Jyrki Karttunen started his career as a dancer in 1989 in Helsinki City Theatre’s dance group. Since 1993 Karttunen has mainly worked as a freelance dancer and later also as a choreographer. He is one of the founding members of Nomadi-tuotanto. From 2008–2012 Karttunen worked as an artistic director of Karttunen Kollektiv. He has also worked as an artistic director of Helsinki Dance Company and as Helsinki City Theatre’s head choreographer.
Karttunen’s best known works include stage productions Digital duende (1998), Fairy (2002), Human Imitations(2005), Jemina – Act as You’d Know Her (2012) and Keijukaisneuvos Koo (2014), and theatre choreography Yellow Sulphur Sky (2019, directed by Juhana von Bagh), a production by the Finnish National Theatre. His works have also been widely performed abroad. In 2021 Karttunen graduated as a Bachelor of Social Services with the qualification of an early childhood education teacher. His is intention is to expand his field of work to children and young people, from the perspective of arts and social work.