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punkkiCo  It all comes from life

About punkkiCo

punkkiCo Dance Company is creating artistically rewarding and inspiring performances through collaboration with artists from different disciplines in order to transform emotion into motion. Music composition, sound and costume design are all pivotal in the development of the movement material, which is based on various movement and dance practices with theatrical influences. punkkiCo was founded in 2005 by Raisa Punkki. She counts her years working in theater doing plays, musicals and dance as a chief influence. Collaborators have included composers Mark Hertensteiner and Albert Mathias, artist Nicole Bauguss, set and costume designer Claire Pasquier, light designers Kaisa Salmi, Allen Willner and Jack Beuttler. Over the years punkkiCo has moved from a reliance on abstract, pure lines of body and speed of movement into incorporating the little moments from everyday life to the choreography. Those moments between performers are held together by gestures, breathing or stillness.

Creating artistically rewarding and inspirational performances by transforming emotion into motion.


Raisa Punkki
Choreographer, dancer, founder of punkkiCo

Raisa Punkki is a San Francisco-based dance artist who was born and raised in Finland. While living in Europe she worked and studied to learn several genres of dance and movement practices including ballet, contemporary dance, butoh, jazz, boxing and Pilates, so she could better understand and tell the stories through the moving body. After moving to San Francisco in 2003, she founded her dance company punkkiCo in 2005. Punkki is a mother of two children. Through that life altering change she has been able to receive yet another way to gain knowledge of the female human body and mind. Her quest in life is to try to find the answer and keep asking the question: why? She constantly tries to broaden her range of experiences so she can find, capture and expose life’s significant moments through her art making. Raisa Punkki’s artistic exploration happens through different forms of contemporary dance, theatrical work and through collaboration with artists from different disciplines. The creation of her choreographies takes time and the final presentation is based on the maturity of the idea. For her, the strongest form of expression is the nonverbal communication that happens between and beyond words. This is what Raisa Punkki says about her experiences as dance artist: “A dancing body is ageless, and for me the most rewarding experiences as a performer and artist started to happen when I turned 46. I am still at the start of my journey.

Mihyun Lee

Mihyun is an experienced and enthusiastic dancer and choreographer who moved to San Francisco from Seoul, South Korea in 2009. She received her BA in Performing Arts and Choreography from Kook-min University in 2005. Since then she has traveled and worked in several continents as a choreographer and dancer. Currently Mihyun studies at California Institute of Integral Studies in Somatic Psychology program. She wishes to deepen her understanding of body and mind. Mihyun volunteers at Asian Women’s Shelter and the Art for Recovery program at UCSF, serving survivors of domestic violence and cancer. She teaches contact improvisation at Counter Pulse and a movement class called Nothing into Something at City Dance Studios. At the Bay Area Mihyun has been performing with Erika Tsimbrovsky,  Anne Bluethenthal and Ledoh among others. Mihyun’s first appearance with punkkiCo was in 2010.

Meegan Hertensteiner

While growing up, Meegan was trained in many various art forms including (but not excluded to) ballet, jazz, tap, theatre, musical theatre, and voice. It wasn't until she attended the University of Oklahoma till she was first educated about modern dance. While at OU she performed in both Ballet and Modern companies and had the opportunity to perform in many festivals both nationally and internationally. She was awarded a partial scholarship to attend American Dance Festival in 2003 and a full scholarship in 2005. In 2006, a year after receiving her BFA, Meegan was hired by Ballet New England in Portsmouth, NH as a company member, choreographer, and teacher. In fall of 2007 Meegan relocated to San Francisco, California. Upon her arrival Meegan started dancing with SoulForce Dance Company under the direction of Micaya. In 2008 she co-founded Human Creature Dance Theatre with Derek Harris. While in SF, Meegan has been involved with many artists and projects, including Kelly Kemp and Cali & Co. Meegan danced first time with punkkiCo in 2011.

Jennifer Meek

Jennifer graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in contemporary dance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where she performed the works of Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons, Sean Curran, and Margo Sappington. In Chicago she had the pleasure of working with Thodos Dance Chicago, Lucky Plush Productions, Concert Dance, and Hedwig Dances performing works by Lauri Stallings, Lar Lubovitch, Ann Reinking, and Bill Young.  Locally Jennifer has performed with Kunst-stoff, Capacitor, Moving Arts, and currently punkkiCo and Floating Rib. She teaches contemporary dance and mindful yoga throughout the bay area and has presented choreography at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Dance Chicago, California Center for the Arts (Escondido), The Garage, Dance Mission Theater, Spector Dance, the MAD BAD festival, and Works In The Works. Jennifer is also a Yoga Therapist, passionate about health, well being and artistic expression. She finds herself continually fascinating by the transformative potential of both dance and yoga. For more information on Jennifer’s current teaching and performance schedule visit: www.jennifermeek.com.

Sarah Keeney

Sarah Keeney is a dancer, performer, teacher and choreographer based in the Bay Area since 2008. Her recent endeavors allowed her the opportunities to perform on stilts, on the ground and flying from pirate ships in Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Finland, Denmark, and around the US.  Sarah has taught at universities, orphanages, studios, schools, and in the street. She currently teaches at ODC, Alonzo Kings Lines Dance Center, Shawl Anderson Dance Center and for Bandaloop.  Sarah performs with punkkiCo, Bandaloop and The Carpetbag Brigade and is Artist in Residence at The Propbox Studios in East Oakland. Since moving to the Bay, she has also danced with Scott Wells & Dancers, Nina Haft, Bianca Cabrera's Blind Tiger Society, Lizz Roman, Cielo Vertical Arts and in her own work.

Derek Harris

Derek Harris is a multi-disciplinary artist from Oklahoma City with experience in the visual arts, photography, theater, music, dance, choreography, and writing. A self-taught b boy turned actor, he began his formal training at the University of Oklahoma where he received several awards in modern dance as well as scholarships to attend the University of Oklahoma, the American Dance Festival, and the Joffrey Workshop in San Antonio. Since moving to San Francisco in 2007, Derek has worked as a dancer with Hope Mohr Dance, punkkiCo, Deborah Slater Dance Theatre, and Human Creature Dance Theatre which he co-founded in 2008. Derek has choreographed for stage, film, commercials, and music videos. His work has been presented throughout San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 2012, Derek and his partner Meegan Hertensteiner opened 975 Howard Studio, which serves as the home studio of Human Creature Dance Theatre as well as a rehearsal/performance space for the Bay Area performing arts community. Derek is currently working on new music and art projects, dancing, choreographing new works, and managing 975 Howard Studio.

Pauliina Punkki
Writer, Director, Film Editor, Producer

Pauliina Punkki is a native of Finland who currently resides in Munich, Germany. She has worked as a professional in Film, Television, and art projects for over ten years. She has an MA from University of Art and Design School of Motion Picture, Television, and Production Design, Helsinki, Finland. She has also studied directing and editing in Netherlands, USA and Germany. Her resume as Director and Film Editor includes several award-winning feature films, documentaries and short films including animated short film Feng Shui that has received several awards and nominations in Finland, Armenia, Brazil and Russia among others. She has also organized on behalf of Women In Film and Television, Finland discussion seminars for Film Festivals as well as her own Film Festival Living Pictures Film Festival, Kathmandu Nepal. Ms. Punkki has worked in Film, television and art projects in Finland, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, India, Nepal and USA.


Maria Ros Palmklint
Light designer

Maria Ros Palmklint works and lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She has a BA in theater technique from Dramatiska Institutet Stockholm. Over the years she has worked with several leading Scandinavian and European choreographers and theater directors and has done light design and toured extensively with Kenneth Kvarnström & Co. She has been a technical director in many Scandinavian dance companies’ tours that has been ranging from Europe to South Africa, Japan to USA. She is currently working as a head of lights at Klarascen and Lillascen Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm, Sweden. Maria Ros Palmklint is collaborating with choreographer Punkki in A Room (Of Our Own), that premiers June 1, at SFIAF 2017.

Claire Pasquier
Costume and set Designer

Claire Pasquier is a French artist who lives and works in San Francisco. Painting was such a revelation for her that it led her to study the history of art at the Sorbonne and afterwards to enter a school of decorative arts (Ensad) in Paris where she learned set and stage design in addition to costume design. After her degree Claire did several productions in theatre, children's Opera, cinema (short films) and events. Claire approaches creation as a self-renaissance: to find our freedom and to shape it until passes into others. Claire has been working with Raisa Punkki since 2006. In 2012 Claire received a costume designer award from BADW.

Mark Hertensteiner

Mark Hertensteiner is a composer, producer, performer, programmer, and teacher. Previous compositions include works of collaboration with San Francisco-based company Human Creature and resently with punkkiCo. In addition to producing his own music, Mark has recorded and produced albums for both bands of which he’s been a member, Wolves and OTSB, while living in Tulsa, OK. He has also sung with the Signature Chorale and Symphony at TCC, regularly featured as soloist, for the past two years.  Mark grew up playing the piano, placing in concerto competitions in high school, and pipe organ, serving as substitute and part time organist in his hometown of Simsbury, CT as well as more recently in Tulsa. After studying chemical engineering for three years at M.I.T., Mark refocused his studies on music, graduating (some time later) with a Degree in Engineering and Humanities. Ever since, he has continued to delve into the intersection of music and technology, whether it’s been as part of a solo or group music or audio/video act or collaboration, or in the role of recording engineer / producer, or as coordinator and teacher for the studio recording and pro audio program at Tulsa Central Fine and Performing Arts Magnet High School since the program began five years ago. Mark moves to the Bay area this summer with hopes of pursuing graduate education in the field of audio and music technology in the near future. Mark's original composition for Raisa Punkki's new choreography had it's premiere in San Francisco June 2014.

Composers Jutta Annala, Mark Hertensteiner, Albert Mathias, Sylvi Alli, Keith Moore, Perry Spinali
Light Designers Allen Willner, Jack Beuttler, Christian Mejia and Kaisa Salmi
Set Designer Nicole Bauguss
Costume designers Claire Pasquier, Keriann Egeland and Alice Malia
Dancers and movement collaborators Darius Sohei, Patrick Barnes, Marcus Van Duren, Kakuti Davis Lin, Emma Stewart, Patric Cashman, Brendan Behan, Brendan Barthel, Alisa Michelle, Mair Gulbreth, Julie Sheetz, Phil Halbert, Julia Hollas, Jessica Stephenson, Christine Bonansea, Michelle Lynch, Elizabeth Gomez, Paul Laurey and Danny Nguyen.
Graphic Designer Lilli Keinänen
Videographer Loren Robertson
Filmmaker Pauliina Punkki

punkkiCo is fiscally sponsored by

Photos by Afshin Odabaee, Pak Han and Rob Kunkle. Graphic design by Lilli Keinänen