Artistic director Jorma Uotinen


VerTeDance, Vertigo Dance Company, Xiexin Dance Theatre and Israel Galván make their first visit to Kuopio Dance Festival

The main programme includes a respected contemporary dance company from Holland, NDT2, and the new piece by South African Dada Masilo, Giselle, a feature length work by the award-winning Chinese choreographer Xie Xin, and the first-time visitors to Finland, the amazing Vertigo Dance Company from Israel, and Czech VerTeDance! And there is plenty more.

48th Kuopio Dance Festival celebrates 100 years of Finnish independence with a feast of quality dance. The programme is varied, featuring companies who have received international accolades and those who are about to make their break-through.

Artistic Director Jorma Uotinen promises this year’s programme will be delicious.

Some years ago, South African Dada Masilo enraptured Kuopio with his production of Swan Lake, this time he is bringing to the Festival Giselle, which will just have premiered in May. The Music Centre will host the beloved gala evenings, and the multiple award winning flamenco virtuoso Israel Galván will come to Kuopio with his FLA.CO.MEN show.

“Galván could be called a monstre sacré, a big beast of the stage, whose charisma and presence are so strong they make the whole building shake!” says Mr Uotinen.

On the opening day, the main stage of the Festival will showcase the future stars of dance when the Finnish National Ballet school appear in the main programme.

“This gives our programme a new perspective. The Festival has the duty to create performance opportunities for the young. The earlier they get to perform on various arenas, the better it is for their education”, says Mr Uotinen.

Kuopio City Theatre will see a sumptuous spread of European, Israeli and Chinese dance.

One of the world’s most respected contemporary dance companies, Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT 2), can be enjoyed in an evening of four pieces, where “superlatives fall flat in admiration”, according to The Herald. The evening will be choreographed by Paul Lightfoot, Alexander Ekman and others.

The winner of the Premio Roma choreography competition, Chinese Xie Xin, brings her own company to Kuopio where from IN will have its European premiere.

“I very much admired Xie Xin’s choreography in last year’s gala. In her style, I see features that you might not find in European contemporary dance. The extreme sensitivity and subtlety of Xie Xin has the same uniqueness as Sankai Juku”, says Mr Uotinen.

The Festival week will climax with two first-time visitors to Finland, as the amazing Czech VerTeDance company takes to the stage first. In Correction, everything happens in one place, the dancers’ feet nailed to the floor. The show defies gravity and the suppleness of the human body while being sensitive and funny.

“VerTeDance’s show is surprising and extremely demanding on the dancers. The company is on the cusp of making their international break-through.”

Israeli Vertigo Dance Company is another first-time visitor to Finland. In Yama, choreographer Noa Wertheim focuses on tiny details and intensive, extremely precise movement.

“Israeli dance has its own unique aesthetics. The works of Batsheva ja Ohad Naharin have always spoken to the Finns. However, there are many other wonderful choreographers in Israel, and we would like to bring them to Finland as well”, says Mr Uotinen.

Kulttuuriareena’s programme will premiere a performance by Hanna Brotherus called to be. This performance weaves a sensitive and powerful story of three women of different ages. It will be danced by Sini Länsivuori of Tero Saarinen Company, and 8-year-old Lorenia Lönnqvist and 81-year-old Ritva Kattelus on video.

The Festival Course Programme will come out in February.