Ohjaaja Kristiina Helin valmistui näyttelijäksi Lontoon East 15 Acting Schoolista vuonna 1991. Hän täydensi opintojaan Walesissa legendaarisen teatteriohjaaja Jerzy Grotowskin perustaman Odin Teatretin näyttelijäntyön kursseilla. Muutettuaan Japaniin hän hakeutui opiskelemaan ja työskentelemään butotanssija Min Tanakan Body Weather Farmille, tehden yhteistyötä mm. tunnetun koreografin ja taidevaikuttajan Lemi Ponifasion kanssa.

Palattuaan Suomeen vuonna 1994 Helin kouluttautui oopperaohjaajaksi Sibelius- Akatemian ja Suomen Kansallisoopperan ohjaajan assistentin työssä. Vuonna 2000 Helin perusti oman oopperaryhmän Graal Operan, jolle hän valmisti ensimmäisen oopperaohjauksensa.

Kristiina Helin on toiminut vapaana taiteilijana lähes 30 vuotta. Hän on ohjannut mm. Helsingin Juhlaviikoille, Venetsia Biennaleen, Baltic Sea Festivalille ja Gulbenkian säätiölle. Helin on pyrkinyt pois oopperan valtavirrasta marginaaliin ja viihtynyt itsenäisten ja omintakeisten ryhmien kuten saksalaisen Neue Vocalsolistenin kanssa.
Konserttien visualisointi on kasvanut osaksi Helinin ammatillista toimintaa viimeisen kymmenen vuoden aikana. Helin on visualisoinut sekä nykymusiikkikonsertteja että oopperaproduktioiden konserttiversioita, niistä mainittavin Leoš Janáčekin Kuolleesta talosta yhteistyössä Esa-Pekka Salosen kanssa. Helin on asunut ja työskennellyt Espanjan, Ranskan ja Saksan lisäksi Yhdysvalloissa ja Japanissa. Tällä hetkellä hän asuu perheineen Hollannissa.

Regissören Kristiina Helin utexaminerades som skådespelare från East 15 Acting School i London år 1991. Hon kompletterade sina studier i Wales med skådespelarkurser för den legendariske teaterregissören Jerzy Grotowski, som grundade Odin Teatret. Efter att ha flyttat till Japan studerade och arbetade hon på butoh-dansaren Min Tanakas Body Weather Farm, där hon bl.a. samarbetade med den kända koreografen och konstpåverkaren Lemi Ponifasio.

När Helin återvände till Finland år 1994 studerade hon operaregi vid Sibelius- Akademin och genom att arbeta som regiassistent vid Finlands Nationalopera. År 2000 grundade Helin en egen operagrupp, Graal Operan, för vilken hon gjorde sin första operaregi.
Kristiina Helin har varit fri konstnär i nästan 30 år. Hon har regisserat för bl.a. Helsingfors Festspel, Venedig-biennalen, Baltic Sea Festival och Gulbenkian-stiftelsen. Helin har strävat bort från operans huvudfåra mot marginalen och gärna arbetat med självständiga och originella grupper som den tyska Neue Vocal Solisten.
Konsertvisualisering har växt fram som en ny yrkesbild under de senaste tio åren. Helin har visualiserat såväl konserter med samtidsmusik som konsertversioner av operaproduktioner, av vilka den största är Leoš Janáčeks Från de dödas hus i samarbete med Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Helin har bott och arbetat förutom i Spanien, Frankrike och Tyskland även i USA och Japan. För närvarande bor hon i Holland med sin familj.

Director Kristiina Helin graduated as an actor from the East 15 Acting School in London in 1991. She took further acting classes in Wales with Odin Teatret, founded by the legendary theatre director Jerzy Grotowski. After moving to Japan she sought to study and work at butoh dancer Min Tanaka’s Body Weather Farm, where she collaborated with the influential choreographer Lemi Ponifasio.

After her return to Finland in 1994, Helin trained as an opera director by working as assistant director in Sibelius Academy and the Finnish National Opera. In 2000, Helin set up her own opera company, Graal Opera, and produced her first work as stage director.
Kristiina Helin has worked as a freelance artist for nearly 30 years. She has directed for Helsinki Festival, Venice Biennale, the Baltic Sea Festival, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and others. She has consistently sought out the margin instead of mainstream opera, and enjoyed working with independent and original groups such as the Neue Vocalsolisten in Germany.

Within the past decade, concerts visualisations have formed an increasingly important part of Helin’s work. She has visualised contemporary music concerts as well as concert versions of opera productions, the most notable of which was Leoš Janáček’s From the House of the Dead with Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Helin has lived and worked in Spain, France and Germany, as well as Japan and the USA. She currently lives in the Netherlands with her family.



The teachers under whom I trained during the 1980’s and early 1990’s and to whom I am much indebted, have all been radical thinkers and critical of society to a point of what in their time was considered heretical. Jerzy Grotowski, the polish theater maker and founder of the “Poor Theater”, Min Tanaka, who’s teachings descended directly from Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh (perhaps the most radical performance artist of his time), and my first spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti who, like the others, was self-taught. Krishnamurti, despite being against ‘spiritual leadership’, became a leading icon of freedom from conceptual thinking. Krishnamurti did not ridicule, but denied the world all together, the way we experience it.

They all had this in common: not to go along with the system but to wake up from the hypnosis of separation. During the work and study under the teachings of these remarkable men, my experiences of stillness and shifts in perception were so revolutionary and striking, that they marked the life I was to live.

After those radical years of studying, travelling and butoh dancing, on returning to Finland, I felt as if society around me was not responding to any new ideas, on the contrary; anywhere I tried to reach I experienced a refusal and fear. In response, I had a need to provoke. Opera as entertainment represented to me the capitalism and stupidity in it’s worse, but I was very interested of the “art opera” and modern music as well as the surrealism within the opera art . As one of the first female opera directors in Finland, I wrote articles for classical music magazines about the idea of an “Art Opera”, just as the distinction was made between art and entertainment in the film industry. I claimed that opera is not a realistic art form but surrealistic and should never be taken literally. I desired to direct contemporary music, but the opera institution was like a wall, I felt.

Today close to 2020, I am wittnessing of a coming of a new art form. It does not have a name yet but it will be the syncronization of classical music, video and performance art in a most unknowable way.  It is still very new and difficult to make and very rarely it reaches the artistic value the artist is looking for. Nearly every time the technigue has developed so fast that the performance  becomes a place of practise, not a result of a rehearsed work. This is extreamly demanding for the artists, on the other hand it is exiting as well. 

I have practiced and developed the teachings, used myself as a laboratory and passed them onwards in my work and personal life. Butoh is not only an art form but a way of being with lineage in the old philosophies of oneness. Classical and contemporary music has been my focus for the past 20 years and I have found more and more composers and collaborators, who are willing to see the changes in that field. Living in Holland, I’m aware of the movements happening in Europe that come forth from old concepts collapsing and therefore willingness to seek strong leaders of thought without questioning the thinking of ones own.

My idea is to investigate different aspects of experience, including sensation, perception, bodily feeling and motion, waking and sleeping, emotion, attention, thought, rationality and the sense of being a single witness of all that arises. 

About philosophy and art

The main problem that self-inquiry by an indian philosopher Krishna Menon addresses is so called “wrong identification”. In other words: we take ourselves to be something we are not. We feel we can disappear like other objects. Things seem to exist on their own, without depending on awareness in any way. They seem to exist objectively and can be discovered and verified by separate “subjective” perceivers.

In short, when we investigate objectivity and discover that it’s not to be found, we do not fall into its opposite, into subjectivity or solipsism. Instead, we become free from this pair of opposites. Non-dual experience is neither objective nor subjective. What happens is freedom from the very structures that enforce this distinction.

Through art I hope to explore ways to open the fleeting moments of clarity and expanding consciousness. I want to explore the absurd and unreasonable. I’m investigating how ones body and mind can hold interest in an invisible intensity of which seek the meaning and not the mere appearance. I hope to show the importance of the action of making art in order to stay in a constant movement of inquiry, avoiding the fall into pre-existing thought forms.

Kristiina Helin © 2019


Tel. +316-16896774
Skype: helin.kristiina