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Recording: 2024-01-20 , DOCK 11 (Video © Bickmann & Kolde GbR)

Tomi Paasonen



Production Details / Press Releases

With Attitude, Tomi Paasonen returns to ballet and returns to what used to be his dance focus for 30 years. It is time to examine processes, forms and techniques from his choreographic practice in the 1990s from today’s perspective.

Attitude is a contemporary ballet etude created for the Berlin-based queer ballet dancers who dance on pointe and a drag performer – for the Istanbul-born dancer Orhun Mersin, and Ted Littlemore from Canada and the brilliant Scottish drag performer Gieza Poke. Attitude is a study of what happens when you mix the rigorous academic vocabulary of classical ballet and pointe dance with contemporary choreographic and dramaturgical impulses. It is an experiment that uses technical skill and virtuosity for new critical perspectives on the classical form. Fusing the dancers’ autobiographical narratives with pop culture and queer sensibilities, it aims to expand the uses of the pointe shoe, which becomes the fuel for movement and choreography.

Tomi Paasonen, born in Finland, was a ballet dancer in Hamburg, San Francisco and Chicago until a serious accident ended his dancing career in 1997. The Berliner-by-choice has choreographed more than 70 pieces internationally, mainly dance pieces, but also directed operas and theatres, as well as created photo exhibitions, film projects and interactive installations. From 2013 to 2018 he was Artistic Director of a state institutional dance center in Finland where, in addition to his artistic projects, he curated several venues and two annual dance festivals, produced and supervised about a dozen local and international co-productions per year and workshop concepts, symposia, educational, social and developed other outreach programs. In 2019 he returned to Berlin, where he began to archive his own life’s work in preparation for his first ever solo works created for himself. In 2020-2021 he created a solo trilogy with the main themes: past in “Retrospectrum – 5 solos for 5 decades”, present in “Antibody” and future in “Lost and Found”. The intensive investigation into his own dancing body brought him decades later to deal with ballet from a contemporary perspective. “Attitude” and “Pas de Q” produced in 2022 were the first ballets he made since the year 2000.


TFB Nr. 1851

Cast & Credits

Choreography, direction, soundtrack, costumes: Tomi Paasonen
Dance: Orhun Mersin, Ted Littlemore , Gieza Poke
Lighting design: Asier Solana

A production by Tomi Paasonen in co-production with DOCK ART, funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion.


Kastanienallee 79
10435 Berlin



Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Tomi Paasonen / Trailers and Video Documentations

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