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4 Apr 2012

Finnish National Ballet concludes season with a contemporary dance production

Choreographers: Mammu Rankanen, Jorma Elo and Tero Saarinen

The Finnish National Ballet's final premiere of the spring will be a triple bill featuring works by distinguished Finnish choreographers, including the first performances in Finland of Double Evil by Jorma Elo and Mariage by Tero Saarinen. The third work, Rooted to Sky by Mammu Rankanen, was premiered in Almi Hall at the Finnish National Opera last spring.

Mammu Rankanen is a choreographer, dancer and lecturer in contemporary dance at the Theatre Academy. She has been creating choreographies for Finnish contemporary dance companies since 1993. In Rooted to Sky, she continues her earlier explorations of the Japanese concept of space and time, focusing on the cycle of nature. The sound world was designed by Rankanen's long-time friend and collaborator Harri Ahponen.

Jorma Elo has created choreographies for the American Ballet Theatre, the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Royal Danish Ballet and the Boston Ballet; the latter engaged him as permanent choreographer in 2005. In Double Evil, premiered by the San Francisco Ballet in 2008, Elo combines the movement languages of classical ballet and modern dance with effortless ease. The work is designed for four women and four men and uses music by Vladimir Martynov and Philip Glass.

Tero Saarinen has created an international career as a choreographer after founding his own dance company, the Tero Saarinen Company, in 1996. He has also worked for example with the Nederlands Dans Theater and the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel. Mariage is set to Les Noces by Igor Stravinsky. Live music is an important element in the work: choir and four vocal soloists are on stage, and Saarinen involves them in the stage action too. Premiered in Nancy, France in 2007, Mariage focuses on sorrow and sacrifice, which are also the original themes of Stravinsky's 'rustic wedding'.

Finnish National Ballet on Senate Square and on summer tour

To celebrate its anniversary year, the FNB is holding a free public performance on Senate Square in central Helsinki on Friday 25 May at 19.00. The programme will be an interesting mix of classical ballet and contemporary dance. In June, 15 dancers from the FNB will be going on tour in Finland, visiting several cities and towns for free public performances in market squares and similar venues. The Senate Square performance and the summer tour are kindly sponsored by Sampo Bank.

Rankanen - Elo - Saarinen
Premiere 11 May 2012 at 19.00
Other performances 16, 18, 22, 24 and 26 May at 19.00

Finnish National Ballet on Senate Square, Helsinki
25 May 2012 at 19.00

Finnish National Ballet on summer tour
Tampere 3 June at 13.00, Turku 5 June at 19.00, Vaasa 6 June at 18.00, Oulu 7 June at 18.00, Lahti 11 June at 18.00, Jyväskylä 13 June at 18.00, Kuopio 14 June at 11.00