suomeksi / in English




Quartet for the End of Time
Victor, his rooster Max and secret of the music box
Sore Point
A Man Without A Shade In His Soul
Pessi and Illusia
Ample Moon
Well Nourished Caucasian Male
Kaijat - parrots in Paris
Simo's Cleanery
The Extended Family


Minna Tawast, Theatre&Dance Magazine, 3/2016

Tuomo Railo steps on the stage dressed in a brown trench coat and dark trousers. A row of footlights glows at the back of the stage. Railo takes a position like a runner’s starting position and begins to talk. The talking goes on until the end of the 77-minute performance.

The dark space with a “hill” put together of different surfaces in a back corner, a chair and a flight of gray steps leading nowhere and the lights sparingly targeted at Railo bring distantly into mind the world of Chaplin's film Modern Times. That ”modern” criticizing industrialization and the mechanization of man was in the 1930's, but even now, the same kind of care can be felt for the little people disappearing in the wheels of money and power.

Later, a huge metallic straw mobile pipe is built on stage: a mental structure, a state of mind, the society. In Omnipotence, everything signals a desire of controlling, a rigid world view without nuances.

Railo's moustached, slightly Hitler-like official speaks of a man whose name he does not want to say. This man murdered 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utøya in Norway.

Railo studied carefully the mass murderer's background, read his Hannah Arendt and Åsne Seierstad and, for example, read about imperial Russia's extermination strategies for Jews. These do not, more than the attempts to understand the logic of terror or the motives of an individual killers' motives offer any satisfying answer for the agonized question why. And we have our endless questions.

Still, Railo will not give up. He demands of us and of himself that we accept the fact that evil exists and it cannot be understood. At the same time, he shows our compulsive need to find explanations as well as our helplessness in front of this paradox. He goes on speaking and hopes that we would tell him stop before his desire to be right sucks out all oxygen.

Railo speaks as himself and as a mass murderer, and he finds links between the worlds of art and terror. At the same time he moves: slow, robotic movements and some physical forms that represent emotions. Naive, perhaps - or possibly supportive to the world of the performance.

Halfway through the performance four dancers come in wearing white. They are the people, others, the dead – they are the others whom Railo's character occasionally joins detaching himself to fulfill the mission he set for himself.

Omnipotens is an extraordinary piece even within the multifold canon of modern dance. It acknowledges the cultural dominance of speech and verbal analysis, but also shows its limitedness. It appeals to me with its helpless honesty, too. It does not try to be smart, but it spreads the pawns in front of us and says: play better.

Omnipotens is the final part in Tuomo Railo's trilogy on the theme of the dimensions of humanity. The previous parts were Sore Point (Arka paikka) in 2011 and Quartet for the End of Time (Aikojen lopun kvartetto) in 2013.


Annikki Alku, 5.4.2016

Omnipotens is the final part of Tuomo Railo's trilogy on the different sides of humanity for dance theater Glims & Gloms. The previous parts of the trilogy were Sore point (Arka paikka) in 2011 and Quartet for the end of Time (Aikojen lopun kvartetto) in 2013.

This piece which premiered in the Louhi hall of Espoo Cultural Center is absolutely the most serious and the heaviest of the three. The performance has a societal and political point of view, but it does not in the least provoke or agitate. It is reflective and thoroughly finished. Everything that is said using words or movement displays versatile thinking and a power of expression rising from it.

This conceptual thoroughness gives the performance a calm pulse that both supports the performance and catches the audience’s unrelenting attention.

Omnipotens is a person who believes that his truth is the only correct one. This entitles him to dominate and control others all the way to violence and terror. Railo discusses this sense of omnipotence through Anders Behring Breivik and his actions. A part of the background material, which is quoted in the performance, is Hannah Arendt's book The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Structurally, the piece is comprised of two very different parts that are, however, tied together in a very natural way. There is Railo's impersonal and clear speaker in black using simultaneous movements together with words. There is also an intense group of dancers – Jori Kaksonen, Sakari Saikkonen, Jussi Väänänen and Mirva Väänänen, whose movements communicate emotions, thoughts and the regularities of human behavior as well as the will to be a part of a group.

Even if the theme of the piece is in itself heavy – the incomprehensible act of terror on the island of Utøya in Norway and the 77 victims - the performance itself is not. Here and there, especially at the beginning, one can detect a nuance of self-irony in Railo’s text. Even the language of movement of the choreography, using the body in a versatile way, is agile and extrovert rather than constrained or heavy.

The dark stage space is made rhythmical by different platforms and the central visual element of the latter part becomes (even concretely) the giant white straw mobile maze put together by the dancers. The music is Eija Kankaanranta's (concert kantele) and Esa Pietilä's (saxophone) live contemporary music composed for the performance by Juhani Nuorvala. At times the music fades into near non-existence, but all in all, it gives the performance a clear sound frame.

Omnipotens does not give definitive answers to the questions it asks, and it does not want to do it either. But it does have an opinion and a stand, and it also wants to stir the spectator to think and act so that Utøya, Paris or the Third Reich's Berlin's incidents will not recur.


Tove Djupsjöbacka, Hufvudstadsbladet 2.4.2016

Tuomo Railo makes a poetic interpretation of our contemporary problems in Glims & Gloms' new piece Omnipotens.

I have not often seen a scenic piece commenting the present as perceptively as the dance group Glims & Gloms does in Omnipotens.

This is point-blank – terrorism, totalitarian states, marginalization, violence, and a certain Norwegian whom the performance chooses not to call by his name even if his story is the thread running through the piece. These are not exactly perky themes, but the piece really manages to persuade the audience to think. It does not become a political, shouting manifest but a poetic interpretation of our time and its problems.

I like the touch right from the beginning. Tuomo Railo is responsible for the script and the choreography, and he himself carries the whole performance as a kind of master of ceremonies. This is physical theater with finesse and text interpretation that is calm and professional throughout. At times Railo spices up the text with more activities, sometimes the movements become more delicate. Sometimes he joins the dance group, but still goes on with the monologue. The physical flow of the choreography together with quotes by Hannah Arendt – not exactly an easy combination!

Compelling dancers

The master of ceremonies functions in parallel with the dance group. The group’s interpretation of the text is suitably abstract with slight references in details here and there, for example using military movements. The four dancers are convincing. They form an even and compatible group. Sakari Saikkonen is one of the stalwarts of Glims & Gloms who masters liikekieli with strength, while Jori Kaksonen is a new and skilful acquaintance for me - slightly more lyrical. Mirva Väänänen has a strong charisma in her dancing, and it is the first time that I see Jussi Väänänen in a piece without the smallest reference to competitive ballroom dancing (except for a few bars of waltz), which he masters excellently.

Music plays an important role in the whole. It is discrete and supports the text for the most part, but still Juhani Nuorvala manages to create a meaningful composition. The combination of the concert kantele and the saxophone is a creative one. Eija Kankaanranta's and Esa Pietilä's experienced hands bring forth everything from pleasant dreamlike ambience to gloomy screams. The special sound of the kantele makes one sense that things are a little bonkers. And this does suit the theme of the piece like a glove.

Tuomo Railo talks directly to the spectators right from the beginning, challenging them. He asks resourceful questions and draws interesting parallels to the world of art. The textual content is so strong that one can hardly take in everything, but each person chooses which questions sink deepest at the moment. The dramaturgy is wise and thoughtful, and after the essay-like text it feels very pleasant to be able to move into a more linear life story, how tragically scary it is. When we reach Utøya, I dry a tear. The end is cleverly designed. After all, what are we afraid of?


Barbro Enckell-Grimm, Hufvudstadsbladet 22.9.2014

Glims & Gloms’ a good half-hour long dance performance for the youngest members of the family is called PapulaBOX. The three dancers - Simo Heiskanen, Jonna Aaltonen and Mikko Heino - bear a strong resemblance to Teletubbies. With their empty faces, short steps and mechanical movement patterns they create a world that feels quite pleasant in its rectilinear simplicity. The colors of the costumes follow the same line: clean and luminous colors against a black background. Even the music is limited to sound effects like a train thumping on the rail or machines beeping and pounding.

Gradually, Heiskanen’s choreography grows and moves outside the box, breaks down the fourth wall and stretches bodies as well as reality. Simo Heiskanen’s choreography studies combining geometric shapes – the circle, the square and the triangle. There is something robotic about the performance but it also shows the appeal and the beauty of mathematics.

Not until towards the end of the 40-minute performance do the dancers begin to dance with each other - lift, carry and touch. Some members of the public are asked to join in.

There is something relaxed and liberating about dance performances for children. Actually, they are well suited for any inexperienced dance audience. Here one is taken by the hand and lead to join the game. A twinkle in the eye helps to avoid the trap of becoming too discerningly refined or carefully premeditated.


To dance, to dream
Kaisa Kurikka, newspaper Turun Sanomat, September 15th, 2014

Guest performance at Manilla Theater, September 13th.

Factory festival Manifesti’s Saturday night offered a chance to enjoy Quartet for the End of Time by the Espoo-based Dance Theater Glims & Gloms. The name of the work comes from a composition by the French composer Olivier Messiaen.

Messiaen’s composition was performed for the first time in 1941 in a prisoner-of-war camp, where Messiaen, who was there as a prisoner, even composed it. Knowing how the composition was created, one begins to see references to the prisoner camp in the dance work.

The mobile spotlights of the performance can be compared to the searchlights that are used when keeping guard over a prison camp, and the adaptable slatted walls that serve as props resemble prison bars.

Metti Nordin’s costumes, the lovely black knit pants and tops look like worn-out prison uniforms with holes.

These recollections connected to imprisonment are not in any way necessary stimuli, as the total mentality of the work from the language of movement to the performing is anything but caged or oppressed.

The work is the second part of Tuomo Railo’s trilogy that deals with the dimensions of humanity, and this part focuses on studying the human being as a dreaming creature.

Dreaming can be seen in many ways in the performance. Creativity, imagination and the conceivable world as well as humanity crystallize in the work bountifully and intensely.

The outline of the work breaks down habitual barriers. The spectators get to choose either a permanent seat or changing seats during the performance. Even the scenes of the performance are chosen by the audience.

On Saturday, the scenes that were seen were Flowering field, Old trees and Rocky path, all of which refer to something else than prison-like conditions. The performers change the staging from scene to scene, and when you as a spectator change seats, you get a different view to the things that happen.
Messiaen’s quartet rolls over you forcefully and makes you cringe.

Five dancers - Simo Heiskanen, Ilona Kenová, Mikko Makkonen, Katri Soini and Railo - enchant with everything they do. They show off, tiptoe, make staccato moves, pile up, convert their movements from mechanical to soft slowness, they stretch, convulse, rise and go down. At times, their dancing reminds more of the movements of animals, and at times of the gestures of stage divas.

They form a collective body, dance individually, intensively, delicately or fool around.

Movement in the performance is like overcome by a continuous metamorphosis, transformation. It is a pleasure to watch, because it really gives space to dreams and to the possibility of change.


Credit to imagination
Maria Säkö, Teatteri & Tanssi + sirkus magazine 7/2013

The seriousness of Olivier Messiaeni's Quartet for the End of Time manages to describe a landscape of tragic destruction in an attentive and peaceful way. The quartet's playfulness is not light but thick with meanings. Messiaen composed the quartet in a prisoner camp. Facing destruction, the artist starts to speak a new kind of language.

Tuomo Railo's choreography draws its power from the search for a new language. It deals with man as a dreaming creature. In the performance that I saw, the scenes from the ones the choreographer and the team had sketched, the ones that shaped into titles were Glare, Flowering Field and Gordian Knot.

The dancers bring about enormous surges of thought and emotion in the audience using small gestures and ideas. Quartet for the End of Time´s chains of thought and association do not remain on stage but live on in the spectators. Only a tiny impulse is needed to change everything.

When a dancer pokes the fallen wall with his head, the audience is filled with animality. When the dancers target a revealing wedge of light on one performer, horror spreads in the audience: it is frightening to look at another human being mercilessly when he is most vulnerable. With a soft step, the dancers conjure up a flowering meadow on the stage which is plain and empty as in science fiction.

The movements are continuous and breaking at the same time. The dancers move as if they were improvising, but they keep finding a common frequency. This way the choreography draws inspiration from a similarity to chamber music. Every dancer's character comes up clearly.

The audience is allowed to draw lots of the scenes. In the middle of the stage, the dancers keep moving a rotating pile of walls that are full of holes.

Quartet for the End of Time is a tribute to those who create art resiliently in harsh conditions. Demolishing and reconstructing the illusion takes us deeper into the core of creativeness and an ability to imagine the world all over again.


Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, September 22, 2013

Olivier Messiaen composed Quartet for the End of Time at a prisoner camp. My experience is that it alternates between overwhelming distress and surprising optimism. Tuomo Railo has succeeded in charging the mood of his dance performance of the same name with something similar.

Every time a huge roar of pathos is hanging over, somehow defusing playfulness is found. The atmosphere is also relieved by alienating. The audience is allowed to move and choose their point of watching and the order of the scenes. Viewing is interfered by portable screens and blinding spotlights. It is really impossible to forget that one is in a theater.

Railo seems to disassemble the human substance, which is probably rather presumable in the conditions of a prisoner-of-war camp. There are the most primitive functions, which are no longer held back by superficial civilization. These are, for example, gorilla walks or uninhibited everyday gestures like scalp scratching and foot dangling. Degeneration, submission and subordination. Even surviving and mating.

And then there is the side which represents optimism, the truly human side. The ability to feel empathy and caring for others. These are the most beautiful moments of Messiaen's composition, during which the spectator forgets about the performance's efforts to alienate.

Katri Soini does, characteristically of her, comprehensive work both as a giggling primitive female and as a distressed, cornered person. Choreographer Tuomo Railo in his character yields himself in a drunken way, which one might have wanted more of in the other dancers as well.

Messiaen's music leaves no one cold, but the recording that was heard in this performance was tormenting with the strings' overwhelming, extreme use of vibrato.



Dance drama about a music box and a soup pot
Barbro Enckell-Grimm, Hufvudstadsbladet September 7th, 2012

Dance is a form of expression that is suitable for children’s theater if one manages to bring out the story and the message clearly enough. The language of dance is universal. In dance company Glims & Gloms’ performance Viktor, His Rooster Max and the Mystery of the Music Box, the turning points of the story are explained briefly over the loudspeakers, but there are almost no lines. Furthermore, the introduction of the drama is included in the program leaflet. The dance adventure feels fresh. It is evident that the staging was planned this way right from the beginning - this story with the mediums that are made use of.

As the title suggests, the story is about onion farmer Viktor (Jouni Majaniemi), a rooster (Jyrki Kasper, a constantly crowing alter ego for the children) and a music box which is unearthed and which includes showy African dancer Guillermo Sarduy and a girl called Vera (Jonna Aaltonen). The group goes over to the woods, but they find their way home. The story explores the unknown which is fascinatingly beautiful without being scary. The only characters that can seem strange in the context are the policemen. They represent, of course, grown-up predominance and it can seem child-friendly that they, like the policemen in Pippi Longstocking, move on a lower level than children, but do they necessarily have to be so dreadfully stereotyped and gruff?

Diversity is good

The best parts of the performance are the exquisite dance of Guillermo Sarduy, which is a song of praise for music as a form of expression, rooster Max’s obstinate and angular gesticulation and Viktor, who silently serves the food. Viktor’s and the cooks’ food stands for the safe basis of existence, the prerequisite of our wellbeing, Sarduy’s dance stands for our longing to be able to express ourselves and Max’s kicks for defiance.

The music and the dance manage to carry the drama and catch the audience’s attention. However, the middle part can seem a little extended and stationary. The performance would have benefitted if a couple of uninteresting parts and reiterations would have been left out. But it feels good that one makes an effort to maintain diversity in children’s theater. It is a mission that cannot be easy.


Fairy tale enchantment in the spirit of the brothers Grimm
by Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat September 2, 2011

Dance company Glims & Gloms delights by producing stage expression in the form of dance for the children of the Helsinki area. Viktor, His Rooster Max and the Mystery of the Music Box takes its place in the chain perfectly. Simo Heiskanen continues the tradition by telling the story of good and bad. The villains are ugly and scary and the good are really good. As in the stories of brothers Grimm, not even cruelty is out of limits.

The character gallery of the fairy tale is also rooted in the past and tradition. We are somewhere in the Russian countryside out of reach of the Internet and Facebook. There is the good Viktor with his rooster and the wicked witches in the neighborhood, just like in Macbeth.

The grown-up recognizes many canonized elements of the fairy tale, but for children everything is, of course, new.

For the older man in the audience, the most original part of the story is the shattering of the characters inside the broken music box and the mixing of their identities, where one might find deeper symbolism.

Heiskanen’s choreography is wonderfully physical. It continues the tradition of the exaggerated expression in ballet mime and at its best, relies on pure dance.

The problem is that no clear genre has been chosen. When the story has first been told by movement, in comes the voice of the narrator, repeating unnecessarily what the audience already saw. There is no trust in the recipient’s comprehension, especially when the story is outlined in the program leaflet. Metti Nordin’s costumes are a pleasing mixture of tradition and fantasy. As for the big stage of Louhi Hall, it is very dreary.


Hannele Jyrkkä, Helsingin Sanomat July 28, 2011

Sore Point. Choreography and sound design by Tuomo Railo. Dancers: Ville Oinonen, Sakari Saikkonen and Katri Soini.

Amateurs. Choreography, costume and sound design by Simo Heiskanen. Dancers: Simo Heiskanen, Anu Castrén, Anne Hiekkaranta and Kaisa Niemi.

Pyhäjärvi. The new works by the founders of the Espoo-based dance group Glims & Gloms, Simo Heiskanen and Tuomo Railo, get their spectators hooked by being skillful and entertaining. In addition, they contemplate more serious questions. In line with the spirit of the premiere, the performance runs so full blast that the audience, constantly bursting out laughing, is hard to control.

Railo's Sore Point is a crystal clear and multilayered tidbit in which three dancers draw lots with colored balloons to define the order in which the six scenes will be performed. The ringing of an egg timer takes Ville Oinonen, Sakari Saikkonen and Katri Soini from one physical challenge to another. What happens next?

Someone might push himself into the group by force, from the backside to the lap, hanging from someone's leg, piggyback and from there sprawl onto the floor. Hips keep swinging so vigorously that the movement can only be stopped by force, by being kicked by the rest of the group. As the performers proceed fluently from one situation to the next, there are overlapping episodes of play and more serious reactions to the actions of others as well as episodes of the hilarious and the embarrassingly awkward, and the performers are forced to expose sore points.

The trio is excellent and supreme. Especially the talented comedienne Katri Soini stands out on stage. Her expression has just the right amount of great drama, contrast and sensitivity to the situation.

The performance also offers a flow of motion using all possible levels and directions. In a way, Sore Point shows what the body can be used for. It also shows that sometimes life resembles playful circus.

Simo Heiskanen's work Amateurs takes playfulness a proper leap further. The work is a tribute to outsider art, in the spirit of which the flight of the free mind proceeds wildly from one association and desire to another. Heiskanen creates skillfully extravagant expression and an over the top gallery of characters that blast on the stage, interpreted by Anu Castrén, Anne Hiekkaranta, Kaisa Niemi and the choreographer himself.

There is the circus ringmaster himself with his colorful hat and a group of slightly anarchistic people with blue and purple hair, who gather together to remember some nameless person who has passed away.

Heiskanen himself makes a hysterical comic performance in his role of an energetic outside artist/magician/ringmaster. The charming master of trial and error performs, fumbles and almost strangles himself in a rope trick, but continues again, genuinely enthusiastic. And he sings grandly an overly emotional French melody as well as his own music.

The thread running through everything, however, is a great humane message, as the name of the work implies. The name Amateurs refers to a line by Charlie Chaplin in his movie Limelight: "That’s what all we are. Amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.”

Sore Point and Amateurs can be seen at the Louhisali in Espoo in August and September.


Mika Saarelainen, Helsingin Sanomat November 30,2009.

Dance Theater Glims & Gloms’ 10th birthday celebration at Espoo Cultural Center, Louhisali hall. Choreography and dance by Simo Heiskanen, music by Edward Vesala, lighting by Pasi Pehkonen, visual expression by Simo Heiskanen.

There certainly is reason for celebration when a small dance theatre manages to produce performances within the pressure of the cultural supply of the metropolitan area a whole decade. The Espoo-based Glims & Gloms of two guys, Simo Heiskanen and Tuomo Railo, introduced the repertoire of the past years in their anniversary performance in the Louhisali hall. There were new things to be seen as well.

Heiskanen danced his own choreography, a nearly 30-minute solo called A Man Without A Shade In His Soul. The performance let the spectator enter a breaking point in a man’s life, like a short story. Heiskanen is an excellent dancer: he is soft but strong and muscular at the same time. Only his occasional glazed stare into nothing created a slightly distracting crack and broke the connection between the performer and the spectator.

When it comes to choreography, the performance is interesting and surprising. One of Heiskanen’s strengths is being unpredictable, which keeps the spectator alert most of the time. The performance is quite long for a solo dance, but still praiseworthy.

The actual retrospective celebration was at the beginning: a birthday song, of course. The stage was taken over by the sympathetic animal characters of the theater’s breakthrough performance, The Pig Ballet from 2001. Heiskanen and Railo have been making dance theater alternately for children and adults, and always very much in their own style.

The multitalented men visualize, costume, dramatize and when needed, even compose music for their works. During the decade they have made works that have become cult classics, done experiments with technology as well as in the world of new theater and of course, created clean and simple dance.

It is a blessing that Finland and especially Espoo have taken into heart these lonely riders. We need more brave doers like Heiskanen and Railo.


By Annikki Alku, newspaper Uutispäivä Demari, August 18, 2009

This year, the Children’s Festival offers several premieres. Dance company Glims & Gloms performs Tuomo Railo’s Pessi and Illusia on the Louhisali stage. This fairy tale classic by Yrjö Kokko has been surprisingly seldom seen as a full-scale dance performance since the first public performance in 1952. Those days, Irja Koskinen produced it for The National Ballet to the music composed by Ahti Sonninen.

Railo does not make use the original ballet libretto. Instead, he dramatized the work afresh. Jani Kyllönen arranged Sonninen’s music for four musicians for the need of the new script. In this successful arrangement, the delicate and nostalgic tone of the children’s music of the 1950’s can still be heard. In this sense, the piece is a refreshing exception among today’s energetic rock style of children’s music.

The story of the meeting of goblin Pessi, who is a member of the Pessimists’ family, and the curious fairy Illusia, who escaped from her rainbow, is very varied. It swarms with the little animals of the woods. Railo’s approach to use a theater company of mice as performers and narrators is justified and it works. The narrator mouse is the fantastically expressive actor and dancer Kaisa Niemi. Without Niemi’s supreme touch and comical abilities the performance would not be the same.

The story of Pessi and Illusia is not a sissy fairy tale. It covers the whole spectrum of life as it is seen in nature, from death and struggle to birth. It is understandable that the makers do not want to scare the smallest spectators. However, I was a little disappointed in Terhi Vaimala’s Spider. The Spiders’s choreography as well as the interpretation were surprisingly tame. The creature is condensed evil in the story, and the crucial turning point of the story is when the Spider steals Illusia’s wings.

Another cause of fear in the story, Saku Koistinen’s and Jouni Majaniemi’s Weasel brothers, The White Death, was realized quite nicely with acrobatic and humorous movement language.

Playing the story’s protagonists Pessi and Illusia, Ville Oinonen and Ilona Kenová are explicit and plausible, but perhaps a little bit tame compared to the rest of the ample gallery of characters.

Visually, the performance is extremely successful and beautiful. Metti Nordin’s stage design which brings together Railo’s watercolor paintings in video projections and many scenic nature elements is a fitting mix of reality and fairy tale. Marja Uusitalo’s costumes are witty and have just the right amount of the character of each animal.


By Jukka O. Miettinen, newspaper Helsingin sanomat, August 16, 2009

It was a fantastic idea for dance company Glims & Gloms to bring to life the Finnish ballet classic Pessi and Illusia. The piece had its premiere in The National Ballet 1952. The music was composed by Ahti Sonninen and the story is based on the fairy tale written by Yrjö Kokko.

The work brings Finnish nature to life. The rowan trees talk, the Spider’s web covers the stage, and the animals of the woods present themselves according to their type. Pessi and Illusia is not, however, a sissy fairy tale. The story includes dangers as well as death. It is great that Glims & Gloms have the opportunity to include live music in the piece. Sonninen’s music has been successfully arranged for four musicians by Jani Kyllönen. Choreographer Tuomo Railo has modernized Kokko’s fairy tale with a light hand. It now includes an excellent lesson in ecology, among other things.

The structure of the work is not so simple. The narrator holds the strings, as the dancers move fluidly from role to role.

However, visual elements are the key to this delicious stage realisation. In Metti Nordin’s stage design, a background with projections of Tuomo Railo’s watercolor paintings, create a fairy tale world. Marja Uusitalo characterizes different animals to the point by her costuming. The spectators’ favourite is the Bumble Bee Queen with her court wig.

The premiere performance was not yet perfectly smooth because of the complex structure and many components of the work. However, the pieces will probably click together after a few performances.

Pessi and Illusia is a piece of exceptionally ambitious children’s theater. As good fairy tale do, Tuomo Railo’s new version keeps the spectators, adult as well as children, in its grip the during the performance, a little over an hour.



By Raija Ilo, newspaper Keskipohjanmaa, April 21, 2009

A guest performance in dance Dance company Glims & Gloms: Ample Moon. Choreography Simo Heiskanen. Ylivieskatalo, Akustiikka stage, April 18.

Dance fascination IV in Ylivieskatalo brought once again the country’s top performers and even gave place for the region’s enthusiasts. (…)

Simo Heiskanen’s choreography Ample Moon takes the spectator under the moonlit night sky. The performance begins almost unnoticed. A woman takes a seat in the auditorium like the rest of the audience and moves quietly, as if she was studying the surroundings, on stage, where she finds a hat box. Light is shining from the little holes on the box. The stage becomes many-dimensional. The curtain is drawn in the middle of the stage, and live silhouettes are projected on it of people moving in different ways. At the same time, dancers move in front of it and behind it.

There is a lot going on, and the spectator cannot register everything at the same time. However, the total picture is enchanting. The dancers’ movement material is demanding, acrobatic and refined at the same time. The movement quality is soft, silent and skillfully controlled. The dreamlike atmosphere is underlined by a beautiful blue lighting. It is as if a real full Moon would be shining on the stage.

Heiskanen has described his work by saying that Miss Moon’s magical tricks march off human characters who are confused by the full Moon. On the surface of the Moon, there is uncertainty of the future, and in the deep waters, sea horses drift into a relationship crisis. In the open sea Mister Flounder gorges the reflection of the Moon and wonders why it never ends.

On stage, there were peculiar creatures from a fish girl to a hammer man. The work was unique, humorous and delicate.

A perfect gem!


By Eeva Kauppinen, newspaper Kaleva, April 20, 2009

A dance visit Dance company Glims & Gloms: Ample Moon. Choreography: Simo Heiskanen. Ylivieskatalo, Akustiikka stage, April 18.

The trademarks of the Espoo-based dance company Glims & Gloms are visual impressiveness and resourcefulness as well as very supple dancers. Ample Moon, which visited Ylivieska, is a performance that has layers of dance, scenic images, mystical characters, Pasi Pehkonen’s lighting, mimics, acrobatics, sounds, silence and music. The whole package is there, and the spectator can sit back and enjoy. The performance is like a laterna magica of dance, a magical lantern that keeps lighting up new moving and changing compositions. Ample Moon is full of surprises and twists, mystical scenes painted by dreams and the full Moon.

In the choreographies of one of the theater’s two artistic directors Simo Heiskanen, there are brisk circus-like and absurd scenes, dream images that surge by the influence of the full Moon, feelings and oceans. The atmospheres are subtle. The sphere ranges from playful to mysterious and agonizing. As the source of creative energy, the Moon is there as a ball, as a young lady, as a moon face and a vagabond of the starry sky. Ample Moon has not been made for dance only. At times it is the music that leads, at times it is the costumes, at times the lighting leads the drama, and at time the dance is naked. The best of Metti Nordin’s costumes is Jonna Aaltonen’s Fish Girl’s sequin-shimmering remnant from the Jurassic period as well as Sakari Saikkonen’s and Simo Heiskanen’s deep sea light creatures.

Nordin’s stage fabrics are work well for projecting images. In the spaces of fabrics there are white shadows throwing cartwheels and meeting the stage’s carnal movers. The realization plays with space and illusions. The quality of movement is fantastic all through: classically athletic and delicate Jonna Aaltonen, acrobatic Sakari Saikkonen and perfectly balanced Simo Heiskanen and Kaisa Niemi.

Glims & Gloms offers completely thought through and shining dance theater. The group represents the export quality of Finnish dance. A great visit to Ylivieska.



By Kaisa Kurikka, newspaper Turun Sanomat, September 21, 2008

The Espoo-based dance group Glims & Gloms’ Tuomo Railo’s solo performance Well Nourished Caucasian Male is extremely expressive dance, but in a totally different significance than in Saikkonen’s work.

The solo, which had its premiere in September, shows a dancing man literally at his barest. During the dense 30-minute performance, Railo dances forward his feelings and imaginations by being present in the situation and his body every moment. The performance’s scenes glide into each other as do Railo’s movements, which turn into a primitive male ape’s grotesque ways into statuesque strutting or clearly choreographed courses of movement and transient impulses. The performance turns into a flow of movements, where the changes are unnecessarily subtle.

The music is Railo’s own piano composition. Its minimalistic melodies take a stand against the movement. Railo even made the video projections which are shown on the floor, where colorful lines become patchy figures.

Railos nakedness shows the muscles and the movements of the joints, but the spectator cannot see inside the man. That is why the performance is mysterious, including the title. The title Lunta pakaroilla (Snow on the Buttocks) perhaps refers to what happens when surprising elements meet, or perhaps not.

Anyway, in Railo’s work, different themes of movement join together with great intensity.


K18 (NC-17) – AMPLE MOON AND WELL NOURISHED CAUCASIAN MALE By Jukka O. Miettinen, Helsingin Sanomat, 5 September , 2008

Two realities on stage - Simo Heiskanen’s dance performance for adults is suitable for all ages.

Espoo’s own dance company Glims & Gloms showed in their new premiere, K18 (NC-17) – a night of two dance performances for adults, that the stage has different dispositions. In Tuomo Railo’s solo performance Lunta pakaroilla (Well Nourished Caucasian Male )it served as a place for expression. In Simo Heiskanen’s piece Riittoisa kuu (Ample Moon), the stage reveals itself as a magical box.

Tuomo Railo dances his solo piece Lunta pakaroilla (Well Nourished Caucasian Male) excellently, but the substance is left unclear. At the beginning, the dancer blows smoke into a tiny drying barn and snatches a doll from it. Then he begins a 30-minute series of movements, in which almost monstrous movements rival streamlined and “beautiful” ones. The music is Railo’s piano music, which reminds of the art music of the early 1900’s. This associates even the dance with the period’s perceptions of the human body. The spectator watches the beautifully performed and grandly lighted solo a little clueless, as the references cannot be grasped. Perhaps it is meant to be so.

Simo Heiskanen’s group performance Rittoisa kuu (Ample Moon) plays with the magic of theater in a sparkling way. The woman (Kaisa Niemi) enters the auditorium secretly and sneaks on stage. This might be a mistake, as the stage pulls her into surprising adventures. She is drawn in the middle of a stream of stage characters. There are loving couples, acrobatic contraptions and even a horrible carp. During the intermission, shadows and video projections are seen on the curtain, and a third stage appears behind them. This muddles reality in a loveable way.

Simo Heiskanen has the nerve to move subtly between the serious and the parodic. The languishing love duo is hilarious, and it expands into a languishing love quartet. The scene ends as the woman turns into a ball.

As in the logic of dreams, the scene slides into amazing variations of the ball theme. The Moon appears as a huge face. Its inhabitants dance to Debussy’s Clair de Lune, proving clearly that even space creatures have feelings. When the Moon starts singing accusingly in German, the woman who sneaked on the stage gets an overdose of stage magic. The only way is to escape.

The performance is perfectly suited for all ages. It is a celebration of imagination.


Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat September 1, 2007

The children’s production of Glims & Gloms delights once again. “Kaijat” is a story of a feeble parrot couple who miss the Paris they knew when they were young. It is nice that Glims & Gloms now rely on their own skills. This time they are not making facsimile theatre based on ready-made texts or comic books. Simo Heiskanen’s simple story offers opportunities for many kinds of visual and acoustic play.

The parrots of the story are former stage entertainers. A memory of this is a funny “filmstrip” of them dancing charleston in a Paris cabaret of the 1920’s. Adult members of the audience cannot help thinking about real actors and entertainers who cannot resist the call of the stage.

“Kaijat” appeals to children in different ways. The street theatre repertoire of the birds is delightfully homespun and out-of-date. After returning to Paris, they glide flamboyantly in Moulin Rouge style.

What children seem to enjoy most are the sounds and the rhythms of the performance. The rhythm play and bird-like noises in the eating scene made them have a good laugh. Metti Nordin has worked hard designing the colourful costumes. Kaisa Niemi and Simo Heiskanen are at home in their feathers.


Jan-Peter Kaiku, Hufvudstadsbladet September 3, 2007


Before the premier of the Espoo-based dance theatre Glims & Gloms new children’s performance “Kaijat”, the auditorium in Espoo Cultural Centre’s Louhisali hall is filled with noisy children with parents and others who are interested. The performance, which is recommended for four-year-olds and older, begins with open curtain and two colourful parrots on the stage, busy in the everyday business of their own world. The tension rises.

It turns out that everyday life, where one of the parrots (Kaisa Niemi) spends her time knitting and the other (Simo Heiskanen) tries to put some colour to life by throwing around brooms, may need a change. With the help of body language and gestures we instantly understand that the parrots are quite aged.

A projector is put out and a cine film from the parrots’ youth as variety artists in Paris in 1923 is shown against the background. In the film both parrots, in good shape, display crackling number after number. When the film ends, they decide to make a comeback in the Paris of their dreams. The journey begins.

Simo Heiskanen, who has created the idea integrated in the script, the music and the choreography, has reached a physically expressive and dramatically subtle performance. The content sits like a glove for the two colourful, elastic and compatible dancers like Simo Heiskanen and Kaisa Niemi. The use of voice and song gives an extra nuance to the performance.

It is fascinating how one can tell so much and conjure up with such basic means. The scene action includes many fantastic turns and some quite superb ideas. An example of the last mentioned is a scene where the two try to persuade an inflexible customs officer, and finally they become dancing skeletons on the X-ray belt conveyor.

The clearly narrative plot is punctuated by some abundant and airy dance scenes with sticks, tap dancing shoes and huge wings of cloth. Metti Nordins staging is made concrete in a cleaning cart with many details, which is a steadfast point in the parrots’ existence as well as a vehicle on the journey.

We have seen Glims & Gloms make great performances for children in the Pig Ballet and the story of the Näkki and Extended family, for example. “Kaijat” is now becoming one of the series. Those who last year missed Extended family, inspired by Outi Heiskanen’s graphics have, by the way, a chance to make up the loss, since new performances are given in Alexander Theatre at the end of October in the direction of Zodiak.


Tiina Ruotsala, Keski-Pohjanmaa, February 19, 2008


One of the two founders of Glims & Gloms, Simo Heiskanen, has made a dancing performance of a cleaner who has made his profession an art. Simo’s Cleanery, a performance for the whole family, was seen on the big stage of Kouvola City Theatre on Sunday as the last performance of Winter Dance. The performance of this wonderful cleaner was a great way to finish the high-quality dancing weekend.

Simo is a pedantically clean Bachelor of Cleaning science, who attacks rubbish with his music-playing cleaning cart and dances tango daily with cleaning robot Elviira. The stain on the floor which makes his cleaning tools crazy gives Simo a lot of headache. But what happens to Simo when he gets an assignment from the President himself?

Heiskanen has created his performance almost completely by himself. Only lighting is made by Pasi Pehkonen. Heiskanen dances, tells the story, sings, plays his wonderful cleaning cart, which even has a cleaning mop that has travelled around. The performance, which takes a little less than an hour, is aimed at the whole family. Time passes quickly for a child as well as for an adult. Even the adults who came without children seemed to enjoy themselves in the audience.

It is simply a joy to look at Heiskanen dance.

Almost unnoticed, Simo’s cleaning company tells about different types of dance. At the same time it brings a touch of magic on the stage. The younger spectators at least where moved by the play of the neon cleaning gloves, which for an adult was a hallucination created by pesticide. Even an adult was baffled, when on the stage was thrown the president’s sheet, which was much larger than expected. How was it possible that Simo did not become entangled by such a sail?

I have seen two performances by Glims & Gloms within a couple of weeks, and they were by both of the founding members. In Kaustinen, the audience breathed with the Extended family created by Tuomo Railo, and now was Simo Heiskanen’s Simo’s Cleanery’s turn. I envy the city of Espoo who can offer a home for such a great dance theatre.

I hope this touring dance theatre will be seen in Keski-Pohjanmaa even in the future.

The premier of Simo’s Cleanery was in October 2006 and it was enthusiastically received both by children and adult spectators. It is no wonder. A work of art which respects children cannot generally be anything but good.


Anni Valtonen, Helsingin Sanomat, October 9, 2006

Simo´s Art arises from Challenging Stains

Choreographers Simo Heiskanen and Tuomo Railo started their own dance company Glims & Gloms in Espoo in 1999. Espoo acknowledged them right away in 2001 with the Espoo Award for a Cultural Achievement - justly. Glims & Glims are artistically ambitious.

Simo´s Cleaning Service is a sympathetic miniature work. Cleaner Simo scrubs, washes, polishes - and dreams.

Simo clears away every pile of garbage he comes by with his funny cleaning machine, a prototype that helped him graduate as a Master of Cleaning. He sees difficult stains as technical challenges - as well as washing the president´s huge bed-sheet, which Heiskanen turns into an impressive dance.

Heiskanen gives life to his cleaning equipment in a way that is inventive as well as simple. The duster can work as a telephone when one chooses. In a twinkle, the mop turns into Simo´s fluffy canine colleague who raps his titillating story. And the cleaning gloves are very much alive. The magic gloves even know how to fly!

Heiskanen possesses the space with his charisma, and one enjoys watching and listening to him. However, the bare stage of Louhisali feels large and gloomy.

Even if Simo has no time for a holiday at the beach, he takes his time dreaming of his dear Elviira. Heiskanen launches into an elaborate tango with a mop-Elviira.


Päivi Hahko, Länsiväylä, September 6, 2006

Charming Extended Family

Twilight, morning gloom. A sheep, played by Tuomo Railo, unwinds himself from a rocking chair and paints light on translucent paper. A family lives at the foot of the Karhuvuori mountain: the ancestors, played by Simo Heiskanen and Riikka Räsänen, the girl, interpreted by Jonna Aaltonen, the ape, played by Kaisa Niemi, the sheep and the horse (Railo-Heiskanen). A funny little community - intimate and very much alive on stage. The parents stumble across a bear, Saku Koistinen, who has fostered a boy, Sakari Saikkonen.

An hour-long dance fable, with enchanting motion and magical characters, who have their own way of moving and making their space within the extended family. Ethnic rhythms, samba and the trump dance.

The ape and the girl play, the girl sees the boy, there is the step-dancing horse and the girl, and the trump dance. On an autumn night, the girl sleepwalks, meets a giant and falls ill. The ape and the horse are sent for the doctor, but instead, the snow queen turns up.

This may sound confusing, but it is all harmonious and beautiful, like a whisper of a fairy tale. The choreographer Tuomo Railo creates a new language of Outi Heiskanen´s art. This language takes you from childhood to youth and from falling in love to marriage. The extended family constructs their own language of motion on stage - a family chronicle, which naturally combines sorrow and joy, whimsy and severity.

Glims & Gloms do not shrink from risk-taking, but they depend on the power of imagination and well-constructed illusion. The result is a beautiful image, a live painting, a yielding memory and a quite an experience.

Dance theatre Glims & Gloms will not settle for less than great. They are prepared to break boundaries, create new images and emotions - unforgettable ones. Extended family demands responsive ears and hearing. Presence will be recompensed.


Anni Valtonen, Helsingin Sanomat, September 2, 2006

Enchanting charachters, delightful music

In the initial picture, a ram character called Sack of Sins whisks paint on cloth with his brush and stays then snoozing in his rocking chair. The boy (Saku Koistinen) plays the violin, the girl (Kaisa Niemi) the clarinet. Thus, three members of the family are introduced.

Mythical creatures created by graphic artist Outi Heiskanen are the basis for The Extended family, which lures the spectator into its world in a beautiful and unassuming way. The fulcrum of the one-hour-long performance is the charming music composed by Carita Holmström. The presence of the musicians gives the work a atmosphere of uniqueness. Holmström herself with her cabbage song is a grand character.

Choreographer Tuomo Railo has used Heiskanen´s characters freely to build a story which is printed on the program. To me, the story has little value, as there is no great span or load of drama. It is crucial how the characters we know from the graphic art are realised on stage, how they move, and which characteristics they have been given. The work is a true gala of visual joy and creative inventiveness.

In his choreography, Railo has borrowed material form Argentinian folk dance and afro dance. The horse step-dances, the ape moves jovially using the outer edges of his feet. At times, the dancers´ bodies take poses known from Egyptian hieroglyphs, with the shoulders seen from the front and the feet from the side.

Some of the characters become closer and more real than others. To me, the most appealing one was the ancestress (Riikka Räsänen) and the ancestor (Simo Heiskanen) as well as the boy (Sakari Saikkonen) who is fostered by a bear.

Räsänen´s ancestress has reached something essential in Heiskanen´s being, and her rustling paper cord hair is, of course, hilarious. The finishing scene includes the Doctor, reminding Heiskanen´s vet Father, and his assistant, a fairy tale character called Keen-Eared, a helper for obstetricians before the time of ultrasonography.


Jan-Peter Kaiku, Hufvudstadsbladet, September 4, 2006

Family life at the foot of Karhuvuori Mountain

To make Outi Heiskanen´s art come alive on stage can easily seem an insurmountable challenge. When Dance company Glims & Gloms, who a few years ago put Julia Vuori´s image world on stage, take a similar task, can the audience relax and let the image world and the characters lead them away from everyday life. The staging is done now, as it was before, skilfully, with emotion, style and an imaginative ambiguity that with the best fairy tale manner gives depth for the concrete course of events.

The effect of the performance is very much based on the visualisation, which in this case is extremely beautiful. One doesn´t for a moment question that it is Outi Heiskanen´s and no one else´s imagery that has been made alive here. Heiskanen´s daughter Metti Nordin has created the set design. The scene is dominated by a huge mountain with the outline of a bear´s head. The variations on the hillside symbolise the changes of the seasons and the diurnal rhythm. At the foot of the mountain we see, in different phases, an illuminated tent, five moving squares and a cottage. The scene with the illuminated tent and the sky with twinkling stars is one of the most beautiful in the performance. In Maija Uusitalo´s imaginative costume design the animals, the people and the fairy tale characters become personalities. The quotation from Heiskanen with the girl dressed in white and the big black bear-horse on wheel are perceptibly similar to the original work of art.

The music in this coherent work of art is an important as well as symbiotic component of the whole. The musical world of Carita Holmström, exclusively composed for this work, is rhythmical in a catchy manner, ethereal and full of fabulous whims. With these qualities, it is clearly related to the development on stage. Sara Puljula and Sami Koskela play instruments as well as dance in different scenes.

Kinship, family life and togetherness is what it is really about. In Outi Heiskanen´s graphic art and in Glims & Gloms Extended Family, people, animals and fairy tale characters of different ages and situations in life relate to each other naturally. The fact that the ancestress (Riikka Räsänen) with her huge gray mane is a Heiskanen-look-alike is hardly a coincidence. She and the ancestor (Simo Heiskanen) adopt a Mowgli-ish nature boy (Sakari Saikkonen) who grew up with a bear (Saku Koistinen) and even the samba-dancing sheep (Tuomo Railo) is a part of the family.

Tuomo Railo as the choreographer and dramaturge has an infallible hold of the development. The variations happen easily as well as in a way that stimulates fantasy All the time, there is something to discover and to think further about. The Helsinki Festival performances are followed by extra performances in Louhisali in Tapiola. The Extended Family is a performance that deserves to be seen by many and which has every prerequisite to become a common experience for the old and the young.


Annikki Alku, Savon Sanomat, 21.6. 2004:


Whether you like or not, Glims & Gloms Dance Company is clearly becoming the leading Finnish creator of dance theatre performances for children. This was obvious in their premiere on Saturday, Näkki - The Spirit of Water, which is based on a fairy tale book by Leena Krohn. The dance company did not receive the first Dance Act of the Year award two years ago for nothing.

Näkki - The Spirit of Water is in every way a well-made and impressive performance. An important basis is, of course, Krohn's multi-level story, which binds together folk tradition and fairy tale. But not even a good story makes necessarily a good performance, unless all other factors find their places.

Tuomo Railo as the dramaturge and choreographer has created a clear whole, which flows without stumbling, and which combines speech, song and dance smoothly. The parts which are more unfamiliar for the children of today, as are notions of näkki and other creatures of the waters, are explained clearly but without underlining within the storytelling.

The plot of Näkki - The Spirit of Water is, really, very sad. During a Midsummer night some time ago a family that has lost their mother, loses one of their two daughters, Liina, who follows Näkki into the water kingdom. Not before during a mid-winter snow storm does her brother Aukusti believe that his sister is gone forever. But then Näkki saves him from falling into a crack in the ice on Liina's request. Later, Aukusti happens to save Näkki in return.

One of the main themes is sorrow, but it is handled poetically and with elegy, without a trace of instruction.

The music of the work was composed by Carita Holmström. It is fresh, airy and impressive. The poems that are included in Krohn's work have become beautiful and simple songs that suit the performers well.

Näkki - The Spirit of Water is made for tour performances, but you do not notice this fact when you admire Metti Nordin's inventive and colourfully fairy tale-like staging. As Railo has intertwined the changes in the story, the stage is alive in Pasi Pehkonen's lights and moves fluently from one season and happening to another. Sari Suominen's folksy costumes are the finishing touch..

The dancers of Glims & Gloms are confident, totally present and versatile interpreters. Pia Keskinen's Liina is a sincere young girl and Hermanni Rask, who dances the role of Liina's little brother, is downright moving in his longing. Kaisa Niemi has the briskness of a big sister and Tuomo Railo portrays the Finnish father, who hides his sorrow. Tuomas Lahti's Näkki is very human, but without forgetting the mysteriousness of a fairy tale figure, and Simo Heiskanen's free and easy musician-farm-hand deserves the popularity he wins by magic.

Näkki - The Spirit of Water is a novelty in the branch of dance performances for the whole family, well worth seeing. The one-hour-long performance entertains adults as wells as children from the age of five.

Merja Koskiniemi, Aamulehti, June 21, 2004:


A fairy tale is a fairy tale, but it can also be touching. In some cases it can be sorely touching. All fairy tales do not have a happy ending. As in reality, even in fairy tales people can disappear for good.

Glims & Gloms Dance Company has grasped Leena Krohn's story book Näkki - The Spirit of Water and turned it into a dance performance for the whole family.

Tuomo Railo, who experienced a similar loss as a small child, has dramatized the book into a dance performance and created the choreography. The story is about a father, two daughters and a son. The family has lost their mother and one Midsummer night the younger daughter meets Näkki and follows him into the water kingdom. The family's son looks for his sister, meets Näkki and learns to know another side of him.

The work combines speech, dance and song. The beginning with its story telling and inventive staging makes one almost forget about dance. The Midsummer night has to have some applied folk dance, but as to dance, the work rises later, in the scenes with Näkki's (Tuomas Lahti) dance and the dances together with Liina (Pia Keskinen). The couple dances beautifully and lightly. Lahti builds a fine role as the enticing Näkki. It is a joy to watch his flexible dance.

The dramatization follows the original story faithfully. The dancers steer the story forward with ease and empathize their roles effortlessly. The work of Tuomo Railo, Kaisa Niemi, Pia Keskinen, Hermanni Rask, Simo Heiskanen and Tuomas Lahti can be watched peacefully and with trust. However, it would not have been wrong if the story had been condensed. As it is now, it includes some scenes that drop the intensity and tests the patience of children.

Näkki's look is created carefully. The set designer Metti Nordin and the costume designer Sari Suominen have succeeded. The staging changes and the properties move without disturbances in the hands of the dancers.

There is a way from your place to ours, but not from our place to yours. People can only move into one direction, Näkki points out to Aukusti, stretching himself at the waterfront.

Children need the support of adults when watching and handling this performance.