I, holobiont

In 2019, performer and choreographer Nella Turkki and Janis Heldmann created a short choreography for the Urban Art Festival in Herne. The 20-minutes performance named “I, holobiont” dealt with the topic of the human body as a multispecies entity.

A holobiont is a living ecosystem that consists of diverse cells, microbes and bacteria. These living beings share the same body and live in the interdependence of each other. Modern biology claims that the human body is such a system and therefore a holobiont.

How can we encounter the unknown in us and each other, if we are aware that our behavior is influenced by bacteria and microbes? Where are our borders to the environment, if we are not alone in our bodies?

These questions were the main motives of “I, holobiont”. Furthermore, a recorded speech invited the audience to discover their own embodied awareness of their holobionic nature.

The performance is abvailable to be shown in festivals in Germany and Europe. The full length video can be requested.

#LUFT – a youth danceproject about the climate

What is this air, that every living being on this planet shares with each other? How does it connect us? Could we do something to improve the atmosphere – between each other and globally?

#LUFT explores the embodied counciousness of our environment with a youth group of age 9 -18 from Herne, Germany and tackles the question how to face the current global crisis of climate, Together with Nella Turkki and Janis Heldmann the group created a performance with an interdiscplinary approach of dance and theatre. During the process, the participants get to know new forms of expression and movement and dedicate to a topic that we all have in common – our atmosphere. The project began in June 2019 and premiered on the Pottporus Festival in Novembre 2019 in Herne, Germany.

The 40 minutes performance was well received by the audience and is available to be performed in festivals in Germany and Europe.

A full length video of the performance can be requested.

#LUFT is a production of Pottporus e.V. in cooperation with Realschule Crange and the Youthcentre Am Freibad

The event is funded by Chance Tanz a project of “Bundesverband Tanz in Schulen e.V.” as part of the programme “Kultur macht stark, Bündnisse für Bildung” of BMBF.

HOLD ON! – A dance project about the power of the hands

The HOLD ON! dance workshop focuses on the potential for articulation and movement that invites dancers and dance enthusiasts to pursue questions that deal with how hands connect and communicate with each other. What do we know about hands? How can a hand movement agitate the whole body in motion?

The workshop leads to a jointly developed choreography, with which the participants have the opportunity to participate in a final presentation of the project at tanzhaus nrw. Participants and participants of various age groups and gender and with a variety of movement experiences, abilities and backgrounds are welcome.

HOLD ON! is led by contemporary dancers and lecturers Nella Turkki and Emma Valtonen from Finland.

FEST – A dance piece and celebration of the utopia of homeland!

Contemporary dance performance FEST explores one’s vulnerability in relation to the homeland. Dance artists Marje Hirvonen and Nella Turkki explore in their choreography the embodied experience of traditions and memories of this “father’s” land.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate humanity and its vulnerability, to celebrate the home country, which does not belong to anyone, which is a utopia, spaceless and timeless. A home that is constantly changing, never tied neither to a place nor a time.”

In this current global situation in which nationalism is rising up in shivering ways, FEST focuses on the theme of homeland by embracing openness, community and romantic nostalgia. It invites everyone regardless of age and background to join the celebration, and create a utopia of homeland together! After the performance there will be an open discussion and a space to party with the music of a surprise band!

Language Finnish and English
Duration 3 hours in total, performance 50 min


Nella Turkki is a Finnish dancer, choreographer and theatre director who focuses her work on the connection with the environment and social questions in the society. She believes that dance has the potential to engage people stronger with their environment and to create new ways in relating with other people. Her strong social approach to dance making comes from her long background in the field of applied theatre.

Apart from her experience in many international projects in dance and theatre field as a dancer, Nella has also directed several social dance projects with diverse groups internationally. Nella is currently part of the MA in Dance Pedagogy in Theatre Academy in Arts University in Helsinki, and studied Contemporary dance Centre for Contemporary dance in Cologne, and BA in applied theatre and puppetry in Turku University of Applied Theatre in Turku, Finland.