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I am a theatre researcher, performing storyteller and theatre/drama educator with a specialization in applied theatre practices, arts based research methods and encounters between ecology and performative art forms. I have a long experience of international creative youth drama as organiser and practitioner. I have studied and worked with applied theatre, physical theatre, youth and child theatre and puppetry in Stockholm, Wroclaw, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Århus. I am involved in different international youth theatre research projects as well as storytelling projects and write articles about them. I am interested in international/ intercultural projects and has studied and worked not only in Finland, but also in Sweden, Denmark, Poland, the UK, Greenland and at the moment in Norway.
I have written my MA thesis (1996) in the Faculty of Humanities in the Contemporary Literature-department (specialization in drama and theatre studies) in the University of Turku, Finland. The main focus of my doctoral thesis (Aaltonen 2006) Intercultural Bridges in Teenagers' Theatrical Events: Performing Self and Constructing Cultural Identity through a Creative Drama Process was to describe, analyze and interpret intercultural theatre work of young people (from 12 to 15 years old).
Teacher mobility program ERASMUS offered me a possibility to share pedagogical knowledge and artistic working methods with Stephanie Knight at the University of Glasgow in the context of an international master course Management asPerfoming Arts.
I am interested in researching applied theatre practices, for example, intercultural youth theatre and exploring connection between performing arts, ethics and ecology. I am also interested in researching performative, site-specific, community-based, devised performance practices. I am, as well, interested in child, youth and nature constructions, and how they are represented in performing arts. Research methodologies which are in special interest are arts based, artistic, visual and participant-centred research methodologies.
During the year 2011 I participated with paper presentations in different international conferances. In March 2011 I participated in the youth theatre conferance Skill Up, organised by Promote YT, Peebles, Scotland; in April in the international performativity seminar of the Institute of Art and Media Studies of NTNU, The Performance Turn: Implications for Academic Research and Organization; in May in Nordic Storytelling festival Nordische Woche in Berlin, organised by Kulturhus Berlin; in September in the community arts conferance Knowing Ways: Critical Learning in Arts Practice organised by the North Edinburgh Arts Center together with the editors of Journal of Arts and Communities. In Edinburgh I got a possibility to share a research paper Celebrating Life 2010 and Celebrating Transformation 20112: Reflections on the Artistic Leadership of Two International Storytelling Festivals 2010-2011. The research is based on my artistic leadership of an international storytelling project Nordic Voices , which was a part of European Capital of Culture Program 2011 in Turku, Finland. The Nordic Voices-project organised two international storytelling festivals in 2010-2011 and a large art educational project with school schilden. I have, in the context of art educational program, edited two educational publications about storytelling with children and young people.
During the spring 2012 I have a research permission (FOU) and I am working with a research project connected with Nordic contemporary storytelling practices, which is called NORDSTO - Nordic Storytelling as Intercultural Bridge in Celebrating Life and Transformation.
I am an active member in Performance Studies Working Group Trondheim and co-operate with researcher groups who have arts and praxis based research methodologies at the focus.
Areas of supervising
Artistic, arts based and art educational research projects, youth and child theatre projects, performance and theatre theory, connections between ethics, ecology and performative art forms, storytelling, applied drama/theatre and all kind of intercultural/multilingual drama/theatre projects.
I have lectured on many courses on the master-level (DRA3001, DRA3003, DRA3004, DRA3005, DRA3090 and EiT3015).
On the spring termin 2012 I will have a research permission and I will lecture next time on the autumn at the introductory course for master students of Institute of Arts and Media Studies (DRA3090). I will also facilitate next youth theatre production course DRA2002 from October 2012 to December 2012. I will, as well keep Commedia dell' Arte workshops for the students studying at DRA1001-course.
I would wish to connect with researchers who are interested in exploring nature and animal constructions in different artistic forms and who are interested in connection between ethics, ecology and performative art forms. I am very interested in all possibilities to share such courses and take part in such networks.
Member of the Nordic Drama Boreale-research -network.
Member of the Finnish Youth Research – network.