Different disciplines of art meet in Dance House Helsinki’s spring programme 2023
The spring programme of Dance House Helsinki is diverse and multidisciplinary. The stages of Dance House Helsinki’s performance halls, the Pannu Hall and Erkko Hall, present numerous large-scale productions of live music and other art forms, international visits by big names and bold first performances by Finnish authors.
International flamenco, contemporary dance, ballet and circus
Dance House Helsinki’s spring season started in February with the international Side Step Festival produced by Zodiak, offering four works presenting the diversity of contemporary dance in the Erkko Hall and Pannu Hall.
In the Erkko Hall, the Northern-Irish Oona Doherty’s darkly coloured Navy Blue, exploring the power of algorithms, is performed on 8 February, while On Earth I’m Done: Mountains, a monumental solo work created by the Dutch-Swedish choreographer Jefta van Dinther for the Cullberg ballet, is performed on 11 February.
On 4 February in the Pannu Hall, shamanism, voguing and Yishun meet in a multimedia solo piece by Choy Ka Fai from Singapore. From 10 to 12 February, the Pannu Hall is taken over by Graces by the Italian Silvia Gribaudi, a production radiating virtuosity and humour that explores the different nuances of tangible and undisguised beauty, questioning the ideals of beauty.
On 29–30 March, Dance House Helsinki’s own international series of visits continues with the performance of Rocío Molina, known as the brightest star of contemporary flamenco, a radical reformer of the art form, and two guitarists. Lyon Opera Ballet, one of the most prestigious contemporary ballet groups in Europe, performs in the Erkko Hall from 30 May to 1 June. The evening of the three productions includes productions by William Forsythe, among others. Forsythe is one of the most important ballet-reforming choreographers of the late 20th century.
On 9–16 June, Tero Saarinen Company brings Heart Drive, a production with a breathtaking pulse by the internationally acclaimed Dutch duo Imre and Marne van Opstal, to Dance House Helsinki and its European premiere. The stunning TSC dancers also interpret the Finnish classic contemporary dance Digital Duende by Jyrki Karttunen.
International circus produced by Cirko is on the programme on 24–25 February. out of chaos... by the Australian acrobat group Gravity & Other Myths is bursting with tremendous virtuosity as well as edgy, pulsating and explosive energy.
Bold Finnish premieres
The series of Dance House Helsinki’s Finnish first performances of the SPARKS project continue with the symphonic masterpiece Mortal Tropical Dances by Elina Pirinen, winner of the state prize for art, 5–14 May. The production presents a multisensory world on the Erkko Hall stage with seven international dancers and eleven musicians from different fields.
In the Pannu Hall, the first performance of down below things shudder, a production by Kaisa Nieminen and Marika Peura, will take place on 13–17 April. The authors have a background in street dance and they have discussed the themes of feminism in their previous productions.
On 6–16 May, as a Zodiak production, Dance House Helsinki will present the first performance of ONE DROP by Sonya Lindfors, a choreographer dealing with the themes of power, representation and black body politics.
The Helsinki International Drag Fest 2023, organised by We are Queerlesque on 3–4 March, will also clear space for the representation of different kinds of bodies as the Erkko Hall is taken over by a group of groundbreaking and revolutionary international stars of drag.
Live music spring performances
The encounter between diverse live music and dance is at the heart of many Finnish productions. Third Practice by Tero Saarinen Company will be performed on 16–24 March as a co-production with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra. On 16–18 February, the Bach project, choreographed by Tuomo Railo from the dance theatre Glims & Gloms, brings to the stage nine dancers and pianist Risto Lauriala who interpret Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Silentopia by Sivuun Ensemble explores the importance of human activities to the well-being of the planet through dance, live music and science on 14–15 April.
The authors are also interested in multidisciplinary starting points. On 22–25 February, Ismo-Pekka Heikinheimo's Cycle, known for its innovative and multidisciplinary choreographies, combines contemporary and butoh dance as well as spectacular light and string sculptures in the Pannu Hall. Performed as part of the Musica nova Helsinki festival on 3–7 March, Posthuman by the Finnish Chamber Opera is a multidisciplinary science chamber opera where different art forms meet on an equal basis.
Dance House Helsinki will also host a concert by UMO and the American China Moses on 1 April and the Audite Choir’s 30th anniversary programme on 10–11 March.
Shows and competitions for children and young talents
Young talents get to show off their skills at Dance House Helsinki. In May, the Finnish Dance Organization’s Performing Arts competition will showcase skilful dance numbers as solo performers, duos and groups compete for age and Finnish championships.
Dance House Helsinki invites babies and toddlers to explore the world of dance as part of the City of Helsinki’s Culture Kids project.