Milla Martikainen

Cat Café

Performance project and workshops

The Way of The Cat promo image. Image: Kaisa Kukkonen

The Way of The Cat – workshop in Reykjavik Dance Festival 2023.

Photo: Owen Fiene

Cat meme. Source: Internet.

The Way of The Cat – workshop in Reykjavik Dance Festival 2023.

Photo: Owen Fiene

The Way of The Cat – workshop in Reykjavik Dance Festival 2023.

Photo: Owen Fiene

Photo: Milla Martikainen


The Cat Cafe performance project and The Way of The Cat – workshops.


Kaisa Kukkonen, Milla Martikainen & Lea Kieffer + visiting cats


Cat, scenographer, performer, producer


On-going since 2020. Recent workshop in Helsinki in Humina art space in October 2023 and in Reykjavik Dance Festival + in University of the Arts Reykjavik in November 2023. Cat Café as a residency open demo in Reykjavik in November 2023.


Nordic Culture Point

In this workshop-based performance project, we use the cat archetype as a tool that helps us to investigate how to be with oneself and with others.

The cat is a brave, cheeky, beautiful, puffy, lovely, and horrible character who knows their limits and desires and trusts that others do too. The cat enjoys their own body and being in the world also through touch. What kind of space is created when such characters meet? What would a society be like where our inner cat supports our choices? What would the world be like after a cat revolution?

The project currently consists of smaller workshops and developing a more detailed participatory performance concept Cat Café, which is a space to explore the themes together from the point of the view of both the human cat and the human spectator. The project is multidisciplinary and on-going, with shifting focus from touch, movement and body to the role of the space and language / writing.

About the Way of The Cat – workshop:

In the workshop, we look for our own inner kitty and try how it feels to exist with the help of a cat personality. We do not act or imitate cats, but we pick out a few special features from them, through which we study what happens when we follow our own curiosity and joy without caring about the opinions of others.

We focus on our own comfort and relaxation, as well as our own wishes in relation to others. It’s not about being selfish at the expense of others or doing things that hurt others.

The workshop includes a warm-up using imagery of the cat, physical exercises, creating a cat persona, spending time as a cat, and discussion.

Keywords: Pleasure, comfort, dance, movement, own needs and wishes, stretching, rest, sleeping, fluff, sunspot, cat on the table, pushing down flowerpots, cat revolution, kindness, courage, and safety.

About the Working Group:

Kaisa Kukkonen is a dance artist, dance teacher, writer and touch professional. She graduated from the Icelandic University of the Arts MFA Performing Arts in 2022, and enjoys thinking about the topics of consent, touch and communication in the context of performance and body. Kaisa wrote her Master´s thesis with the title "Noticing Power Relations in Teaching Touch" (2021) in the HfMDK, MaCODE program and continued to explore the topic of touch with her performance project Take This Touch Inside Your Body in Iceland 2021-2022.

Milla Martikainen is a freelance performance artist and scenographer (TeM/Teak and TaM/Aalto ARTS) and works in the performing arts as a creator, performer and visual designer. The focus of her work is to develop sustainable working and search for artistic strategies to participate in the creation of reality within and between structures. She creates this reality collectively, together with various human and non-human entities and processes.

Lea Kieffer is a French, Berlin based performer, dance artist, and costume/clothing maker. Her work explores processes of transformation and the dialogue between imagination and physicality through interweaving dance, craftsmanship, bodywork and storytelling into hybrid and transdisciplinary formats. Over the years she has built and developed her solo practice which manifests in the solo performance MELUZINE THE COSMIC MERMAID, STARDUST, and the hybrid workshop/performance concept SCI FI ANATOMY(SFA). She also constructs scenographies, daily and stage costumes out found, gathered, and recycled materials and sees this process as a humans-non-human entities collaboration that aims to shift object/subject power dynamics towards coexistence and acknowledgment of a mutual influence.