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16 Nov 2012

Finnish National Ballet’s anniversary year culminates in Kenneth Greve's Snow Queen

The Finnish National Ballet’s 90th anniversary year culminates on 23 November 2012 when the Artistic Director of the Ballet Kenneth Greve presents the premiere of his new choreography, The Snow Queen; a work for the whole family based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen

"My wish is not only that children will be enchanted by the thrilling adventures of this ballet, but also that parents will look in the mirror after the performance and perhaps see themselves in a new light," states Greve when asked about his production and Andersen's classic tale.

Kenneth Greve has set the story in early twentieth century Finland, carrying the main characters of the story on a journey from Helsinki through foreign lands to Lapland. "The Snow Queen is my tribute to the Finnish culture and way of life," he explains. The Finnish emphasis is also reflected in the work of costume designer Erika Turunen and the visualization of lighting designer Mikki Kunttu, who have together created the overall set design. Pekka Helynen is the artist behind the production's make-up look.

The Snow Queen score is the fruit of well-known film music composer Tuomas Kantelinen. "This has been a dream job for me, and I only have ecstatic things to say about it," says Kantelinen about his composing efforts. The movie-like score including several special effects was recorded by the Finnish National Opera orchestra and is heard in playback during the performance. This has allowed the stage to be extended out over the orchestra pit, moving the performers closer to the audience.

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Finnish National Ballet's spring performance at Bolshoi Theatre

The Finnish National Ballet will give guest performances at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in the spring of 2013. This is the first time in history that the whole company visits Bolshoi Theatre. The dancers will perform two triple bills from the season's current repertoire. The first is Bella Figura, a series of dance performances set to premiere at the FNO in February 2013 and featuring Jiří Kylián's Bella Figura, William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and George Balanchine's Four Temperaments. The second triple bill is an evening titled Nijinsky-Elo-Inger, which includes the revival of the original The Rite of Spring ballet created by Vaslav Nijinsky, Jorma Elo's recent work entitled Double Evil, and Johan Inger's Walking Mad.

In honour of the century anniversary of Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky's The Rite of Spring, the Bolshoi Theatre is arranging a mini-festival entitled "100 Years Anniversary of the Rite of Spring - 100 Years Anniversary of the New Art", scheduled for April 15-21. Reconstructed by dance historian Millicent Hodson and art historian Kenneth Archer, Nijinsky's The Rite of Spring was performed by the Finnish National Ballet first in 1994 and now returns again to the FNO season repertoire in March of 2013.