JoJo - Oulu Dance Centre logo

Hanhineva & Salo: For our Grandmothers

Welcome to enjoy dance!

JoJo’s spring 2023 program consists of JoJo’s own productions and guest performances.

About the performance

Henna-Maria Hanhineva & Seija-Leena Salo: For our Grandmothers (two solos)

Performance schedule

Fri 24.2. at 19
Sat 25.2. at 19

23th April 2022 premiered evening consists of  Seija-Leena Salo: Helli the grandmother’s armpit is a pit and Henna-Maria Hanhineva: Letters to Mari

The total duration of the performances is about 2 hours plus the Intermission, about 2.5 hours in total. The audience is invited to write or paint for their own grandmothers during the intermission. 

Contains nudity.

For our Grandmothers is a full evening with two solos, which were born from reaching out for our grandmothers who passed away a long time ago.

We have tried to understand our grandmothers’ corporeality and femininity.

We have asked, what kind of experiences and beliefs they have had about the position of  women in this world, and felt in our own bodies, how the over-generational heritage affects our physical space, being and acting as women now.

We have been inspired by each others’ personal, documentary and artistic ways to be with our grandmothers and own bodies while approaching our late ancestors together.

In the end of the path opens up a larger space of sharing, an evening For our Grandmothers. And we welcome all of you…

…you who would like to climb up your family tree
…you who would like to jump off the tree
…you who would like to dare
…you who would like to be moved
…you who are interested in gender, gender roles and equality
…you who are inspired by history, roots and chain of generations
…you who wish to create rituals of future
…you whose grandmother has passed away
…you whose grandmother is alive
…you whose grandmother has painted flower arrangements
…you whose grandmother has milked cows
…you whose grandmother has enjoyed sex
…you whose grandmother has been hurt
…you whose grandmother has forbidden crying
…you whose grandmother has given comfort
…you whose grandmother has shaped a woman out of clay
…you who would like to shape womanity anew

Seija-Leena Salo: Helli - the grandmother's armpit is a pit

Helli the grandmother’s armpit is a pit is a document based performance on the heritage carried in one’s body. The most essential documents in this piece and on the stage are the paintings and sculptures my grandmother Helli made of women, me being one piece of art she made.

“Then I wrote that my grandmother Helli was the only one of my grandparents who I did not like. Now I am not so sure anymore,  how things were. I just know that Helli was the only grandparent whose funeral I attended. She passed away two months before my first child was born. I saw her lying in the coffin, and she looked like a fairy. As I walked in the woods next to the hospice, I felt like the trees were full of creatures like her.”

Dramaturg, directing & performance: Seija-Leena Salo | Scenography and directing dialog: Johanna Latvala | Composing and sound design: Aino Lehtovaara | Light design: Irene Lehtonen |Costume: Seija-Leena Salo and Johanna Latvala | Performer: Seija-Leena Salo | Reader 1: Simo Salo | Reader 2: Hilkka Kilpi | Poster pictures: Hanna Oksanen | Pictures from performance: Inkeri Jäntti | Production: JoJo – Oulu Dance Centre and working group | Supporters: Arts Promotion Finland, TOP-foundation, Regional Dance centre of Western Finland | The performance includes Finnish speech.

I would like to thank all my family members for trying and daring to remember, opening to a dialog, sharing the heritage.

Henna-Maria Hanhineva: Letters to Mari

Letters to Mari is my solo dance about a chain of generations, one`s own place in it and the sensual way of existing. It’s a homage to my departed grandmother Mari and a reach towards femininity liberated from shame.

“May 25th 2020 

Hi Mari,

I have been thinking of you often, wishing to know you better. That’s why I am writing to you finally… I am starting to create a dance piece, a solo dance for myself, based on these letters. I hope it’s fine with you that you will become a part of my art… My greatest aim is to increase understanding and acceptance, to find love towards the past and towards myself, towards that woman who I am becoming, who I am.

Warm wishes, your grandchild, Henna-Maria”

Choreography & dance: Henna-Maria Hanhineva | Composing & sound design: Aino Lehtovaara | Light design: Irene Lehtonen | Video design: Veera Lehtola | Dramaturgy: Working group |  Bodily dialog: Sally Davison | Costume: Vuokko Kurppa and Henna-Maria Hanhineva | Set up: Henna-Maria Hanhineva, Irene Lehtonen, Veera Lehtola | Poster photos: Matti Kilponen | Performance photos: Inkeri Jäntti | Production: JoJo – Oulu Dance Centre and working group | Supporters: Arts Promotion Centre Finland, TOP-foundation, Regional Dance centre of Western Finland

Warm thanks for the interviews to Maria, Rakel, Raili, Pirkko, Karl, Saara, Susanna, Martin, Lea and Terhi.


20 e / 15 e / 10 e (for JoJo members)

Kaikukortti: 6 tickets / performance

From Ticket office at Cultural Centre Valve and

Kaikukortti logo

Draw or write to Grandma!

Want to write or draw for your grandmother? To someone who is alive, to someone you have already said goodbye to, or to someone you may never have had time to know?

You can take a moment with your own grandmother or grandmother during the performances or take the idea home with you.

If you want to write a letter to your grandmother…

What would you like to tell or say to her, maybe ask?

Are there any memories you would like to return to while writing?

What would you thank your grandmother for?

Is there something inherited from your grandmother that you would like to keep or something you can already deduct?

If you didn’t know your grandmother, could the letter be a way to find a route to her?

Choose the paper you like and write about what you feel is important now.

If you want to draw for your grandmother…

Does your grandmother remind you of any color, warm, cold, bright, dim?

What kind of line would you like to draw between you and your grandmother, straight or complicated, strong or hesitant?

You can let colors and shapes take over the paper and release something you don’t quite understand or don’t have words for.

Or, if you prefer, you can tell your grandmother how you see her, draw a portrait of her.

Or draw a self-portrait, tell your grandmother how you see yourself today, what belongs to you now.

Choose a pen or colors that invite you and let the line carry you towards your grandmother.

Other information

Please remember to follow the general safety and hygiene instructions for events:
– Don’t participate in events when having symptoms
– Take care of hand hygiene; wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
– Cough on a handkerchief or sleeve