Stage Artist, Visual Artist, Butoh Dancer and Teacher, Health Qigong Instructor
Osku Leinonen, a freelance artist living in Tampere, Finland, is a versatile trainer and stage artist specializing in applied theatre. Leinonen is a Butoh dancer and instructor at heart, spreading knowledge of this humane and intriguing form of performance, especially in Finland, where this art form is still relatively unknown. In addition, Leinonen has a background as a physical theatre performer.
Leinonen attained his physical theatre credentials by working and training at The Mime Centre’s Total Theatre Training program run by Adam Darius and Kazimir Kolesnik in 2004-2005 in Helsinki. He was also a private student of Adam Darius for several years. In addition, he spent several years practicing acrobatics at Circus Helsinki.
From 2002 to 2008, Leinonen worked in PerformanceSirkus, a multi-artistic professional theatre group, spending five years immersed in street theatre, mask theatre, contemporary mime, children’s theatre, drama pedagogy, and circus theatre. The group specialized particularly in street theatre, which was a somewhat unique phenomenon in Finland. In addition to performing, Leinonen also carried out directorial and production duties and trained new performers.
In 2007, Leinonen was acquainted with the Butoh dance. At the beginning of 2008, he began to train and perform at St. Petersburg-based Odddance Theatre in Russia and Finland with Natalia Zhestovskaya and Grigory Glazunov. Aside from them, Leinonen has learned to understand Butoh with the inspiration of Masaki Iwana, Katsura Kan, Atsushi Takenouchi, Aki Suzuki, and Ken Mai. In 2009, Leinonen and the visual artist Masha Salangina established the independent professional theatre group Butoh. Name Mythopoetic Theatre. Butoh. The name has fulfilled several performances and short films in Finland and Russia.
Bachelor of Culture and Arts, Bachelor of Social Services
After attaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Services in 2000, Leinonen has worked part-time at orphanages and juvenile homes alongside his artistic work. Performance art and social work have permanently moved hand-in-hand, supporting and enriching each other. According to Leinonen, both fields are about encountering people, interacting, and growing to know oneself more deeply.
Leinonen began teaching Butoh soon after the two crossed paths. He felt that Butoh was similar to what he had been pursuing throughout his experiments and experiences and what he had already felt was necessary when performing and training others. Specifically, Butoh has heightened his understanding of the principles of movement, especially the inner movement of the body. It has also made the equality and simultaneity of body, mind, time, energy, and space more approachable.
"Over the years, I neared my notion or, perhaps even type, of slow acrobatics, which in hindsight, bears many resemblances to Butoh: I strive to efface the doer, that strange me, and the act. With slowness, I try to melt away shape so that the technical execution of movements, the trick itself, ceases to exist. I try to dissociate myself from performing and being watched and move towards just being and the occurrence of the moment, thereby combining experience and intention. I aimed towards not-self in the art and the act, so the interaction, the connection with the audience, their world and life story, would be as clear and unpredictable as possible."
Osku Leinonen 2012: Butoh, ihmisen matka kohti Hyvän taidetta