Dada Masilo’s acclaimed Swan Lake to be performed in Kuopio
45th Kuopio Dance Festival will listen to the language of motion, and enjoy original interpretations and pieces. Finnish choreographers are well represented in this year’s anniversary programming.
45th anniversary of the Kuopio Dance Festival will offer the audiences powerful, current and fresh works from people who choose their own paths and test the limits of the conventional.
“This year’s program has a wide variety of works in form and style. Their creators are distinguished by their originality”, says the Artistic Director of the Festival, Jorma Uotinen.
The rising star of South African contemporary dance, Dada Masilo, has created a Swan Lake that is very different from more conventional versions, incorporating African movement and rhythms in the ballet aesthetic. Masilo’s Swan Lake has both men and women dancing in tutus. The role of Odile is danced by a man. The piece has been staged in various venues, including the Lyon Biennale, and last autumn in Paris it gained huge popularity.
”When just over a year ago I heard about Masilo, I became instantly interested in him as a phenomenon”, recalls Mr Uotinen.
A similarly original approach is also apparent in the first full-length choreography of Israeli-born Hofesh Shechter, who currently works in England. A comment on world politics, Political Mother allows the audiences to enjoy a rock gig in addition to the dancing
The former drummer, percussionist, and Batsheva Dance Company dancer founded his own dance company in 2008. He has also created choreographies for many other dancers, including the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater.
Shechter’s, return to Kuopio is meaningful, as his first choreography was performed here at the international choreography competition in 2003.
”Since then, Hofesh’s name has come up often. He is amongst the movers and shakers of the current dance scene, in the same way that Ohad Naharin, for example, was in the 1990s”, says Mr Uotinen.
”Shechter and Masilo are both fresh and current artists, who provide new perspectives to our art, and we are proud to be able to bring artistes of their calibre to Finland,” says Anna Pitkänen, Executive Director of the Festival
After a few years’ gap, Flamenco returns to the Festival programme. Suite Sevilla from the Ballet Nacional de España directed by Antonio Najarro delves deep into Andalucia, the birthplace of Flamenco. The Festival’s anniversary is marked by a strong presence of Finnish dancer artistes in the programming. Virpi Pahkinen will bring her evening of three pieces to Kuopio, and she will perform a solo in the gala.
”Pahkinen is a fascinating artiste in her originality. Her works have some kind of ritualistic, oriental aesthetic. Pahkinen’s works always make me quieten down and listen for the motion”, says Mr Uotinen.
The stage will also host Finnish Jyrki Karttunen’s delightful, dramatic, award-winning work Jemina, and the Alpo Aaltokoski Company’s dancers performing the duet Together. For the first time, due to audience demand, there will be two Galas. Another representative of Nordic dance will be Swedish Andersson Dance. Children’s programming will be provided by the Routa Company from Finland.
We are pleased to have been better able to accommodate the expectations of the audiences and performers without compromising on quality and artistic content. This year, there will be even more opportunities for young people to perform as well”. There´ll be more than one hundred different shows, workshops and off programmes during the festival week, says Anna Pitkänen
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