Virpi Pahkinen, one of Scandinavia’s most successful solo dancers, studied classical music and figure skating before concentrating on dance. As a teenager growing up in Jyväskylä, in central Finland, she practiced figure skating on a nearby lake. “When the lake was free of snow, I could dance at night alone under the full moon… The lake was black and shiny. It was freezing cold, but magical, like one was at home in the universe.”
During a typical day of Virpi’s Stockholm life, you might find her in the studio, rehearsing with 25 dancers, sitting at a bohemian café discussing literature, or possibly she has just disappeared to a nearby forest looking for mushrooms.
When asked about her hairstyle – a monk-like shaved head, bare, expect for a few long braids, Virpi often tells a story about a young hip-hopper who upon seeing her, broke his bouncing stride and approached her after a performance in Houston, Texas. Taking off his headphones, looking perplexed, the stranger asks: “Are you from the future?”