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Toccata is an interdisciplinary performance by two independent artists – a pianist and a contemporary dancer, in which these two art forms intertwine with each other into a tight union – a total chimerism of music and movement.
An abstract fairy tale, which can be seen as a passionate romance, a circling of two planets around the black Helios, or a retro-futuristic piano robot with four hands and legs.
The work is created in collaboration between the two individuals sharing the space with a grand piano, music paper and a mirror, producing music with motion and choreography with sound.

Premiered fall 2015.

Toccata Nera was born as a side product of Toccata, a 60 seconds dance movie. 

Short Bios:

The 2013 Yrjö Award recipient as the Finnish Jazz Musician of the Year, pianist, moogist and composer Kari Ikonen (b.1973) is currently active as solo pianist, with his own trio, duo with clarinetist Louis Sclavis, and several other Finnish and international bands like Orchestra Nazionale della Luna, Quartet Ajaton and Trio Toffa. He has worked with the likes of Lee Konitz, Bob Moses, Tony Malaby, Ingrid Jensen, Tom Arthurs, Vincent Courtois, Jeff Denson, Ron McClure and the UMO Jazz Orchestra. Kari has performed in South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Armenia, Turkey, Russia and 25 European countries. His playing and/or compositions have been recorded for more than 50 albums, 8 of these on his own name. His compositions have been honoured internationally, taking first prizes in the American “Julius Hemphill Composition Awards” and in the Italian “Scrivere in Jazz”. More info at

ABOA artist grant 2020 recipient Maria Nurmela has been working as a freelance dance artist since 2002 at the field of  contemporary dance and performance. Many internationally esteemed choreographers such as Tero Saarinen (Tero Saarinen Company, 2002-2017), Susanna Leinonen, Susanne Linke  have employed Maria in their works, while her own projects have taken place on interdisciplinary interfaces, often in different performance spaces, communally and in film format. Maria´s works have been presented in various Festivals in Finland and abroad in prestigious venues such as Critical Path Sydney (2019) and Palais de Tokyo Museum Paris (2018) among many others.  
In addition to her work as a freelance dancer and choreographer, she also teaches in different institutions such as Theatre Academy of University of Arts in Helsinki and Helsinki Summer University. Maria’s artistry has been recognized by numerous grants and awards. In year 2008 she was nominated n Ballet/Tanz Year Book as one of the most remarkable female contemporary dancers in Europe. More info at



Concept, choreography, composition              

Maria Nurmela and Kari Ikonen



Light                      Timo Ollila

Video                     Merja Isokoski


Produced in collaboration  with Turku Theatre Foundation, Dance School Tanssitiimi and Sibelius-Museum, Turku.


Premier 20.12.2015 in Sibelius Museum, Turku Finland.

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