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Åbolly Mega Show 19.5.2024

Welcome, dear audience, to the Åbolly Mega Show, the biggest dance performance we have ever organized. Sanna Soni, a teacher and choreographer at Åbolly Dance School, and Teija Ahola, the founder, teacher, and choreographer of Åbolly will introduce you to our show today.

We have given our brilliant regular host, Kirsi Pitkänen, the chance to focus on her performance in 7 dance numbers tonight, and we will try to handle her role with dignity.

Tonight's show includes many dance performances, and we will keep our introductions brief. 

Teija Ahola has been teaching Bollywood dance in Turku for 15 years, so this performance is also a kind of celebratory show. The teaching began in 2009 at Teija’s daughter’s dance school, where Teija taught various dance styles including oriental dance. Students asked if she could teach Bollywood dance as well. She had never even heard of this dance style. There was no YouTube or social media back then. Teija ordered all the instructional videos she could find from around the world and even found a teacher in Riga, whom she visited during business trips. That’s how it all started. At that time, Teija was also dancing flamenco and was part of a performing group and association called Duende with three other dancers. When more and more students started attending her classes, Teija began teaching under her own business name. The name Åbolly was created by Kirsi, our regular host who is focusing on her performance today.

Over the past 15 years, the school has produced excellent dancers, some of whom have formed their own dance group, Nach Baliye, and we now have a wonderful teacher and choreographer, Sanna. This fall, Turku’s very own Bollywood star, Daria, will also begin teaching, so the future of Bollywood dance in Turku looks promising. Teija is very pleased with this and hopes that many of you will dare to try a class! Both teachers will be offering short courses this summer, so come and give it a try!

The show is about to begin, please ensure your phones are on silent. You may take pictures, but please avoid using flash, which can disturb the performers. There will be a 20-minute intermission.



We start the dance performance with Åbolly Dancers' brand-new piece, Namaami Namaami, which tells the story of a dancer’s dedication to their muse! The song, sung in Kannada, describes a dancing Shiva statue, known as Nataraja. The choreography is by Sanna Soni.



After Åbolly Dancers' opening performance, we will see the reggaeton group La Calentura from Dancestudio Flama. Their performance is typically full of power, energy, and unapologetic attitude! Reggaeton is a globally popular dance and music style influenced by various South and Central American dance styles, such as dancehall, various Afro dances, and hip hop. The group’s choreographer is Mirka Saali.



From the vibes of reggaeton, we move to a completely different world with Amanda Mäkimurto’s solo! When performing, Amanda wants to convey emotions, stories, and worlds from her own experiences. Moments that touch, bring smiles, and make one gasp with delight. Tonight’s performance is partly choreographed and partly created in the moment as improvisation. Amanda is a dance teacher, dancer, and eternal student of dance. She is one of the pioneers of fusion belly dance in Finland and teaches the style in Turku and Tampere, as well as in intensive courses around Finland.



Celebrating Åbolly’s 15-year journey with us is also the brand-new light entertainment duo - Las Pamlas. The roots of Las Pamlas lie in the forests of Häme and Varsinais-Suomi, but the heart of the duo has been taken by the Spanish sun. Las Pamlas will offer us intermission entertainment: something surprising, perhaps even for them. But first, welcome Åbolly dance group Åbolly Dancers and their brand-new Namaami Namaami.




Next, you will step into the world of classical Indian dances with Åbolly Dance School’s Kathak performance. The Kathak students’ dance tells the story of the Hindu God of dance, Shiva, and Shiva’s cosmic dance! The choreography is by Shovana Narayan and has been taught to the students by Karmen Kollar, who also dances with her students.



After the classical Indian Kathak dance, we will see Moon Dance Studio’s Anu Toivonen's choreography, where the iconic Barbie and Ken are off duty, and what happens next!?



Following this fantasy fusion, we will see Åbolly Dance School’s performance Toofan si Kudi, which means: The Girl Dances Like a Tornado. In this choreography, Bollywood dance and flamenco bring together the energy and emotion of both Indian and Spanish dance. The song's title "Toofan si kudi" <ħ inspired Teija to create a choreography that conveys powerful energy and a range of emotions. It tells the story of a girl who dances full of joy and strength. This choreography uses the universal language of music and dance to tell a story of strength, passion, and joy, combining the aesthetics and expression of two rich cultures.



Unfortunately, the performance by Tanssistudio Flama’s Show Burlesque dance group had to be canceled due to a large number of dancers falling ill.




Next, we will see an Odissi dance named Hari Om. Odissi is one of the classical Indian dance forms, originating from Odisha. In the Hari Om dance, gods are described. Odissi Finland is a group of Odissi dancers active in Finland. Today, on stage, we will see Marie Chantal and Mikaela Jokinen from Helsinki.



After the classical Odissi dance, the Late Night Ladies will take the stage with a choreography by Anu Toivonen. This time, the ladies are in a musical mood! This dance was seen at the Slightly Naughty Cabaret last year. Anu will perform this alone this time. The other dancer got ill.



The first half of our show will culminate in a Kollywood extravaganza. The Åbolly Dancers will bring to the stage a South Indian masala mix choreographed by Sumon Rudra and Sanna Soni. This mix includes two South Indian Kollywood songs, incorporating elements from Tamil street dance, Kuthu. Kollywood refers to the film industry of the Telugu-speaking region. The songs tell stories of relationship drama and macho gentlemen!

After the Åbolly Dancers’ performance, we will have a 20-minute intermission, but now, onto the world of Odissi dance!







The second half of our show kicks off energetically with Kollywood, continuing in the same style as the first half ended. "Yentamma Yentamma" offered color, rhythm, and humor. As we saw, the performance depicted a dance class with enthusiastic and punctual students, as well as some lazier ones who need encouragement. And of course, the instructor, who was sometimes a bit out of it. The performance, filled with humor and the joy of dance, included classic Kollywood dance elements, such as fast energetic movements, dramatic hand gestures, and expressive facial expressions. The dance beautifully illustrated the power of community and the importance of cooperation when all the group members finally find a common rhythm and dance with all their hearts. Choreographed by Teija Ahola and danced by Åbolly Dance School’s students.



Next, we will enjoy a performance by IlonaTanssiRyhmä led by Ilona Carlsson. IlonaTanssiRyhmä is a performing group from Turku that specializes in Egyptian dance. Today, they will bring the old-style charm of Raqs Sharqi to the stage with the lovely classic song Zeina.



After Raqs Sharqi, we will move to the rhythms of flamenco. Flamenco dance has numerous styles that differ in rhythm and mood. Las Pamlas, Nunu Ahtiainen, and Essi Erävesi will dance to a piece by Samuel Serrano in the Alegrías style, which literally means joy.



Following this, we will see a performance by Belly Riot, a fusion belly dance group led by Amanda Mäkimurto. The group will present a new choreography that combines two different dances into one cohesive piece. But first, IlonaTanssiRyhmä will lead us into the world of Zeina!





Next, Åbolly Dancers will take the audience to the pulsating heart of Bollywood. Teija Ahola’s choreography is based on the energetic and catchy song Jai Jai Shivshankar from the popular Bollywood movie War. Fun fact: parts of this movie were filmed in Finland! This dance combines traditional Indian dance with modern dance moves. The song is about Holi, the Indian festival of colors, symbolizing joy, friendship, and forgiveness.


After Jai Jai Shivshankar, we move to North India with a Rajasthani dance medley performed by Nach Baliye and Etnica Dance Group. The stage will be filled with the drama and traffic of a Marwari village. The performance includes snake charming, the problematic relationship between a mother-in-law and her son-in-law, and bustling market scenes! This medley, with slight modifications, was seen last fall at the India Day event in Helsinki, the largest event showcasing Indian culture in Finland.


After the Rajasthani dance medley, Åbolly Dance School will present a Bellywood dance choreographed by Teija Ahola. This dance merges the dramatic flair of Bollywood with the enchanting allure of oriental dance, creating a sensuous and romantic choreography. The piece, titled "Meri Jaan E Jaan," tells a story of longing, the power of love, and deep desires of the heart. The dance expresses a tale of love, yearning, and the beauty of life through the universal languages of music and dance.


Following the Indian dances, we will experience a solo performance by Anu Toivonen, a traditional oriental stage dance. But first, Åbolly Dancers!



Next, we move to a Cuban atmosphere! Tanssistudio Flama’s Cuban salsa group Flamacitas will bring a breath of sunny Caribbean vibes to the stage. Their Timba performance is choreographed by the Cuban Roberto La Rosa Martinez.


After Flamacitas' performance, the Lotus Indian Dance Center’s dance group from Helsinki, Lotus Semiclassical Group, will perform a choreography to the song Ghar More Pardesia from the movie Kalank. The choreography draws its movements from North Indian classical Kathak dance and expresses joy, love, and longing. The choreography is by Kati Viitanen.


After the semi-classical Indian dance, we will once again enjoy an intermission performance by the duo Las Pamlas.


Finally, the last dance of the show will be performed by Åbolly Dancers: Bolo Kab Pratigar Karoge. This piece is from the historical film "Manikarnika - the Queen of Jhansi." The dance tells the story of a queen who fights like a warrior for freedom, determinedly opposing oppression and colonialism. She is a national hero in India, and her courage and bravery were exceptional. This dance premiered last year at the University of Turku’s Faculty of Medicine doctoral graduation ceremony’s sword-whetting event. Choreography by Teija Ahola.

At the end of the show, all dancers will come to the stage for a final bow!

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