The main guest at the Lappeenranta Ballet Gala, the famed Prague National Theatre Ballet, will forsake their ballet shoes and jump right into the rhythms of the 1960s Rolling Stones classics.
Balet Bratislava from Slovakia, directed by Mário Radacovský, is a young ballet company full of positive energy that will perform Falling Angels by Jirí Kylián. In addition, the highly esteemed Boston Ballet will bring the gala a taste of the other side of the Atlantic.
The audience will be treated to gems of classical ballet as well as topical and fascinating pieces of choreography.
The third annual Lappeenranta Ballet Gala will take place on the last weekend of August. As in the previous two years, the gala is organised by NordicDance Makers in collaboration with the City of Lappeenranta.
Performances will be staged at Lappeenranta City Theatre on 24 August at 7 pm and on 25 August at 2 pm and 7 pm.
The Super-popular Rooster
On Saturday night, the Prague National Theatre Ballet will give a rocking performance of Rooster, a ballet based on the music of the Rolling Stones.
British choreographer Christopher Bruce’s super-popular 10-dancer Rooster, created for the Geneva Ballet back in 1991, continues to tour the world. The piece has now been performed by at least 10 ballet companies, and it has always been received with enthusiasm.
The Lappeenranta Ballet Gala’s artistic director, Juhani Teräsvuori, sees the choreography as a combination of classical and modern ballet technique.
“According to the choreographer, the style of movement also contains a trace of the era’s social dances and atmosphere. The London premiere in 1992 was attended by Mick Jagger, frontman of the Rolling Stones. He praised the work and took a liking to its style of movement,” Teräsvuori says.
Christopher Bruce was the choreographer and artistic director of Rambert Dance Company, a leading British dance company, from 1994 to 2002. He has also choreographed works for many other top companies and received prestigious awards and honorary titles in his home country.
The Unpredictable Falling Angels
Falling Angels, by master choreographer Jirí Kylián, will be presented in Lappeenranta by Slovakia’s Balet Bratislava, a young and enthusiastic ballet company headed by Mário Radacovský.
According to Teräsvuori, Balet Bratislava aims for artistic expression with superb technical skill.
“Jirí Kylián created Falling Angels for eight female dancers in 1989 as a part of his Black and White ballet series. The world of the piece is unpredictable and full of surprises. African drums and the controlled movements of the dancers create an energetic and mesmerising experience. As usual with the master Kylián, the theme is very universal and the style of movement is polished and stripped off all unnecessary elements. Music and movement are marvellously intertwined,” Teräsvuori says.
Kylián, born in Prague, has forged a unique international career as a choreographer. He was the artistic director of top Dutch company Nederlands Dans Theatre from 1975 all the way to 1999. During this time, Kylián made the company world-famous both as its choreographer and as a visionary director. His works are performed by major ballet companies all over the world, and he is indisputably one of the great masters of our time.
Radacovský, the artistic director of Balet Bratislava, worked for many years at Nederlands Dans Theatre under Kylián, learning directly from Europe’s dance elite.
Other Treats at the Ballet Gala
The Boston Ballet is one of North America’s pre-eminent dance companies. Its Finnish artistic director, Mikko Nissinen, will come to Lappeenranta with his star dancers Lia Cirio and James Whiteside.
Nissinen has headed the Boston Ballet since 2001. His magnificent career as a dancer took him from the Finnish National Ballet to the Dutch National Ballet, and via the Basel Ballet to the United States, where he took the position of principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet. As the artistic director of the Boston Ballet, Nissinen is well placed to observe what goes on in the world of international ballet.
Last year, the ballet gala featured Maria’s Dream, a piece by the artistic director of the Prague National Theatre Ballet, Petr Zuska. This year, the audience will see the delicate and funny Déjà vu, performed by the choreographer’s own company.
Talented Finnish dancer Maria Baranova, who left the Hamburg Ballet to join the Finnish National Ballet, will arrive in Lappeenranta with her new partner, Michal Krcmár. The Czech Krcmár is also principal dancer at the Finnish National Ballet. Baranova may be remembered from the previous two ballet galas.
The City of Lappeenranta participates in the event’s organisation by offering the city theatre as the venue for the Lappeenranta Ballet Gala and by making the necessary technical arrangements. The city also takes part in the ballet gala’s marketing and communications. The main partner of the Lappeenranta Ballet Gala is Etelä-Saimaa, a newspaper published in the Lappeenranta region.
SOURCES OF FURTHER DETAILS:
NordicDance Makers Oy:
Juhani Teräsvuori, Artistic Director
Tel. +358 44 362 2202
Irma Salomaa, Producer
Tel. +358 50 594 1859
The City of Lappeenranta:
Alina Kujansivu, Communications Manager and City Clerk
Tel. +358 40 724 8776
Eeva-Liisa Tarvainen, Communications Coordinator for the Lappeenranta Ballet Gala
Tel. +358 400 553 272
Lappeenranta is a vibrant international University City and the center of Southeastern Finland located by the Lake Saimaa 220 km from both Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The research capital of the European forestry industry, a visionary in distributed and renewable energy solutions and the home of Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Lappeenranta is a center of expertise, established networks and innovative business support services. A rich variety of cultural events and memorable tourism experiences on Lake Saimaa, seasoned with Karelian hospitality, make Lappeenranta an all-year-round tourist destination. Lappeenranta is easy to get to via rail or road from Helsinki or St. Petersburg. Lappeenranta International Airport offers connections to over 200 destinations via airBaltic, Blue 1 and Ryanair.
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