WHO ARE WE
Sirkum Polaris was founded in 2015 by 10 circus artists who grew up together in Sorin Sirkus in Tampere, Finland. From there they spread out to different circus schools around Europe (ESAC, Codarts, DOCH, Academie Fratellini, ENC) to further develop their skills and ideas. Now they have once again returned to north to perform and create together.
Sirkum Polaris aspires to combine different views acquired in various circus schools to create unique contemporary circus performances. The variety of circus disciplines and personalities in the group open up possibilities to push Finnish contemporary circus to new and uncharted territories.
The first creation of Sirkum Polaris titled "Kulovalkea" is being created in collaboration with Cie Nuua and it will premiere in 2021. Kulovalkea explores the group dynamics and personalities among this group of childhood friends combining it with unusual uses of traditional circus disciplines.
Rosa started her circus career at the age of 5 in a local youth circus called Sorin Sirkus where she learnt the basics of pyramids, banquine and skipping ropes. As her main discipline Rosa chose foot juggling. Rosa graduated in 2012 from an arts oriented upper secondary school and left to Voionmaa Institute for one year to study acting. After that Rosa got chosen to study in École Superieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels. Rosa combines her technical knowledge to her strong theatrical expression. In ESAC Rosa has finally found her personal style to manipulate foot juggling objects and she graduated in spring 2017. Straight after school Rosa started the new creation of NoFitState.
At the age of 8 Merri had a chance to try some circus at his local youth circus and was immediately intrigued. A few years after rolling in to Sorin Sirkus he decided to specialize in juggling and has since been trying to find new ways to manipulate objects. In 2013 he decided to pursue professional career and was admitted to the circus department of Codarts University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from where he graduated in June 2017. By combining movement and acrobatics with juggling, Merri seeks to create performances that offer an unique experience for the audience. Aside from working with the Polaris team, Merri is also working on another show "3 Men from the North" with a new circus company the Nordic Council.
Valpuri Kaarninen started her career as a professional circus artist when she graduated in 2014 from École Superieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels with Maria Peltola and Ronja Vilponen. In the circus school they created an original trapeze act where two catchers swing and toss one flyer. In 2015 the act was awarded with a silver medal at the 36th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. Afterwards the trio has been working for example with the world famous Cirque du Soleil, Germany’s largest variety company GOP and street theater festivals in Korea and Israel. In 2015 Valpuri established a circus company called Sirkum Polaris with her friends and she is at the moment most interested in creating their own projects.
Nelli found her way to Sorin Sirkus at the age of 4. In 2013 she got accepted into one of the world´s renowned schools University of Dance and Circus (DOCH) in Stockholm. She graduated as a bachelor of fine arts in circus from DOCH in June 2016. During her time in the circus school Nelli created her unique approach to foot juggling that takes the discipline out of the traditional ways. After her graduation she has been working around the world with companies such as Young Stage festival, Krystallpalast Variete, Galapiat Cirque, Cirkus Cirkör and Östgötateatern.
Liisa started circus already at the age of 4 when her father took her to Sorin Sirkus youth circus in Tampere. In 2012 Liisa was accepted to École Superieure des Arts du Cirque circus school in Brussels and she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2016. During her time in the school she also became familiar with Canadian contemporary circus, due to her exchange in École National de Cirque circus school in Montreal and a project with the world famous Cirque Éloize. As a professional Liisa has worked for example with ArtTeatro, Cirkus Zorba, Cirque Rouages, Cirque Galapiat and Cie des Chausson Rouges. She has also performed in multiple high profile events like the Paris fashion week 2017.
As a child Maria danced ballet, played violin and sang in a choir. At the age of 13 she found her way to Sorin Sirkus. In 2010 Maria and her partners Ronja Vilponen and Valpuri Kaarninen were selected to perform in the Wiesbaden circus festival and there they found the motivation to apply to a circus university in Brussels called École Superieure des Arts du Cirque. After graduation they have been working with their trapeze group Wise Fools all around the world for example in Barcelona, London, Seoul, Haifa and in different cities in Germany. One of their biggest achievements is the silver medal from the high level Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
Born in 1990 in Valkeakoski (Finland), Petteri started circus in amateur school after having a short experience in the field of hip-hop dance. Over the years Petteri has been experimenting with several acrobatic disciplines such as cyr wheel, trampoline, teeterboard and acrodance in which he specializes. In 2013 he started education in Académie Fratellini where he started to develope his first interests of theatrical and physical approach of the movement and the limits of it. Lately he has been involved in an opera performance called Faust which is a grand opera of five acts by Charles Gounod. He is also working on a small form called KATVE.
Pinja found her way to circus through gymnastics. In 2009 her team ”Minetit” won the Finnish Nationals in Aesthetic Group Gymnastics (AEGG) and after 11 years of gymnastics she joined Sorin Sirkus In autumn 2009. There she met Milla Peijari with whom she is working now as Duo Minja. In 2012 Duo Minja took part in ”Finland’s Got Talent” and they were selected all the way to the Finals. Since then Pinja has been performing professionally for example in GOP Varieté-Theaters in Germany and in many big shows and productions with Phoenix Fire Dancers for example in USA, Brazil, Turkey and in G20- meeting in Russia. Along with duo Pinja started to perform as a
solo artist in 2015.
Onni Toivonen started circus as a hobby in 2005 at Sorin Sirkus youth circus in Tampere. Onni practised the basics of all circus disciplines and specialized finally in juggling with clubs. Onni graduated from high school in 2013 and was straight away accepted to study juggling in the renowed Dans –och Cirkushögskolan in Stockholm, which is world famous for its juggling teaching. Onni graduated from circus school in 2016. In 2017 Onni was chosen to participate the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain and Young Stage festivals from which he won special prices. Onni performs also in the 2017 Cirko Aereo production Kinema.
In 2013 Juho decided to stop his studies in the Technical University of Tampere because he was accepted to École Superieure des Arts du Cirque in Belgium. In the school there was a teacher who helped Juho to hone his acrobatic skills further in his speciality the aerial rope. In the summer 2016 Juho graduated from ESAC. Nowdays Juho is mostly working as an engineer.
Jaimee Allen found her way to the wonderful world of circus through Zip Zap Circus School in Cape Town, South Africa. There she developed an interest in aerial disciplines and cloud swing became her speciality. Jaimee got also interested in the behind the scenes work and in 2012 she took a course with Artscape Theater about stage management, lights and sound. After the year long course Jaimee still felt like she wanted get back on stage herself and in 2014 she auditioned for École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels. She got in and spent the next 3 years being coached in cloud swing by Roman Fedin. In spring 2017 Jaimee graduated from ESAC and she joined straight away the Finnish trapeze trio Wise Fools.
Kerttu Pussinen is circus artist who grew up in Sorin Sirkus in Finland. She is a graduate of The National Circus School in Canada and a one of the founding members of F.A.Q; circus collective and a proud collaborator at Sirkum Polaris. In her performing career, she has participated and won prizes in various circus festivals. Such as: Wisbaden international youth circus festival, Young Stage international circus festival and Newkommershow. She has worked as an aerial performer specializing in Straps Loops for over 10 years. Kerttu has also trained as a hand to hand flyer and has experience in martial arts tricking. In the last few years her worked has focused around research in combining scientific ideas with contemporary circus. In 2017 she premiered her first solo show Particle # B.
Katri Salmenoja is a Helsinki-based artist (MA, BMus) working in the field of lyrical art, music and sound. Ever since her early studies in art and psychology Katri has been interested in processes of perception and signification, how do elements relate and reorganize aesthetically to build up an organic whole. Blending acoustic sounds with electro she considers objects and voice as ambient instruments in composing and creating soundscapes in different cross-art contexts. Besides contemporary performances Katri is writing songs with her electro collective MITE ITEM, working as a lyricist, as well as composing and performing with her sound collective Sound Illustrators.
Olli Vuorinen, founder of Nuua company graduated from a French circus school Academie-Fratellini in 2011. After that Vuorinen did two award-winning performances in Cirque de Demain-festival and his company got selected in 2012 to a EU-funded Circus Next-project. Since 2011 Vuorinen have been working closely with one of the pioneer companies of contemporary juggling Les Objets Volants in a performance Liaison Carbone. Olli Vuorinen is very productive Finnish contemporary circus artist. Past years he has been performing over 20 different countries. Vuorinen is known from his personal approach to performing, innovative juggling techniques and varied objects theatre skills.
Teo Lanerva is a freelance lighting and video designer (MA, Theatrical Arts) based in Helsinki, Finland. He works mostly with contemporary performances, concerts and events ranging from small underground clubs to festivals.
His recent works include opera FLASH FLASH composed by Juhani Nuorvala, which premiered at Musica Nova Festival 2019, light art piece Liquid Line shown at Lux Helsinki 2019, a contemporary dance solo Solitude by clarinetist Lauri Sallinen, which premiered at Helsinki Week 2017 and a contemporary circus performance Taival by nuua which premiered at Théâtre de Hautepierre in France 2016.