. kicking louise & co. (spain/finland/uk)


Kicking Louise & Co. has the UK as its base and its origins in the encounter of two very different choreographers, from very different cultural backgrounds. Saija Lehtola (FIN) and Rosa Aledo (SP) met during their dance studies in Middlesex University in London and soon found each other’s approach to dance very interesting. The theatrical view of Aledo seemed to be complementary to the more abstract view of Lehtola and so, from their very first collaborations (since 2006), this balance between expression and impression has defined the spirit of this creative tandem. Another defining feature of their work is the interest on integrating other artistic disciplines to their practice. From their earliest collaborations Aledo and Lehtola have worked with percussionist Javier Carmona (SP), whose role on the creative process has taken more and more weight and wideness with the time. Creating has become a collaborative process where each participant has an area to cover, however feeling free to suggest and propose in other ones’ areas, and where improvisation becomes an essential tool for interaction not only in the creation process, but also during the performance; having a momentum as a main character on stage makes each performance unique. Through improvisation the performers create an intimacy and understanding between each other and later with the audience.

Spanish dance artist Rosa Aledo (1981) has trained in a wide range of dance forms and techniques, including contemporary dance, dance theatre and contact improvisation, among others. She has studied a BA in Dance Studies, focussing her learning in choreography at Middlesex University, London. She has trained with artists such as Esmeralda Linares, Joseph Stella, Kate Flatt, Tamara McLorg and Lea Anderson. Rosa has collaborated as freelance performer and choreographer with artists coming from different backgrounds and disciplines at different places in Spain, France and England. She has been actively creating dance work for theatre, site-specific and camera for the last three years.

Born in Finland Saija Lehtola (1984) trained in Western-Uusimaa Folk High School and Turku Conservatoire and later graduated from Middlesex University UK. She has danced for choreographers such as Virva Talonen, Joe Moran and Satu Tuomisto from Shake Ur Arts.

Drummer/percussionist from Madrid (1977), Javier Carmona has developed his musical career since 1994, working in many different projects in a wide range of styles ranging from rock to free improvisation and has also been involved in interdisciplinary collaborations, playing for theatre and dance and creating music for video works. In the last 7 years he has played in many European cities with different bands and ensembles and is very active in the European free jazz and free improvisation scenes. He is currently involved in varied music projects including London Improvisers Orchestra, Ensemble Progresivo, Alexander Hawkins Ensemble, Akafree, SomedecTet and Lanza!



Louise (18 June, duration: 30-40 minutes)

Louise is a re-creational work of the theatre-based dance piece On The Inside. that steps into the streets and public spaces, exploring and developing the theme of a woman’s sanity through experimental live performance blending movement, words and music.

The base, On The Inside (2008), performed scenes of an isolated woman who shared her teatime with imaginary friends. Dance was spiced through themes of solitary and uncontrollable illogical decisions of deteriorating sanity arousing from the feelings of loneliness among the people living in big cities and from the emotional experiences of the performers.

In Louise the same woman appears again though now there is no more a question of a struggle between insane and healthy mind but about how she has surrendered for the unstable mind and emotions to lead her. Cry, satisfaction, anxiety, happiness and misery drifts her from one situation to another in a world where unreal has become the reality. Despite of mutable surroundings (or her states of mind) Louise feels strong and more satisfied than before, daring to go through her feelings and even share them with real people. All this, of course, she displays it in her own unpredictable way.

Showing the most intimate side of Louise, the movements emerge from blend of contemporary dance and a touch of contact and flamenco intertwined with everyday movements, where gestures, postures and movement rhythms are taken from everyday life actions and human nature. The theme is illustrated in expressive and theatrical way, making the work easily accessible and captivating.

Words guide the audience and by referring to situations not directly seen on stage give another perspective to the actions seen. Things might not be like they seem to be.

The music is oscillating around electro-acoustic improvisation (percussion and cassette player) accompanied by pre-composed material leading into and supporting the varying landscapes of Louise’s mind.

The piece is suitable for all ages as the theme is universal and illustrates the problem that anyone might face. Told in a poetic and abstract way the story asks important questions of our place in the world and society. Louise is a story of a woman and of our contemporaries. It is a story of all of us.

company members

Improvisation (18 June, duration: about 30 minutes)

An improvisation based on the interaction of two dancers, the musician and the audience.

company members