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Case Study

Marjukka Savolainen

Studying at Sunderland helped pave the way for Marjukka Savolainen to explore her passion. She is now working as a freelance dancer and choreographer in Helsinki and plans to open her own performance company in the future thanks to the support she received at university.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland to all students looking to study dance. Those three years were an amazing time for me. I learnt more than I ever could have imagined and made friends for life ā€“ I am looking forward to going back to visit!
Through lectures, workshops and placements I gained both academic and practical skills. I also did a lot of research which supported the creative work and learning process. During my time at Sunderland, I learnt so much about contemporary dance - the studies really did open my eyes.
Iā€™m from Finland and chose the University of Sunderland as the course modules are more interesting and versatile compared to the other universities I looked at.

Also the emphasis of the course was contemporary dance and original movement, which really is my main passion. As a prospective overseas student, I had the chance to audition online and to submit a DVD of my work, which was a great way of applying.
The lecturers were absolutely amazing. I was always supported and got help and advice whenever I needed. The staff were truly dedicated in their work and made the classes inspirational and professional. I couldn't have asked for a better education.
During my studies I was always encouraged to be brave and to try new things out. We always got feedback so we could develop our work further and make it better and more meaningful. The lecturers always encouraged me to push myself to the limits and helped me find my strengths and improve my weaknesses. 
We also got to put on our own productions. Staging the dance module and seeing choreography of my own performed by my amazing colleagues on stage at The Custom's House is something I will never forget.

My goal is to build a career in contemporary dance and physical theatre and to keep developing my skills in choreographing so that I can eventually establish my own dance company.
Studying at Sunderland has helped me to develop the choreographic and performance skills needed in the dance field. Since graduating I've been working as a freelance dancer and choreographer in Helsinki and worked as an apprentice dancer for Mute Comp Physical theatre in Denmark.
I've also performed choreographies of my own at the UrbanApa festival in Helsinki and Barker Theatre in Turku, Finland with Swedish dancer Fuji Hoffmann. I am also choreographing for a festival in Finland called 'Disparato'.ā€

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