San Francisco dancer, choreographer, and founder of punkkiCo Raisa Punkki
digs the dark side. A native of Finland, and grew up in a place that encourages introspection.
“It’s dark and cold there most of the year, and that affects your mind. Finns tend to be artistic and stoic," she says. "A colleague once warned me that Americans might not like my darkness."
Though the brightness and openness of the Bay Area — in terms of the art scene and the weather — are part of what keep Punkki here, she continues to mine the darkness for its generative potential. Her current piece, Salve Regina
, delves into that most dark and holy mystery, the female body. The Latin title comes from a medieval choral piece and translates to “hail, holy queen.” For the ninety-minute performance, Punkki and her collaborators created six dances that examine the complex of admiration, queasiness, and terror that men and women feel about our mammalian first home.