Bodies in war, Bodies in Dance

The project researches rhythm, performance and emotions in Finnish military training and capoeira for refugees.


The research project Bodies in War, Bodies in Dance: Rhythm, Performance and Emotions in Finnish Military Training and Capoeira for Refugees examines the nexus between militarisation, movement, and social emotions. The research asks, how do choreography, rhythm and synchronised movement affect the emotions of compassion, shame and pride in Finnish international crisis management training and capoeira training at refugee camps.

The project analyses through observation and interviews how feelings of belonging are facilitated by collective motor actions in people touched by war. By analysing the interlinkages between body, brain and society, the project contributes to establishing a research field of politics of movement, as an intersection between dance studies and political science. The societal aim is to raise awareness of the corporeal and emotional aspects of militarisation and help develop movement pedagogies which are socially, culturally and politically more sustainable.


Belonging in Movement: Capoeira for Children and Youth at the Za’atari Refugee Camp Nordic Journal of Dance, 1 and 2, 2019

Experiencing ’Pendulation’, Escape and Creativity, På Spissen / Dance Articulated 3/2018

Uskoa itseen ja yhteisöön, 2.5.2018, Voima

Capoeiraa pakolaisleirillä, tutkimusta verkkareissa, 7.3.2018,

Walking with Soldiers: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cadets, Journal for Artistic Research 2020, Issue 21

Autopsy of a militarized body: introducing the short documentary Nothing too Bad, Critical Military Studies, 5:1, 89-93.

Synching the martial body: poetic encounters with Finnish cadets, Critical Military Studies, 2020 

You Cannot Take War Out of the Soldier, Qualitative Inquiry, 2021

In Touch with the Mindful Body, in Arts-Based Methods for Decolonising Participatory Research, 2021 

Contact information for the project

Project name

Bodies in war, Bodies in Dance




Academy of Finland