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12 Oct 2010

Blood Wedding and Scheherazade in Finnish National Ballet double bill premiere

The Finnish National Ballet’s autumn double bill production to be premiered on 29 October 2010 will feature two new works: Blood Wedding by Cathy Marston and Scheherazade by Kenneth Greve.

Cathy Marston is currently Director of the Berne Ballet, and she has created choreographies for a number of companies, including the Royal Ballet in her native UK. Blood Wedding is a tragic story where a bride's burning passion for a mysterious man named Leonardo leads her to desert her bridegroom on their wedding day, with disastrous consequences. The choreography combines the movement languages of classical ballet and contemporary dance: married women dance on pointes, while unmarried women dance barefoot. The libretto, written by Marston herself and Edward Kemp, is based on the play by Federico García Lorca (1932). Marston says about reading the play: "I was attracted to the tension of the love triangle and the choice the Bride has to make between a secure and kind man or a mysterious, dangerous and passionate relationship."

The music for Blood Wedding is by Dave Maric, and for this production the sets were designed by Jon Bausor, the costumes by Erika Turunen and the lighting by Tülay Schakir. The role of Leonardo will be taken, by guest dancer Jarkko Lehmus, whose CV includes membership of the Scottish Ballet, and by Samuli Poutanen. The cast will also feature Jani Talo and Eemu Äikiö as the Groom, Emanouela Merdjanova and Johanna Nuutinen as the Bride, Anastasia Dunets and Minna Tervamäki as the Mother, and Asta Lindholm and Terhi Räsänen as the Wife.

Scheherazade by Kenneth Greve, Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet, tells the well-known tale of the deceived Shah and his last wife, the masterful storyteller, from the Arabian Nights. Based on the music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Greve's creation is a classically oriented choreography differing substantially from the version created by Mikhail Fokin in 1910. While Fokin's ballet focuses on the beginning of the story - the infidelity of the Shah's previous wife Zobeide - Greve also introduces the title character on stage and features some of the tales she tells. "This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever known, and I hope my choreography reflects this," Greve says. The music in the production comes not only from Rimsky-Korsakov's eponymous orchestral work but also from his opera Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh.

The sets and lighting for Scheherazade were designed by Tülay Schakir and the costumes by Anna Kontek. The title role will be taken by Julie Gardette and Tiina Myllymäki, with Wilfried Jacobs and Nicholas Ziegler as the Shah. The double bill will be conducted by Pietro Rizzo.

Cathy Marston: Blood Wedding
Kenneth Greve: Scheherazade
Premiere Oct 29, 2010
Other performances Nov 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 13 and 24