

Produktion CDC Company Berlin and Hybrid Festival Berlin and with the support of DIS-TANZ-SOLO. Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media in the NEUSTART KULTUR program, aid program DIS-TANZEN of the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland.


Sunday August 7, 7pm

LOST AND FOUND, the third and final solo piece in his solo trilogy, is the result of an inversion and is the exact opposite of the first solo RETROSPECTRUM. Instead of looking back and digging into the past, he loses himself in timeless future landscapes of his imagination. Instead of being steeped in documentary layers, we wander through his dreams. Instead of baring his soul in transparency, here he hides behind masks and fictional characters. Instead of being light-hearted and steeped in gratitude, here he explores the darker tones of his imagination. Instead of the themes arising from his personal biography, the themes here arise from a reaction to the world.

Here he ventures into unexplored territory and designs a journey into the unknown with the sole aim of exploring new genres and artistic landscapes for himself. He dances before he can think. He writes poetic texts inspired by architecture, aesthetics, sociology, entomology and science fiction. And he is working with his voice for the first time in order to create live sound worlds together with the sound artist Alex Nickmann.

In Lost and Found, the choreographer has had enough of this world and surrenders completely to his escapist castles in the air. Inner and outer abysses, peaks and valleys merge into psychedelic landscapes while the protagonist navigates in a state of limbo between wanderlust and homesickness. But the attempt to flee into these glimmering liminal areas is only partially successful, because no matter how far away from reality he strays, he only encounters its reflections everywhere – and is finally caught up again by reality.

Choreography, dance, text, voice and set design: Tomi Paasonen
Music: Alex Nickman
Lighting Design: Asier Solana
Costume: Zoe Lohman
Photos: Jenkins Photography
Length: 80 minutes

A production by Tomi Paasonen in co-production with DOCK ART.
Funded by: the Senate Department for Culture and Europe