14. Belgrade Dance Festival
MORPHED - April 1st 2017, 20h
Tero Saarinen Company
music: Esa-Pekka Salonen
choreography: Tero Saarinen
light and set design: Mikki Kunttu
costume: Teemu Muurimäki
sound design: Marco Melchior
choreographer’s assistants: Henrikki Heikkilä, Satu Halttunen
premiere: Helsinki Festival, Finnish National Opera, 2014
performers: Ima Iduozee, Leo Kirjonen, Saku Koistinen, Mikko Lampinen, Jarkko Lehmus, Pekka Louhio, Jussi Nousiainen, David Scarantino
Movement is a perpetual source of inspiration for me. In my works, I aim to create a living, multi-layered, powerfully expressive movement that rises up from primal wellsprings. In this new work I particularly wanted to play around with opposing forces and frictions. The last work that I choreographed solely for men - my group's first piece, and still in our repertoire: "Westward Ho!" - came of age in 2004. Eighteen years on, I have felt a need to bring together men of different ages and various dance backgrounds, this time to address themes such as change and sensuality. I can't deny that reaching half a century and having a performing career of more than 30 years behind me have influenced my desire specifically to use the art of dance to deal with the shifting, mutating feelings that a man experiences. When I was looking for music for the piece, I came across Esa-Pekka Salonen's compositions "Concert etude for solo horn" (2000), "Foreign Bodies" (2001) and "Violin Concerto" (2009). What inspired me about them, apart from their kinetic quality, was the way in which they switch from the brutally aggressive to the soft. Salonen's music has provided a thought - a provocative, multi-dimensional initial spark for dealing with the manifold emotions and virtuosity of a man - of a man dancing. Undaunted by the extremes of sensitivity and heroism, and all that lies between them, these eight dancers and I have aspired to the boundlessness of the expressive power of the human body, of liberating movement - and of being a man.
Tero Saarinen has had a distinguished international career both as a dancer and a choreographer. He has created more than 40 works, for the Tero Saarinen Company and other prominent dance groups. Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT1), Batsheva Dance Company, Ballet Gullbenkian, the ballet companies of Lyon, Lorraine and Marseille, Gothenburg Opera Ballet, National Dance Company of Korea, Finnish National Ballet, and many others have featured Saarinen's works in their repertoires. His key works for the Tero Saarinen Company include the company's international breakthrough "Westward Ho!", and "Petrushka", "Hunt", "Borrowed Light" and Jean Sibelius´s "Kullervo" in collaboration with the Finnish National Opera. As a choreographer Saarinen is known for his unique movement language, while his internationally acclaimed titles have often been described as total artworks. Saarinen has received numerous acknowledgements of his work as an artist, both in Finland and abroad.
The primary aim of the Tero Saarinen Company, founded by Tero Saarinen in 1996, is to promote a humane worldview and basic human values through the language of dance, while also increasing people's understanding of their own physicality and its significance for a good life. The Tero Saarinen Company has appeared in nearly 40 countries, and its activities include running an international teaching programme and community outreach projects. In addition, Saarinen and his team collaborate with other prominent dance groups, among them NDT 1, Batsheva Dance Company, Lyon Opéra Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet. His choreographic style reflects influences ranging from butoh and martial arts to classical ballet and Western contemporary dance. His works, which have won wide international acclaim, are characteristically total artworks: combinations of strong performers, striking visuals and, often, live music. The company is in permanent residence at Helsinki's Alexander Theatre - the former home of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, where Saarinen started his career in the 1980's. The Tero Saarinen Company provides work for about 80 individuals each year, eight of whom have full-time posts. The Company's operations are supported by Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture and The City of Helsinki.
A seldom-seen, wondrous combination of hardness and softness brings out the potential of dance.
© Dance Magazine
Energetic one-hour piece by Finnish star choreographer Tero Saarinen --- proves that a narrated story is not a prerequisite for great dance… The classical jumps alone are breath-taking. Tremendous applause!
© Neue Presse
A powerful piece - Tero Saarinen has created a gently choreographed piece which allows his dancers to convey something rough and raw.
© Allgemeine Zeitung
A triumph of male artistic expression.