Auri Ahola


Auri Ahola has a versatile career in Finland and abroad, having performed in dozens of works from classical ballet to contemporary dance and interdisciplinary creations. Ahola graduated from the Ballet School of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet in 2004 and began her career at the company the same year. She danced with the Finnish National Ballet until 2014, performing in the works of Ohad Naharin, Tero Saarinen and Jiří Kylián, among many others. Since then, Ahola has danced freelance with e.g. Raekallio Corp., Helsinki Dance Company, Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin and Pori Dance Company.

Ahola lives in Inari and creates her own works in Lapland and Sámiland outside traditional theatres. Ahola’s work combines elements of Sámi culture with contemporary dance. Jotteeh (2017) was performed under the open winter sky of Inari and the immersive Viehâ (2022) will premiere at Rovaniemi Art Museum. Ahola has also choreographed several chamber music works, e.g. a duet, Étude 3, (by Nico Muhly) for the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in 2020. In 2021 she made her debut as choreographer of an orchestral work and performed in the premiere of composer Eero Hämeenniemi’s Clarinet Concerto. Ahola has earned grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Kone Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.

In 2012 Ahola danced the lead role in Saarinen’s choreography Mariage  at the Finnish National Ballet, beginning her collaboration with the company. Since then she has been a visiting dancer at Tero Saarinen Company and has danced in the casts of Gaspard, MESH and Zimmermann Trio. In 2022 Ahola interpreted Saarinen’s iconic solo HUNT, as the work was performed for the first time by two new dancers: Auri Ahola and Atte Kilpinen in Tanssin talo’s Erkko Hall.

“HUNT speaks of the duality of life; of birth and death. It takes a deep dive into the inner conflicts in the mind of someone who is being sacrificed and offering themself up for sacrifice. In some articles written at the turn of the year I was able to think about my own viewpoint on HUNT.

In an interview with Tove Djupsjöbacka I said: “Have I really given birth to a child in this world that is heading for destruction? — I also feel like a warrior figure, which I can identify with. Here I stand, the chosen one, ready to perish with my head held high.” (HBL, 23.1.2022)

Besides being a dancer, I am, of course, also an ordinary person, who channels things from the surrounding world into art, and through art.

I feel this very strongly right now: the war in Ukraine is affecting the way I see the world to the point that it stops me in my tracks.

I cannot distinguish between my artist self and private self, especially at a time like this. I am the same person, woman, mother, and daughter, both on stage and off. What moves me as a human being can also be seen in my art.

When I now read what I said in that interview in this totally different world situation, I see the direction in which the work is taking me increasingly clearly. Although sacrificing yourself is an extreme and final act, it always also contains a dash of hope. It signals a desire to protect our smallest and most fragile common denominator: life.”

Auri Ahola (3 March, 2022)

”Auri Ahola’s interpretation is chillingly determined.”

– Helsingin Sanomat, 1 April 2022 (Finland) / HUNT

”[Auri Ahola’s] dance was intense, yet carefully controlled –– a stunning interpretation of a wonderful creation that has withstood the test of time.”

– Demokraatti, 1 April 2022 (Finland) / HUNT

”Auri Ahola’s stunning virtuosity and intensity had the audience holding their breath. --- Eero Vesterinen and Auri Ahola’s wild duet was magnetic”

– Teatteri & Tanssi + sirkus, 5/2016 (Finland) about MESH

”--- unpredictably fluid, so too were the dancers — Auri Ahola, Misa Lommi and David Scarantino — as they wavered between sociability and individuality. Departure and loss became the affecting inevitables.”

– Los Angeles Times, 21 January 2018 (USA) / Zimmermann Trio

”In terms of dance and expressiveness the Company’s three female soloists, Satu Halttunen, Auri Ahola and Natasha Lommi, already made the biggest impression on me in their separate solos, but especially in their powerful group scenes. They have the formal skills, but that does not stop their personalities coming through.”

– Hufvudstadsbladet, 14 October 2016 (Finland) about MESH

”[HUNT was] as impressive as ever. Auri Ahola's interpretation was precise and tragic”

– Audience feedback / HUNT

”HUNT is a brilliant and unique piece, and Auri's interpretation was fresh, independent, spiritually strong and undefeated.”

– Audience feedback / HUNT

”Auri Ahola's interpretation was AMAZING! Together with the costume design and projections, the experience was perfect. THANK YOU!!!”

– Audience feedback / HUNT

”Auri's HUNT was a wonderful experience: an independent interpretation – simultaneously lyrical and tragic.”

– Audience feedback / HUNT

”Auri was wonderfully different: the power of the movement came from within. When she moved rapidly towards the audience, it shook me to my core, like a stroke of a dagger -- Auri had embraced the choreography fully and made it her own.”

– Audience feedback / HUNT