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 Post subject: Tero Saarinen Company in US (2006)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
From Finland, Wearing Large Tutus
by JACK ANDERSON for the New York Times

But only now is it doing so, coming to the Joyce Theater, with a triple-bill of "Westward Ho!," "Wavelengths" and "Hunt." In July, it will also present "Borrowed Light," with live music by the Boston Camerata, at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts.

...

Mr. Saarinen, 41, has theories why Finnish dance has not caught America's attention.

"We are reluctant to promote ourselves," he said, speaking fluent English in a recent telephone interview from Toronto, where his company was dancing. "Finland's geographical isolation has fostered a sense of emotional isolation. It's also usually easier to tour Europe than to travel to America."

published: March 26, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:11 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Tero Saarinen Company From Finland Dances in New York
by JOHN ROCKWELL for the New York Times

None of this would have mattered much without Mr. Saarinen's choreography, which looked constantly alive and original. It was at its very best in the final piece, "Hunt," a 2002 solo for himself. Audaciously set to Stravinsky's "Sacre du Printemps" (in Esa-Pekka Salonen's fleet, intense recording), its overt intentions — something about confronting the depredations of age — mattered less than the eerie atmosphere Mr. Saarinen created. His figure, initially dressed in a white sarong, looked more hunted than hunting. He often moved in spasmodic increments, like a strobe effect without the strobe lighting.

published: March 30, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Wow! I don't know how often Saarinen makes it out to the US but if they come to town, get a babysitter and go see them!

"Westward Ho" was a sweetly melancholic work that whetted my appetite. I can see that piece again and again and wish I had come out to NY earlier so that I could have seen it more times.

"Hunt" was an incredibly powerful work with very creative use of projection and lighting. I don't think I have ever seen anything like it!


Last edited by Azlan on Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:26 pm 
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Location: Italy and UK
I completely agree with you Azlan, the company came twice to Civitanova in Italy and they overwhelmed us with Saarinen's poetic movement approach...with regards to Borrowed Light, they partly created it during a two weeks residency in Civitanova and I like to think that the tranquillity of their permanence there helped to structure the piece...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
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"BORROWED LIGHT"
choreography: Tero Saarinen
photo: Dee Conway

I saw Saarinen's "Borrowed Light" in Helsinki last year and appreciated it more than somewhat. Here's the section from my festival article:

Quote:
Tero Saarinen of Finland, one of the hottest choreographers in Europe, brought “Borrowed Light”, another example of his belief in Gesamtkunstwerk or total art. His latest work is set to exquisite Shaker songs, arranged after extensive research by Joel Cohen and performed with simple sincerity by his group, Boston Camerata. With spare sets and lighting, often from the side (the borrowed light of the title) by long-time collaborator, Mikki Kunttu and long, black costumes for the men and the women by Erika Turenen, all these aspects combine to make a harmonious and glorious whole.

While Saarinen researched the Shakers extensively and the dances feature clapping and stamping, as described in records, he makes it clear that “Borrowed Light” is concerned with communities in general, rather than the Shakers specifically. Indeed, some Scandinavian-based Americans felt thatthey saw more Nordic angst than harmony and loving spirit of the Shakers. Certainly, the mix of scenes of religious exaltation alongside the frustrations of an isolated existence and expressed through grounded, swinging motion made for compelling viewing.


Here's the link to the full article covering a range of other work from three Baltic festivals:

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200512/arti ... 00508.html


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: Italy and UK
Stuart, very interesting comment! I remember that Saarinen insisted on focusing on the positive aspect of the Shakers, that is their sense of community and the importance that they gave to dance, rather than on their severe and strict approach to religion. I also remember that to build up the set, the workers had to struggle a lot as the wings are usually eliminated and the structure to build the long stairs is quite complex. The result is nevertheless enchanting especially when it is combined with the lighting design.

I nearly cried when, among the songs by the Boston Camerata, I recognised a tune that is present in Aaron Copland's music for Graham's Appalachian Spring, that also partly comes from the Shakers' songs. Here I list the links to the interview I had with Saarinen and to my reviews of the company's pieces when they performed in Civitanova.

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200503/arti ... 40724.html

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200508/arti ... 50409.html

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200410/arti ... 40728.html

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200408/arti ... 40716.html

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
Finnish troupe returns after an eight-year absence
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

In Hunt, Saarinen's torso and arms map aspirations and assaults. He's not the hunter but the hunted — by the specter of age and death or by the onslaught of contemporary civilization or both. He doesn't attempt to ride Stravinsky's tempest; he endures its pummeling.

published: April 4, 2006
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