Maria Rutanen

The events of “My Body, The Lion” are set on a sand-free savannah, where sensitivity, pleasure, subtlety, and tragedy of bodies are embodied through somatic experience and imagination. By looking at the empathetic experiences evoked by fictional films and nature documentaries, the process of making a work explores imagination and empathy, leading to questions about the human relationship with the surrounding world. What role does empathy play in dealing with global crises, and how can empathy be enabled through corporeality and imagination? The work is based on a human’s ability to move back and forth between the realms of ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’.
PERFORMANCE: Joséphine Auffray, Mikkel Mallow, Maria Rutanen

Maria Rutanen comes originally from Finland and currently lives and works in Berlin as a dance artist, teacher, and choreographer. She holds a Master in Choreography from the Inter-University-Centre for Dance HZT Berlin. She graduated as a dancer and performer from the TIP-School of dance, improvisation, and performance in Freiburg. She studied dance and somatics, dance pedagogy, and physical theatre in Finland. Since 2011 she has realized her own choreographic work, often in collaboration with live musicians. Her approach to dance and choreography is influenced by improvisation, contact improvisation, and somatic practices, which she taught in Finland, Germany, Denmark, India, Bolivia, and Iran.

Joséphine Auffray is a dance artist, performer, and choreographer. She studied at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London (2015-2018) for the Bachelor in Contemporary Dance. In 2017, as part of the Erasmus program, she joined for several months the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen. Originally from France, she first studied in the Conservatoire de Nantes with intense ballet training and later followed the contemporary dance course in the same Conservatoire.

Mikkel Mallow works with performance and dance making in Copenhagen and Berlin. Aside from being engaged with dance, performance, and artistic collaborations, Mikkel has an academic background in the field of sociology, art, and modern culture. In 2018/19, he was part of the Dance Intensive program at Tanzfabrik, Berlin. Currently, he is working with practices of participatory performance and hauntology for the new media and contemporary art festival ‘CLICK’.

No mad


by Joséphine Auffray

Music: Schubert, Fantasy in F minor



by Mikkel Mallow

The King


         Remix writing from three of us.

Even though I don’t know what character it is, what is it, what’s coming out from me, I cannot define its emotions, gender, history, or narration, it has already reached a certain state of being. It is definitely very alert and sensitive. It sees life in inanimate objects, that connects it to aloneness and longing for other bodies. How to survive without contact with one’s own species? 

Quick heartbeat. Hot skin. Sharp eyes. Teeth out.

Ready to jump, to bite, to scratch. To hurt, to protect.

I lose control. My instinct is talking.

Destructive lion, male lion, an abandoned king who crawls through all obstacles, not stopping for anything or anyone. The bones are grand and strong, crushing the dry trees. It leaves no marks on my lion. It empowers him. He now only hears himself, his own heart pumping, his breath is out of control, his bones pushing against the ground. The detailed awareness of the lion body has lost itself to rage, until the power runs out and the empty feeling of solitude again occupies the body. Echoe of violence runs through my blood. Feeling sleepy now. 

I feel in between being a human and a lion. Sometimes more feeling as a lion, sometimes more as a human. I feel in between dangerous and seductive. Seductive? Yes, when my eyes become sharp and the direction of my focus is directed on something specific, I can feel extremely feminine (which is a new feeling in my lion body). Suddenly I become lighter, graceful, and more precise. I go away from the image of a king to, on the contrary, sense myself as a goddess of seduction. I can feel in between wanting to devour someone/something and wanting to have sex with it.

By trying to grow my sharp teeth, I produced minimal spasms on my superior outer lips. My tongue started growing and being wetter. I stuck it out and wetted my chops. My gaze became sharper. My throat started expanding and a low sound arised. 

I consider for a moment to look for animals to hunt, but there seems to be nothing alive here, but the spiders crawling on my skin and the birds too far up to reach. 

I feel hungry, but still not angry. Angriness? Why do I relate the lion to angriness?  

I feel splitted between two emotions as a reaction to the sound of fire. The first is satisfying, settled, soft, rocking. The second feels alerting, alarming, dangerous, in the need of reacting fast.

Lying on the grass. Nothing to do. Contemplating. Enjoying the heat. Turning slightly the head in order to receive more heat on the skin. Potentially a little fly catching my intention for half a second, but at the end it’s not worth it. 

I am very much in the present moment. I feel soft and at the same time very strong. There’s elasticity, resilience and wisdom in me. 

A vulnerability and soft darkness in all that uncontrollable power.

Why would I think that my projection of human characteristics on them will make me know them, the lions?


one to one

with the most epic cinematic royalty free sound, that can be found online to blow up the ambience.

Out of context


film and sound by Joséphine Auffray

“ I look at it. I know I have the power. I am the predator. I know I can devour it any time. But I want to take my time. The best is there: taking my time to enjoy the ‘before’ than the moment itself. But I am weirdly drawn to it. Almost like if I was dependent on it. But didn’t I say I had the power? The power of choosing when is enough or when I want more? It is almost like if this thing was controlling me. I can not take my eyes away from it. It is hypnotizing me, controlling me. But I like it, I enjoy it, I desire it. It seduces me and I seduce it.  We are becoming one.“

Pride in solitude


Film, edit, sound: Louise Bonde


Boredom brushes me. 

I need to shake off,

I stretch my arm.

I need to shake off,

Leg bounces.

Going through tedium.

Throwing away my life.

Bad conscience.

I need to shake off,

I change position.

Repeating my patterns.

Time to reflect.

Trying not to drift away into daydreaming.

I disengage.

Coming back to the focused mind, 

again engaged.

But why would they even experience boredom?

Quoting Heidegger:

“Being bored is the fundamental state of being a human being”.

Being bored alone, 

turning on the social boredom simulation. 

Being bored together,

lounging and hanging around.

Such a privilege.

Time and space to be bored.

Does it make you motionless or motionful? 

Significance of silence.

As Mikkel wrote in one of his reflection:

The boredom is showing itself, boredom sometimes turns into a peaceful state of nothing in me.

Lounging (verb):
lie, sit, or stand in a relaxed or lazy way.
Lounge (noun): 
A public room, as in a hotel, theater, or club, in which to sit and relax.

Early 16th century (in the sense ‘move indolently’): perhaps symbolic of slow movement. 

(source: oxford)

Goldberg Variations

J.S.Bach: Goldberg Variations: Aria

By Kimiko Ishizaka

Who are you with

One of the concerns has been ever since I’ve been with this blog, what to publish and leave unpublished. I am thinking pretty much about self-censoring. Particularly in this situation, when I am exposing myself through my work online to the extent that I am not used to doing in my private life. You know, It took me a long time, while I was still in the middle of the creation, to be able to open my process to outsiders and show what I was doing. I had to learn it and over time I became better at it. I question this online format in the sense that, when I invite someone to the studio, I choose the person for whom I reveal something about my process. Maybe someone, I think, whose feedback I can benefit from, someone whose experience or insights might help me in what I am searching for, someone who can look at it in constructive way, someone who is familiar with artistic work or has experienced what it means to be in the creation process, someone who has the ability to view it as a non-finished product or maybe someone with whom I feel comfortable, to whom I can reveal my uncertainties and hesitations, or a friend I would like to catch up, or a person I want to get to know and I use it as an opportunity. Whoever I choose or even I wouldn’t choose, at least the meeting with that person is real, there’s instant exchange. But when I do it online I have no idea who’s there watching it, how they are watching or how they ended up particularly here on this page. It makes me actually very vulnerable. It raises the question of how I should share my process. How much I should distance myself from what I show. Would I unfold and reveal some unfinished and untidy material that may seem very personal and make me question whether I want to, should or shouldn’t do it. On the other hand I am genuinely curious about people’s artistic processes. I am intrigued to know how they approach their work, what are their questions, how they construct the work, what are their challenges, and how they deal with them. I am curious to see how the person works and elaborates in the process of creation. I fan to see the products on stage, where I have had a privilege to peep the process. This could really be a platform to exchange, learn and inspire each other. As well as, showing people who are not so familiar with artistic work processes the trajectory of the process, how work begins to take shape. But it needs courage and consideration and caution to leave a trace, a piece of you to the online world.

The question is, who am I now inviting to see my rehearsals?