immigrants and animals









immigrants and animals is a choreographic outfit fronted by Jamila Johnson-Small and Mira Kautto. our work is part of a continual investigation into how we can present our different female bodies together with agency on stage and why we might choose to parade ourselves in-front of a public in the first place. as an independent conceptual dance outfit we don’t want our critical context to be shaped by anyone else, there is a DIY spirit to our work ethic and politics.


we have been working together since 2010 to make dances of resistance, considering the politics and perversities of our casual desires - and those projected onto us - in our research. building ever-more elaborate fantasies from 80s and 90s pop and rock songs. our practice includes meeting somewhere in the world, listening to music together, watching films and tv shows, buying matching shoes, eating, discussing, making crappy films, writing applications and dancing. other times we email. sometimes we skype.

CUNST We will build something, a community, a shoe rack, a letterbox or a cult maybe. It will be a combination of the work we usually do off-stage and on-stage.


There are endless considerations and I am a constant fuck up and why would I get to say something and what does it matter anyhow? I’m tiny but visible and responsible still. // This performance is a manifesto is a prayer is a rain dance is a waste of your time is a contemporary feminist technology is in the middle of a storm. // To be able to manage, to disappear and/or multiply (but not to take over). To be against and for, to be rational and effective and allow things in but not too much. To prove myself but not too much.




A performance that started as a Magic Mike XXL inspired rip-off of our most recent work Laura Laura. Development began whilst we were in Vienna as part of danceWEB in summer 2015, becoming ever more disillusioned with the contemporary dance and performance scene. A dancing duet devoted to everyone we have ever had sex with and every day we have ever loved, this is immigrants and animals at our most earnest and defenseless best (worst).



Guest Projects, London



Kutomo, Turku



Garage X, Vienna



A 15 minute solo for choreographed by Jamila, made without the intention of exploring any topic in particular it is essentially about nothing. Working from the idea that everything is loaded and all desire is meaningful, Terminal is the intuitive composition of a collection of seemingly disparate impulses and elements. As such, it is a temporal portrait of an emotional state. An invisible visceral and intellectual obstacle course for the performer.


Commissioned by Hiru Dance Organisation for The Public House 2012.



Lucretia, The Rebel Man Standard festival, London


House Games, Jyvaskyla

Blaue Frau Pop-Up Art House, Helsinki


BELLYFLOP FRINGE at Dance Umbrella, London


The Public House, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, London

immigrants and animals Looking down and backwards

London, 2015

Image by Eleanor Sikorski

Looking down and backwards..


A night of trashy and possibly esoteric music-filled performance-as-strategy-for-some-kind-of-resistance, for people who are generally unimpressed with the world but think it is better to laugh than to cry, to kiss than to kill.


immigrants and animals 'Pony'


and films by

<ninja_fairy> & __jazzfanboy85~'

Laura Puska

Blythe Smith



13th February 2016 at Kutomo, Turku, Finland


The Lone Wolf, the Dark Horse and the Underdog #2

The Strokes 'Is This It'

immigrants and animals

London, 2014

Image by Lucy Hutson

laura laura



Lock up your daughters.


A vomit into the lap of your new boyfriend just before giving him head.

We dont give a fuck.


This show is the sister/lover/mother/gay best friend of William William and together they form a study on gender in performance, that is grounded in our love of music, our disgust at the promotion of oppressive stereotypes of gender and sexuality in mainstream pop music used as a vehicle for systematic misogyny, and our belief in live performance as a potential site of resistance.


Supported by JoJo and Finnish Cultural Foundation.



Chisenhale Dance Space, London


Buzzcut, Glasgow


Rich Mix, London


Volksroom, Brussels


Laura Laura, OuDance Festival, Oulu


(in development), Trois C-L, Luxemburg


(in development), Beacons Fest, Skipton

william william



The chase is better than the catch.


A minimal study on machismo and rock music.


Along with Laura Laura, this piece forms a study on gender in performance, that is grounded in our love of music, our disgust at the promotion of oppressive stereotypes of gender and sexuality in mainstream pop music used as a vehicle for systematic misogyny, and our belief in live performance as a potential site of resistance.


Dance duet by Jamila Johnson-Small and Mira Kautto with sound by Antoine Bertin.


Supported by Ehkä-production



XS Vol.6 Kutomo, Turku


Blaue Frau Pop-Up Art House, Helsinki


Sotku, Kuopio, Finland


GOlive Festival, London


UudenPolvenMuseo, Jyväskylä, Finland


The BELLY of The Beast, BELLYFLOP Wild Card, Lilian Baylis, London


20 Rue de Jacob, Tampere, Finland


William William, Kutomo, Turku


(in development), Prøverommet, Bergen Kjøtt, Bergen

unprofessional class



unprofessional class is for the self-proclaimed dancer who doesn’t give a fuck about being professional and just wants to keep dancing. this class is the most vague performance practice score. we are practicing being present. we are practicing existing.


come share in our practice which is basically fucking about for ages in a room, getting tired and calling it work. most likely there’ll be some karaoke.


the idea isn't about getting better at anything other than being present and dancing as you want.


we don’t believe that we have anything to teach but we would like to share the space with you. maybe we learn by keeping on going. we would encourage non-professional people who want to dance to come also.


statement of intent/anti-professional manifesto:


we think being a professional mover-abouter in-front of other people is brilliant and weird and ridiculous. we remain dancers for hobby not only dancers for money. we are unprofessional dancers. not leaving our lives at the door of the studio and becoming clean dancing machines, but bringing our shit inside and getting dirty. we think nine or ten in the morning is far too early to go to class, that dressing in all navy blue brings good qi to the studio and that dancing on a stage need not look different to dancing in a club or a kitchen.


we think of dancing as something that we both do and enjoy and also as a space, and at the same time a tool, for working out our positions and continuing our conversations. rather than exploring our ideas through a specific kind of movement, or our work being an investigation into movement itself, we work on framing our conversations and our dancing in ways that have a theatrical intent, or a level of artifice that intends to produce a state of being in both the watchers and the doers. we are interested in what our performance does rather than what the dancing might look like.

The Lone Wolf, the Dark Horse

and the Underdog



A night of trashy, critical, esoteric, considered-ly unconsidered movement, music-filled, dance-led performance as a strategy for resistance curated by us! This series of events is a celebration of our baselessness, a performance night that is both cultural exchange and interference.


The first event was a triple-bill of UK premieres and the first in a series of artist-led UK-Finnish exchange performance events in Jaunary 2015 in London. The line-up included Laura Laura (immigrants and animals), Heart piece (Anna Torkkel FI) and new commissioned work 30 Skanks by Zinzi Minott.



Mira Kautto



Mira is a performer and a choreographer currently wanting to be based in Helsinki, Finland. She makes works with other artists, as well as the work she makes on her own(click link for more information).


She is intrigued and scared by the complexity of simple things and finds performing quite perverse.


immigrants and animals

Luxemburg, 2014

Image by Stephanie McMann

ina residencies



November 2016

Ehkä-production: Kutomo, Turku


April 2016

Camden People's Theatre, London


February 2016

Ehkä-production: Kutomo, Turku


December 2014

Volksroom Brussels


August 2014

Les Trois -CL: Luxemburg


April 2014

Sadler's Wells, London


August 2012

Ehkä-production: Kutomo, Turku


July 2012

Hiru Dance Organisation: The Public House, London



Jamila Johnson-Small


Last Yearz Interesting Negro

Project O


Bitches Minute

other stuff...