Master’s Degree Programme in Choreography

The Master’s Degree Programme in Choreography is comprised of two years of full-time studies. The program develops the student’s independency as an artist, as well as his/her critical awareness and understanding of the practices and strategies in contemporary choreography and of the interactional relationship between art and society.


The Master’s Degree Programme in Choreography (120 cts.) is a full-time, two-year study programme at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The intake is biennial and, in spring 2017, three to five new students will be accepted to the programme.


The programme emphasizes a historically conscious, yet critical, open, and research-based take on choreography. It offers the student a versatile learning environment, which supports artistic development, dialogism and cooperation, integrating practice and theory in studies and artistic processes. 

Contents of studies and Degree Requirements
The programme emphasizes a historically conscious, yet critical, open, and research-based approach to choreography. It offers the student a versatile learning environment that encourages artistic development and in which the methodological and theoretical questions in contemporary choreography are integrated into artistic working processes.
How to apply
The residential MA programme in Choreography is open to international students and is tuition free for EU / EEA students. The intake to the MA in Choreography is biannual. The application period is in January 2019.
MA Programme in Choreography is committed to collaborate with the University of the Arts Helsinki’s other degree programmes in various ways as well as with the Performing Arts Research Center (Tutke). It emphasizes a contemporary artist’s exploratory and creative relationship with culture, as well as the dynamics and interaction between an artist’s individual and collaborative roles and his/her professional and communal roles.
The programme is actively involved in international partnerships and educational cooperation, considering the international nature and field of activities of the work of contemporary choreographers. The students take part in European dance events and visit other art education institutions. Th programme receives a number of guest teachers and artists from the international field of dance and performing arts.



The artistic director of the MA Programme in Choreography is professor Kirsi Monni


Staff of degree programmes in dance in the Theatre Academy:

Professor Ari Tenhula, lecturer Soile Lahdenperä, lecturer Sanna Myllylahti, lecturer Mammu Rankanen


also teach regularly in the programme as well as


Guest teachers, lecturers and artists:


Ramsay Burt, João Fiadeiro, Marlene Freitas, Mika Haaranen, Joona Halonen, Mark Harvey, Mikko Hynninen, Inka Maija Iitiä, Mette Ingvartsen, Aune Kallinen, Anna-Mari Karvonen, Simo Kellokumpu, Esa Kirkkopelto, Katja Kirsi, Jenni Koistinen, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi, Benoît Lachambre, Jennifer Lacey, Ray Langenbach, Sonya Lindfors, Miika Luoto, Kirsten Maar, Erin Manning, Tero Nauha, Kira O’Reilly, Mikko Orpana, Juhani Pallasmaa, Jarkko Partanen, Jeroen Peeters, Liisa Pentti, Elina Pirinen, Tarja Pitkänen-Walter, Pilvi Porkola, Olli Pyyhtinen, Liisa Risu, Leena Rouhiainen, Melanie Sehgal, João da Silva



Frédéric Gies, Heiner Goebbels (visiting professor), Nik Haffner, Dorita Hannah, Mika Hannula, Saara Hannula, Deborah Hay (Honorary Doctor), Hanna-Leena Helavuori, Pauliina Hulkko, Tomi Humalisto, Anna-Maria Häkkinen, Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen, Anna Jussilainen, Aune Kallinen, Kimmo Karjunen, Jari (Suopo) Kauppinen, Simo Kellokumpu, Jenni Kivelä, Timo Klemola, Michael Kliën, Jarno Kuosa, Miika Luoto, Mariah Maloney, Anne Makkonen, Erin Manning, Mikko Orpana, Jarkko Partanen, Jusa Peltoniemi, Pilvi Porkola, Victoria Pérez Royo, Milja Sarkola, Kati Raatikainen, Liisa Risu, Maarit Ruikka, Salla Salin, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Steve Valk, Eira Virekoski, Olli Virtaperko


Erasmus IP teachers: Ric Allsopp, Elen Giannotti, Ms. Vaginal Davis, Martin Hargreaves, Miika Luoto, Sophia New, Victoria Pérez Royo, Sergej Pristas, João da Silva, Sandra Umathum, Jasna Žmak



Susan Foster, Maija Hirvanen, Pauliina Hulkko, Tomi Humalisto, Anna-Maria Häkkinen, Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen, Kimmo Karjunen, Anna-Mari Karvonen, Jari (Suopo) Kauppinen, Esa Kirkkopelto, Timo Klemola, Michael Kliën, Olli Koskelin, Miika Luoto, Mariah Maloney, Anne Makkonen, Nina Numminen, Sofia Pantouvaki, Jarkko Partanen, Jeroen Peeters, Susan Rethorst, Leena Rouhiainen, Maarit Ruikka, Salla Salin, Ula Sickle, Olli Virtaperko


Erasmus IP teachers: Artistwins Deufert & Plischke, Ric Allsopp, Konstantina Goergelou, Terike Haapoja, Saara Hannula, Martin Hargreaves, Scott de la Hunta, Esa Kirkkopelto, Tuija Kokkonen, Rhys Martin, Sergej Pristas, Leena Rouhiainen, Lina Saneh, João da Silva, Ari Tenhula, Lito Walkey


                Sara Gurewitsch

                    Iiro Näkki

             Sebastian López-Lehto

              Jenni-Elina von Bagh

Artistic Projects

The MA Programme in Choreograhy offers students exceptional opportunities for artistic activities, making use of the academy’s performance facilities and the services of the training theatre.


Four artistic projects are included in the curriculum. The goal of the artistic practise is to support student's personal, creative and insightful view of the multidimensional ways in which choreography manifests as art. Read more about artistic projects.


Open sources

In addition to bringing a variety of new choreographies every season, the MA Programme in Choreography is an active motor in public discussion in the dance field. It organizes open lectures, the video documentations of which are available online. It is also an essential agent in the Theatre Academy’s international publication series Kinesis, which publishes research studies on dance. The MA Programme has a Choreoblog a platform for sharing and open discussion. It also brings out newsletters for its intrerest groups. 

Below you find selected video articles and news on open lectures, Choreoblog texts or Kinesis Publications. 

Selected open access material: lectures, publications etc.

Artistic Research

The Master’s Degree Programme in Choreography advances students’ preparedness for doctoral studies, and it collaborates with the Theatre Academy’s Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke). The programme is an important actor in publishing international dance research for Theatre Academy's Kinesis series. 

Below you find current dorctoral students, their research perojects as well as dissertations in Theatre Academy in the field of choreography.

Doctoral students and Research projects

Doctoral students and Research projects

Doctoral Students

Simo Kellokumpu: Contextual Choreography

Contextual Choreography is an artistic research project which focuses on the relations, interconnectedness and reciprocity of choreography and context. The focus is on the question: How a chosen cultural context operates as a choreographic ‘apparatus’?
In the frameworks of the Artistic Research the project is conducted through two or three artistic parts and their reflection on the written part. I am reflecting my process with the critical theory, philosophy of movement and perception, mobility studies and environmental philosophy.
Supervisors for the research are choreographer Michael Kliën and professor Jan Kaila.

Mirva Mäkinen: Contact improvisation as a somaesthetic performance 

The research focuses in contact improvisers sensory and somatic experiences in a performance process. Through the artistic parts she is researching, what kind of somatic or somaesthetic experiences a dancer has from being looked at by other dancers or a member of an audience. What is an aesthetic experience and what conditions make it possible? The subject is considered from different perspectives; interviewing, through three artistic parts and through dancers personal viewpoints. Mirva Mäkinen also aims to understand her own experiences as a researcher, an art-maker and as a participant. She is evaluating how experience from being seen by other dancer or by an audience is affecting the decision making process during improvisation and somatic experiences of a dancer.

Mirva Mäkinen has done three artistic parts; "Round Robin Project", "Inner Landscape" and "Spherical Space", that has been accepted as a part of her doctoral research. 


Mikko Orpana: Organized by Awareness

In this artistic research I approach dancer’s work and choreography as a shared venture where the subject of the work gets it’s significance from each participant’s own situation at that specific moment which can lead to several kinds of encounters, contacts and separations between the performers. From this interaction or non-action the choreography emerges and configures itself over and over again during its course of action. By claiming that this is choreography I am defining why the focus and use of one’s own situation is fundamental for this kind of work in dance and making a choreography. 


Jana Unmüssig: Composition as the Experience of being Composed by means of sight and vision: Contemplative Seeing fostering a moment of collective choreography.​

The research lingers around matters of choreographic composition


Dissertations on Choreography

Dissertations on Choreography

Doctoral Dissertations on Choreography


Kirsi Törmi: Choreographic Process as Interaction. 

Link to the dissertation PDF (Abstract in English on page 13).


Soile Lahdenperä: Muutoksen tilassa: Alexander-tekniikka koreografisen prosessin osana ( "In a State of Change – the Alexander Technique as Part of the Choreographic Process"). 2014

Link to the Dissertation's Abstract (In English)


Kirsi Monni: Olemisen poeettinen liike. Tanssin uuden paradigman taidefilosofisia tulkintoja Martin Heideggerin ajattelun valossa sekä taiteellinen työ vuosilta 1996–1999. 2005.

Link to the Dissertation (In Finnish)


Riitta Pasanen-Willberg: Vanhenevan tanssijan problematiikasta dialogisuuteen – koreografin näkökulma. 2001.

Link to the Dissertation (In Finnish)


Other Dissertations on Dance

See web page of the Performing Arts Research Center (TUTKE) 

Kinesis Publications

Kinesis Publications

Kinesis is publication series for dance programmes at Theatre Academy. The publications can be bought at University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy’s Library (Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki) or ordered at Some of the Kinesis books are also available online.

List of Kinesis Publications


  • Ismo-Pekka Heikinheimo: Taideteossidonnaista koreografiaa museokontekstissa. ("Artwork Specific Choreography in a Museum Context"). Kinesis 7






Alumni list

Alumni list

Years 2013-2016

Soili Huhtakallio, Heli Keskikallio, Leila Kourkia, Veronika Lindberg, Linda Martikainen

Years 2011-2014

Satu Herrala, Laura Lehtinen, Katri Liikola, Kati Raatikainen

Years 2009-2012

Anna-Maria Häkkinen, Sonya Lindfors, Jarkko Partanen


Contact information


Planning Officer
Jan-Peter Kaiku

Department Secretary
Rita Heino