Pirjo Yli-Maunula

Pirjo Yli-Maunula is an Oulu-based dancer whose career has spanned 40 years. A woman of many talents, Yli-Maunula continues to work as a dancer, choreographer, curator and artistic director.

Defined by colleagues as “a charismatic performer” and “an arresting presence on stage”, Yli-Maunula is not afraid to put herself on the line in her work. Yli-Maunulawill throw herself completely at any given production while maintaining a characteristic precision and clarity of movement. Her work is defined by sensuality and attention to detail. Yli-Maunula strives to create complete, meticulous works of art which nevertheless build upon improvisation and spur-of-the-moment insight. The touchstones of her work are rapture, passion, determination and persistence.

Yli-Maunula has been recognized for her work on many occasions. She was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2019. The Arts Centre Finland granted her the Artist Professor Grant for 2014-2018. The North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation granted her a recognition award in 2018.

Yli-Maunula is very committed to the development of culture and the arts in Oulu. One aspect of her commitment is her involvement in and efforts to secure the title of European Capital of Culture for Oulu in 2026. Yli-Maunula’s stated goal is to bring diversity to the cultural offerings available to Oulu and provide the people of Oulu with world-class experiences and truly unique content.