To celebrate this momentous occasion, they will circle back around to their beginnings with the premiere of former and longtime Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister’s, version of this epitome of classical ballet created specifically for the company.
Following the centuries-old traditions of the ballet, McAllister also adds a new reference to the wintry North.
”It’s a great honour to be able to create Swan Lake, which is a tribute to the company’s centennial history. This is why I want this to be specifically a Finnish version, in which Finns can take pride,” the choreographer explains.
Although the theater seats will be void of audience due to current coronavirus restrictions, there will be no shortage of eyes on the performers as the premiere on Saturday, January 29 at 2 p.m. (UTC+2) will be live broadcast at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet’s virtual stage Stage24, as well as Yle Areena, the live streaming service of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle.
“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to put together the programme for this landmark occasion. The Finnish National Ballet is a fantastic ballet company with magnificent dancers from Finland and virtually every corner of the globe,” she continues wistfully, this spring being her final season with the company.
Artistic Director of Finnish National Ballet
The sets and costumes of the production are by Gabriela Týlešová and its lighting has been designed by Kalle Ropponen. Hanako Matsune, Violetta Keller and Zhiyao Chen will alternate in the double role of Odette-Odile, while Michal Krčmář, Jun Xia and Florian Modan will be seen as Prince Siegfried. Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music will be played by the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, conducted by Matthew Rowe and Benjamin Pope.
Finnish National Ballet's Swan Lake
Finnish Choreographers Featured
In March, the centenary continues with the world premiere of Sibelius by Jorma Elo. The new ballet tells the story of Finland’s national composer, Jean Sibelius – and the creativity that was his driving force. The love story of Aino and Jean Sibelius is at the heart of the production, and everything is set against the background of their burning passion and love that persisted for decades despite setbacks.
The costumes and sets for Sibelius have been designed by Robert Perdziola. The ballet will be live-streamed to global audiences by Stage24 and Yle Areena on May 14.
The contemporary dance premiere in May, Triple Bill: Made in Finland, will showcase new work by three Finnish choreographers: Tero Saarinen, Kenneth Kvarnström and Johanna Nuutinen.
The spring repertoire will reach its climax on May 28 with The Finnish National Ballet’s Centenary Gala. The gala, too, will be live streamed at Stage24.
In May, the centenary week will feature all the Main Stage premieres of the spring repertoire on consecutive dates. Swan Lake will be performed on May 12, Triple Bill will be seen on May 13, and Sibelius will follow on May 14. This means international critics and ballet aficionados can see every one of the three performances over a single visit.
Featured Photo of Michal Krčmář and Hanako Matsune in David McAllister’s Swan Lake. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju.