One Flat Thing 004 Agathe Poupeney
Show photographer Agathe Poupeney

Lyon Opera Ballet

  • Date


  • Venue

    Erkko Hall

A rare visit to Finland by a renowned French contemporary dance and ballet company

Lyon Opera Ballet, which has opened a new chapter this season with artistic director Julie Guibert, has distinguished itself particularly as a contemporary dance and contemporary ballet company. Lyon Opera Ballet not only maintains a high technical level to meet the demands of the world's most renowned choreographers, but also constantly seeks new forms of expression by commissioning works from contemporary choreographers. Today, the company has a repertory of 117 pieces, over half of which have been new commissions.

Lyon Opera Ballet arrives at the Dance House Helsinki with an evening including works by choreographer William Forsythe.

William Forsythe is one of the most influential choreographers of the late 20th century. He has been credited with​ revolutionizing ballet, and his works have become an integral part of the repertoire of ballet companies internationally.

Tickets will be on sale in early 2023.

The performances are part of the Dance House Helsinki's series of international guests, which brings the most interesting dance groups and artists to Finland. The series is supported by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and will take place during the opening years of the Dance House Helsinki 2022-2023.

Rocio Molina will also be part of the Dance House Helsinki's series of international guest in spring 2023.

Lyon Opera Ballet

As soon as Louis Erlo became director at “Opéra Nouveau de Lyon” in1969, he gave dance a place at the heart of the organisation. For the first time, an opera house outside of Paris devoted entire events to dance and its ballet company.

Particularly invigorating for the Ballet was the opening to the world through its first directors, the Italian Vittorio Biagi, then the Yugoslav Milko Speremblek and the New Zealand Gray Veredon, who were all at the forefront of the dance avant- garde of the time.

But, as of 1985, it was Françoise Adret who gave the company a resolutely plural turn. Her mission was to give the troop a national and international dimension. She built up a repertory based on a twofold spectrum : great international choreographers at the time still up and coming (including the likes of Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato or William Forsythe) and an opportunity given to “young French dance” (Mathilde Monnier, Maryse Delente, or Angelin Preljocaj).

The company continually looks back to the history of dance, at the contemporary scene, and at what it will be tomorrow. Together with a plethora of styles and choreographers of different ages, origins and backgrounds, the strength of the Lyon Opera Ballet comes from the very absence of any particularity–unless it is just that: the highly diverse repertory as sought out by Yorgos Loukos.

Under the direction of Julie Guibert, the Lyon Opera Ballet continues to discover new areas for contemporary creation while continuing to meet the technical demands of the great choreographers. It is still finding new ways of celebrating dance, turning the spotlight on the way dancers interpret the choreography. It wants to broaden the current spectrum by providing a sensitive counterpoint to the creation of choreographic art, while giving a special place to the creation of meaning, language, voices and collaboration across different disciplines.


William Forsythe

William Forsythe has worked as a choreographer for over fifty years. His acclaimed work has reoriented ballet from the classical repertoire to a dynamic 21st century art form.

Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and then with the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed resident choreographer in 1976. In 1984 he became director of the Frankfurt Ballet, a position he held for twenty years before founding and directing The Forsythe Company until 2015.

Forsythe's deep interest in the fundamentals of organisation has led him to produce a wide range of projects, including installations, films and web-based knowledge creation.

His stage works are performed by companies around the world, and his installations are exhibited in international exhibitions and museums. Forsythe has received numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and the German Theatre Prize Der FAUST, both for lifetime achievement.

William Forsythe: One Flat Thing, reproduced. Photo: Agathe Poupeney

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