Anna Venäläinen is a Finnish dance artist, who works as a freelancer choreographer, dancer and producer. Her latest works are “Respect!” (2015), “Taivaltajat” (2014) and “Folha Seca” (2013). With those Anna Venäläinen has been touring in Finland and with Folha Seca also in India.

Venäläinen is making project based co-operations with very different artists in the fields of music, lightning design and costume design. Co-operation she has made for example with dance artists Nadja Pärssinen and Mirva Keski-Vähälä, and in music with composer Juhana Venäläinen and clarinetist Lauri Sallinen and with a musician Riku-Pekka Kellokoski, who combines folk music to electronic music.

Venäläinen is interested in to develop fusion of the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira Angola and contemporary dance. Extreme physicality and thinking through the movement are important starting points of her works. She is constantly thinking in her pieces about what the body can really express.

Venäläinen started capoeira in 2005 and has been teaching it since 2009 in the group Capoeira Nórdica in Joensuu. Beside her own group her capoeira has been influenced especially by Contra Mestre Carcara in Helsinki, Mestre Marrom in Rio de Janeiro and Mestre Fantasma in London.

Venäläinen graduated as a professional dancer in 2010 from Outokumpu College. Addition to the main teachers Jyrki Haapala and Katariina Vähäkallio, many international guest teachers deepened the study in Outokumpu.  Venäläinen was influenced especially by the guest teacher Khosro Adibi from Iran. She remembers his words: ”Go for your own dance and what you are interested in. Don´t try to be someone else.”