‘The performance models a visit to a health centre. The atmosphere is funny, partly because the participant has no idea what is going to happen next […]. The number of audience members who can take part is limited, but for the lucky few The Real Health Center presents a unique artistic experience whose contents they can influence.’
Teatteri&Tanssi+Sirkus Magazine 8. 9. 2016 about the first artistic part of the doctoral thesis of Sami Henrik Haapala ‘The Real Health Center’
The Skywalker-like character – whose monologue is interpreted extremely well by Sami Henrik Haapala – is followed by a strange Freudian played as intensely by Pentti Halonen.
Turun Sanomat 27. 7. 2011 about the piece ‘The Secret Journey’ as part of ‘Experience Park Turku 2011’ (dir. Janne Saarakkala).
‘The woman that Haapala portrays is somehow really lubricious and straightforward. His undisguised masculinity works particularly well in the piece.’
Savon Sanomat 10. 1. 2009 about the piece HUIPPUSUORITUS – OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE (chor. Johanna Tuukkanen)
‘Sami Henrik Haapala makes 47-year old Uncle Vanya utterly believable. The climax of the play – the scene with Uncle Vanya raging – is really effective.’
Kaleva 30. 5. 2005 about the play ‘Uncle Vanya’ (dir. Anna-Kaisa Järvi).
Sami Henrik Haapala is a producer, director, performer, artistic researcher, and a dj.
In their performing you can see the freedom of expression of experimental contemporary dance and the precision and sense of form of traditional English actor training. They have education both as an actor and as a dancer.
As a producer, director and live art maker they have 20 years of experience especially as a maker of immersive, interactive and participatory performances.
They are also the artistic director of The Center for Everything, an anthropologist and are currently finalising their artistic doctorate in Theatre Academy at the University of the Arts Helsinki.
Sami Henrik has worked – among others – with William Petit (FRA), Tassos Stevens (UK), Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy (AU), Bombina Bombast (SWE), Sergey Pronin (RUS), Janne Saarakkala, Petri Kekoni and Johanna Tuukkanen.
Ruma Elsa (‘Ugly Elsa’), dir. Sergey Pronin, The National Theatre of Karelia (RUS)
In Petrozavodsk we did a new interpretation of a classic Finnish comedy combining strong Russian-style fantasy with a very physical style of acting.
Timon of Athens, dir. Abigail Anderson
Abigail Anderson is one of the new generation of Shakespeare directors in the UK. At LIPA we did a new interpretation of the play.
HUIPPUSUORITUS – OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE, chor. Johanna Tuukkanen
A co-operation with choreographer Johanna Tuukkanen opened up new ways to approach dance and gender.
North Land – nomade kabaret, chor. William Petit, Rialto Fabrik Nomade (FRA)
The first co-operation of many to come with French choreographer William Petit. Versatile and challenging interaction with the audience and very spontaneous, but choreographed movement made this piece very enjoyable to play.
SoulSports, own production, direction and dance
A long-awaited dream: to combine two very important movement techniques and cultures to me – Afro-Brazilian Capoeira and Contact Improvisation – and songs and music connected to them. I directed the working group. The project also involved Capoeira mestres from Brazil.
Since August 2013 I have begun doctoral research at the Theatre Academy at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Research aims at a Doctor of Arts (Theatre) degree with a focus on performing in immersive and game performances. You can read the abstract for the research here.
I have mixed pop culture and experimental art throughout my artistic career. This mix has often taken the form of artistic clubs which I have produced since the beginning of 2000. My latest club concept is dj jam which combines music played by a dj and a contact improvisation jam. It’s an invitation for a jam in 2020.
The Center for Everything
In 2015 The Center for Everything swallowed the experience engineering company The Lost City Inc. that was previously in charge of the production of experience parks. Most of my artistic work is now presented under The Center for Everything.
You can click on the photos to reveal the names of the photographers.