– I believe that whatever you do in dance you are choosing to live outside the norm

Intervju med den finske koreografen, utøveren og pedagogen Janina Rajakangas

Første workshop under CODA-paraplyen ble arrangert i samarbeid med den finske dansekunstneren og koreografen Janina Rajakangas onsdag 12.oktober.

Hun delte verktøyene og metodene hun og danserne Rinja Sartolahti og Aino Laine har utviklet etter å ha jobbet med inkluderende dansekunst i flere år.

For anledningen tok vi en prat med Janina om inkluderende dansekunst og hva som bør være kunstens viktigste mål i fremtiden.


Hello Janina! What does inclusive dance mean to you, and why should more people be concerned about it?

– Inclusive dance practice for me is taking into consideration a group of people that is rarely included in dance.. Or whose needs are rarely considered when making dance. Inclusive practices are including people in the making as well as experiencing dance. I believe that as long as people are considered they are also interested.

– Why must one work methodically to create an inclusive practice? And what does it actually mean?

– Depends on what is being included in the practice. In Dancer, a piece I have started making we try and find neurologically inclusive practice. This means that we work on making practices that are considering the needs of a dancer with e.g. ADHD or Autism spectrum.

– It is a sort of discuss-trial and error/success and then-discuss-again-kind of practice in order to find methodology and structures that serve a diverse group. I am currently working with dancers who are considered to be neurodivergent, I am taking their advice on what works and what does not. The work is very interesting?

Janina Rajakangas


– How would you describe today’s dance scene? What do you like, what do you dislike?

– I love it all. I believe that whatever you do in dance you are choosing to live outside the norm. It is about stepping aside and using movement instead of holding it in. Dance is about being brave and looking for alternate routes. Giving value to sensing and embodiment instead of the usual tools in everyday life.

– What inspires you during the day?

– People. I get touched by people. I rest in nature, but I make art about people so they inspire me.

– Can you give us a small taste of what the participants can expect during the workshop?

– Yes, sure. The dancing will be task based. I love detailed choreography that relies on imagery and rhythm, so we will do those. There will be time to consider the space and other dancers, we will also invest into sensing 360 degrees around us. There will be shared tasks that deal with common speed and anatomical tasks done by oneself.

– What do you think is the most important thing that dance can achieve in 2022?