Every month, the Finnish Institute highlights creators whose work marks Finland and France today.

From the stage to the street, from musicals to video clips, choreographer Sonya Lindfors transgress genres and registers. Born in 1985 and coming from the very juvenile Finnish hip-hop scene, she is now one of the most prominent choreographers and artistic directors of the moment.

After having graduated with a master’s degree in choreography from the Helsinki Theatre Academy, she made her breakthrough with her UrbanApa collective, an experimental and dedicated platform. In recent years, she has focused mostly on her own productions.

UrbanApa 2014 from Sonya Lindfors on Vimeo

In her latest piece, she raises the question related to the roles of people of colour in a traditionally white scene. Noir? (2014) delves into the notion of Afro-Finnish identity, questioning exclusion, shame and relationship to one’s roots. The piece Noble Savage (2017) questions the myth of Pocahontas and the trope of the White Savior.

By challenging traditional power structures, Lindfors is constantly in the search of new forms of expression and practices that combine theory with strong physicality. In the spring 2017, the city of Helsinki designated Sonya Lindfors as Artist of the Year. In the same year, she also received the first prize from the Center for the Promotion of Arts in Finland. She is currently the resident choreographer at Zodiak – Center for New Dance.

In January 2018, Sonya Lindfors is the artist-in-residence in Paris as a part of the Festival Nordique, a collaboration between Nordic embassies and institutes together with the Théâtre National de la Danse.

Festival Nordique from January 16 to 27 at Chaillot – Théâtre National de la Danse, Paris

Sonya Lindfors

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