TaikaBox was born in Cardiff, Wales in 2010 when choreographer Tanja Råman and video artist John Collingswood decided to formalise their 5 years of collaboration into an organisation dedicated to creating new ways to experience dance.
In 2015 they moved to Finland and established TaikaBox as an association.
In 2020 they rented their first studio on the island of Pikisaari, and met up with Elena Vlasenko, a journalist, who became part of the team for a couple of years.
In 2021 they moved operations to an empty shop on Oulunsalo and launched the Taidepaja for six months.
2023 brought a new communications manager in the form of Pasi Pirttiaho and a new adventure began when TaikaBox bought an old fisherman’s shed in Varjakka harbour to recycle it into a community art space.
Producer, Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher, Therapist
“I love to move, I love to see people moving. It is fascinating to try to understand another person by just watching them moving. I think that sometimes, when people are dancing, if you look closely enough, you can get a glimpse of their soul.
I started dancing quite late in life – I was 16 when I found my first dance class in a small town in rural Finland. From there, it has been a rollercoaster of a ride that took me to England to train (Leeds, then London) and to Wales to start up my company and my family. I have finally managed to convince my parents that choreographing and performing is a proper job.
I believe that humans are made of much more than flesh and bone – that we are a complex recipe of matter, energy, experience and emotion. These provide an endless source of curiosity to me and my goal is to explore them through movement and choreography.
After eighteen years of living in the UK, I returned to my roots in Northern Finland. I am re-discovering my native country and its beauty is having a huge influence on my artistic practice.”
Artist, Designer, Technical Manager, DJ
“I create art out of hybrid systems, combining humans and computers into something that’s more post-digital.
I grew up in a cultural tundra in the Midlands of England, and have travelled far and wide in search of new ways of being creative, for a while settling in Cardiff where I constantly expanded my knowledge by collaborating with myriad performers.
Now I’m in Northern Finland, and permanently astounded by the proximity to nature and the elements. My work has recently been focussed on finding ways to involve the audience in dance work, and now my aim is to bring in some of the outside world as well.
You can find out more about my individual practice in my portfolio: dbini.com“
Producer, Musician, Communications Guru
“I’ve always been interested in the way people and technology can create new art and culture, and the new kinds of directions they take when the mix is stirred.
I love new music, new art and new experiences, and being able to participate in creation of those.”
Elena Florina Vlasenko – Lölä – was TaikaBox’s Communications Manager from 2020 to 2022 and set up the TaikaTalk project.
“I have worked as a reporter covering some dramatic events in the Post-Soviet world from where I come, such as war conflicts and persecution against journalists, activists and independent artists.
As a journalist specialising in human rights and political art I’ve come to the conclusion that freedom of expression is losing in terms of freedom of speech. We face censorship that leads to deaths and hardships on the one hand, and careless misuse on the other – when those who have the privilege to be heard and are listened to, keep their mouths shut when it comes to homophobia, wars, racism, nationalism, domestic violence, climate change, sexism, corruption, etc.”