“You can hear the audience at the full theatre saying softly olé from time to time. Maija Lepistö’s choreography begins with a traditional Sevillian style dance. Here everything is precisely defined from hand positions to the colors of the accessories and bata de cola -dress. The dancer is accompanied by Spanish song and guitar. The atmosphere takes you to Guadalquivir, the second longest river in the country, which flows through Seville. Then we move to somewhere in Paris. Lepistö is dancing in a stylish jacket and a short skirt. Later, the music changes to train noise. This kind of flamenco was made in the 1920s by Vicente Escudero, a dancer and painter who got influences from cubism and surrealism. He surprised by dancing with engine sounds. At the time the audience did not understand him. Today, the public in Helsinki understands. The beautiful and inventive Guadalquivir does not pass through Paris is a delightful work that combines avant-garde and traditional flamenco. And causes standing ovation.” Sari Saloranta, Demari, February 14, 2013


“I’m lying on the floor of the restaurant Havana’s backroom corner. I can explain. There are dance halls in the backroom, I love to follow rehearsals, it is my day off and the artists have gone for a break. I am just relaxing here. A spanish singer Mara Rey has just sung her fiery flamenco improvisations and my ears are still humming. Or are they? In any case, the floor feels fading beneath me. Do I fly? Only after a while I realize that the singer Veera Voima has begun to practice her own part, a small archaic lullaby, which she sings at the end of the dance hall very quietly and hypnotically. In the song she flies “over the nine seas”. “Sleep, sleep the grassland bird, sleep when I am sleeping”, she sings and knocks at her magic drum. I have to obey.”
Finlands main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat lists the most wonderful, touching and memorable experiences of 2010. Leena Pallari, Helsingin Sanomat 6.1.2011.


“We could almost speak about a Finnish flamenco school, just that the artists are very different. One of the most expressive ones is Maija Lepistö, whose work “Aikaa aamuun” does not bother the viewer with excessive egotism. It’s a pity as such, I wish we could see more of this dancer who is technically so prepared and very expressive. – Lepistö´s dance is beautiful, and on the other hand, shattering.” Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat 17.10.2010.


“Kuusikko, a choir leaded by Veera Voima, sings in Kalevala meter about myths as a prologue. The choreography works well for the advanced dancers. The beginning is particularly effective: ten dancers form a triangle whose unison is violently broken by individual breaks. Music flows directly into the subconscious.” Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat 26.3.2011.


“Pippi Longstocking’s horse (Maija Lepistö) is very successfully realized character – and how spendid is her dance! My 6 and 8-year-old critic fellows think the rapping and boogying horse is the best of the show.” Anni Valtonen, Helsingin Sanomat 25.8.2009 (Pippi Longstocking, Compañía Kaari Martin)


“Lepistö links Galician folk dances to Andalusian flamenco. Aquelarre flamenco is a playlet where the scenes are seamed well and the story moves forward. – Superdramatic music peals, a giant crucified Jesus appears in the backdrop, and a group of black-dressed women makes gloomy minimalist unison. It is fascinating in a kind of pervert way! – I have to say that there are really good flamenco dancers in Finland who, in addition to technique, have the right attitude. Choreographers seem to have the courage to break the boundaries and try out unorthodox solutions. Flamenco is no longer considered sacred and untouched, which is good.” Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat 27.10.2003

MAIJA LEPISTÖ | info@maijalepisto.com