Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Käsityöintoilijoille arvontaa!

Taito-lehti järjestää facebookissa arvonnan, jossa on kivat palkinnot :) Tämmöisiä ->

* lahjakortit Ilun Handuun (100 euroa)

* Titityyhyn (50 euroa)

* Villavyyhtiin (50 euroa)

* kaksi Taito-lehden vuosikertaa

Arvonta-aika on 2.3.12 saakka ja tapahtuma löytyy fb:sta täältä -> 

Jaa tämän tapahtumailmoitus blogissasi tai Facebook-sivuillasi ja ilmoita siitä sitten sähköpostilla osoitteeseen: toimitus(at)
Yhdestä julkaisusta saat yhden arpalipun ja jos joku mainitsee tilauksen tehdessään lukeneensa tästä kampanjasta blogistasi, saat peräti 10 arpalipuketta

*** Huom! Huom! Ei siis mikään mun itseni järjestämä juttu :) *** 

Opera Ballerina 101 by L'Oreal

Okay, when a ballet geek sees nail polish with a super pretty shade of the lightest pink, 
with the name "Opera Ballerina", 
what does one do?

Well, buys the damn thing, of course. 

Here it is.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fan Post - Zenaida Yanowsky

I "only just" discovered her, as I saw the fabulous bit from Alice In Wonderland. Actually, I don't remember when was the first time, last year anyway... But it's amazing how funny and yet beautiful the role work was! In my opinion, it takes a great dancer to be able to play/dance the part without making it too "clowny" or then again, too boring (not funny enough).

Here it is, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" - The Royal Ballet - 2011 - chor. Christopher Wheeldon - Queen of Hearts: Zenaida Yanowsky. (A parody of the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty.) (p.s. LOVE the tutu!!!)

Had to search a bit more information about her and here's some of what I found:

* Born 23.12.1975 in Lyon, France
* Parents also dancers (in Lyon Opera Ballet)
* Later moved to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria -> parents opened a dance school, where also Zenaida took classes
* 2 siblings also dancers (brother in Boston Ballet, 1 sister in Het Nationale Ballet, Netherlands)
* Won the silver medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition (1991) -> received an invitation to audition for the Paris Opera Ballet -> joined the company the same year
* Won the gold medal at the Eurovision Young Dancers Competition (1993)
* Won the gold medal at the Jackson International Ballet Competition (1994)
* Left POB in 1994 -> joined The Royal Ballet
* Got promoted to the status of Principal Dancer in 2001
* Won the Best Female Dancer award at the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards (2003)
* Was voted Dancer of the Year by readers of the magazine Dance Europe (2005)
* Married to baritone Simon Keenlyside (since 2006), two children (a son & a daughter).

Here's the contemporary solo she performed in the EYDC in 1993 -> 
"Alquibla" - chor. Anatol Yanowsky (her father)

Here's the classical variation from the same competition (wasn't able to share it here, sorry) ->

In Esmeralda, just Look at her face! How many can interpret that well at that age? Very precise and mature working in general. No wonder she won. 

Other facts:

* Height: 5 feet 8 inches (about 173 cm's?)

* At first wanted to be a painter, then a singer (soprano) -> at the age of 14 or 16 (depends where you read the info) decided on ballet career

* The only one (at her time) in POB being Not French, Nor trained at their school. As she was asked then to represent Spain in EYDC and her room mate France, And she came back with a medal (room mate didn't) - that was it for her future in Paris (her own words). - "After that I was axed from everything."

 *  When moving to RB, she got some important solo parts (like Lilac Fairy), but the big ones kept waiting for themselves. She would've needed a tall partner and there were some big names ahead of her (Darcey Bussell, Sylvie Guillem). 

* Often cast in modernist ballets that demand "brains and sensibility as much as pure technique" - considered a very intelligent person.

* Also a natural for the more contemporary works, especially those with psychological depth.

* When finally got to dance Sylvia (with David Makhateli), at first thought the company had made a terrible mistake. "We were watching some old footage of the ballet and I just laughed and said, you've got the wrong dancer. They are all so tiny and so fast. I'm up here and my legs are stretched to out there." - ...Rapidly then seduced by the role :)

Swan Lake (Odette/Odile) in 2004 (with Kenneth Greve, who's the head of Finnish National Ballet these days!!!). 

* Other roles include: Lilac Fairy & Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Nikiya & Gamzatti in La Bayadère and Myrtha in Giselle. From Ashton's ballets: Lady Elgar in Enigma Variations, Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country, Josephine in Wedding Bouquet and Monotones II. From MacMillan: the title role in Manon, Empress Elisabeth in Mayerling, The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring and First Sister in My Brother, My Sisters.
Photo by Bill Cooper.

My sources, some interviews and other interesting pages:

Friday, February 24, 2012

OMG, is she wearing Gaynors?!?

I do not own a pair of Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, but have to admit that the interest is huge. As we all know, they have their specific fitting system - and the whole Shoe is a unique design (material etc.). On the company's youtube-channel you'll find a series of videos introducing both shoe and fitting system. Some of the talk is clearly indicated to sales persons, but I found it all very informative as a possible customer.

Here's the introduction and first part of fitting (Getting started), below them links to the other 8 parts, a couple of minutes each. I recommend them all :)


p.s. The headline of this post came from this Hilarious video :D Check out 2.46!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Come on, vogue, let your (ballet) body move to the music!

Today I thought about my next post. Didn't have a clear idea what to write and didn't want to push it. I always enjoy flipping through photos, paper or digital ones, so just a moment ago google gave me an idea :) Typed in "vogue ballet" and saw some familiar pics, but also fabulous new acquaintances! I'm not a fashion geek, but it is a subject that regularly interests me, so here's the idea: a compilation of today's most fascinating finds. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so look through my eyes... :) (Sorry for So Many photos, but choosing was _difficult_.)

English National Ballet dancer Kerry Birkett modelling Beatrix Ong's Glare for English National Ballet shoe.   Photographed by Ian Bartlett
From: Vogue Girl Korea, 2006 (?). (found the photo here:

Caroline Trentini in Flights of Fancy, Vogue September 2008.
Vogue Girl Korea, The Nutcracker theme editorial. (Don't like the way they tied her ribbons. Found this here:

Drama & Ballet, Vogue Russia, February 2011, photographer: Jason Schmidt
Model: Denisa Dvorakova
“In time with the music” by Mark Seliger – Vogue Italia March 2008
Julianne Moore as a Degas ballerina by Peter Lindbergh – Harper’s Bazaar May 2008
Li Cunxin and the Australian ballet in “Sin-derella” by Simon Lekias – Harper’s Bazaar Australia April 2010
Nataša Vojnović by Carter Smith - Elle February 2010
Vintage photo :) Couture Ballet, Vogue (US?) 1955.

Once more: Vogue Girl Korea, February 2006.

Okay okay, the final shot :D Vogue Girl Korea, February 2006.

Maya Plisetskaya by Irving Penn, 1959.
Vogue UK, June 2011, Arizona Muse, footwear: Bloch, photographer: Patrick Demarchelier.

"Ballet Society" - artist Corrado Cagli, composer Vittorio Rieti, dancer Tanaquil LeClerq, and choreographer George Balanchine. Photographer: Irving Penn, 1948.

Darcey Bussel posing for Vogue (1989), photographer: Arthur Elgort. (Found it here:

Darcey Bussell and Cynthia Harvey entertain Arthur Elgort’s daughter, Vogue (?), photographed by Arthur Elgort in 1989.
Photographer: Annie Leibovitz, 2003.
This one's worth 2 photos! He is the Italian dancer Roberto Bolle, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for the November, 2010, issue of Vogue Paris. 

p.s. Almost slipped because of snow and ice today -> left ankle feels irritating. Dislike!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lack of ballet

In August (2011) I was super-happy, 4 classes of ballet in a week! Then in the middle of the semester our Monday pointe got combined with our Wednesday's "normal" class. This January (2012) both of them got cancelled. So I was left with 2 classes of ballet - Not Enough!!!!

As there were no options for more ballet, I figured jazz would be fun again, after some (10 at least) years. Sunday class was my plan, also took a look at other types of classes and latino jazz seemed interesting. So I'd get 4 classes in a week and the only negative side being the fact that they'd be All between Friday and Sunday. Spring semester seemed quite fine and dandy *happy face*.

.....aaaaand now it seems that the latino class will be cancelled, due to what? No participants but me & teacher. It's really a bummer, because it's fun and challenging at the same time. Also the teacher Might move to another town in the Autumn, so there probably won't be classes then either. But it's not definite yet, so not worrying too much about it.

....buuuuuuuuut today I enrolled in a Contemporary Dance class, an intensive one!!! *happy face Again* It's next week and won't be cancelled, I asked. There are enough people coming, yay! And the teacher was in same ballet / jazz / contemporary classes with me as a teenager! (Enough exclamation marks?) Here she is:

Photo from

Photo by Matti Kivekäs

Photo by Matti Kivekäs

I'm sure it will be interesting, also probably quite challenging - it's been also about 10 years since my last contemporary class (ha! except that one class I took in Helsinki this January). 

This week's Friday I might go to Helsinki for some ballet, if everything goes ok (we don't have our regular class). That would mean meeting one new teacher more, but I've heard So Much good things about her that I'm only positive about it. Saturday there's the morning class (regular) and then probably the last latino jazz. Last week I got a private class, as there was no-one else, quite nice.... And effective! Sunday there's the "normal" jazz. Then my vacation and the intensive course (Mon - Fri), Saturday with a 90th birthday party (friend's grandma), Sunday with... Nothing. Free day :)

p.s. Yesterday I got a message that these 2 pairs have arrived - we made an order together with some ballet geeks. Yay!!!!!

Bloch - Neo Flex slip-on jazz shoe

Bloch - Pump

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinterest & Weheartit

Some or many of you are using these photo-sites, where we get to make our own collections, boards, sets, galleries... I'm talking about Pinterest and We<3it. Personally I love both, they give me ideas, I get to dream, see what other people like.

Here are my profiles for both sites :) Feel free to follow.

-> iepukka in Pinterest

-> iepukka in We<3it

I've got 29 sets in weheartit, but there would be oh-so-many other subjects, too, that I'd like to collect... The amount of sets might increase, sloooowly :) Pinterest is the newer "hobby" of these, but 11 boards there to see already. It felt a bit more difficult to use, at first, but now it's almost equally fascinating. And also it seems maybe a tiny bit more adult-like site. Maybe.

My collections include ballet stuff in both places, but today I'll give a sample of something different :)

A Super Gorgeous dress I found in Pinterest!!! :)

A Very Cute drawing via weheartit. Well, I like both, books and cats :)


The up-coming week I'm having only 3 days of work + one concert. Plus (hopefully) 4-5 classes of dance. The week after that? Well... FREEEEEEEE! :) One week of vacation. If I'm lucky, there'll be a contemporary dance course of 5 days, but it might get cancelled if there aren't enough participants. Let's keep our fingers crossed, right? :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jazz class OST

We've had some great music (in my opinion) the past couple of times, on the Sunday jazz class I mean. I remember most of them, so here's a little soundtrack. Nothing quite "jazzy" in the strict meaning of the word, but good stuff anyway.

First: Warming up
With: Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Next up: Plies, tendus
With: Bruno Mars - Grenade

Followed by: Pirouettes
With: Michael Jackson - Bad

In diagonal: 3 x step & grand battement, 4th time jump & "kick"
With: Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Also in diagonal: 2x pique pirouette, then some chaines
Followed by: Sliding step towards the front corner, with big curved movement with the same side's hand (notice my _extremely_ accurate glossary here)
Third: 2 x the sliding stuff, then soutenu and finally grand jete en tournant
Last: Combine all three parts!
With: Adele - Set Fire to the Rain

Grande Finale: a short coreography
To this: Adele - One and Only (a nice video here, don't know much about the "originality")


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Friends' Day!

Today's February the 14th, also known as the Valentine's Day. Except that in Finnish it's friends' day, which I like more... :) Here's a funny classic bit for you, from the I love Lucy -show! Hope you all out there, ballet and other friends, have (had) a wonderful day <3


p.s. My mom has her "hearing test" of Italian language tomorrow, as she's doing the high school exam this Spring. Good luck! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

90 years of National Ballet in Finland (pt. 3 with More Opinions)

Yesterday I made it through the first half of the marvellous Gala. This evening I'll try to deal with the rest :P You'll find the programme info here.

Second half started with a Bang, so to speak. Don Quijote, con brio! I haven't seen it (and will not be able to do so this season - dislike!!!), so everything was interesting. The fandango was full of Spanish attitude, the noble spirit with dignity. And Ziegler again. I'm not complaining ;) Petia Ilieva was quite fiery in this one, nice contrast to her Odette.

Petia Ilieva with Wilfried Jacobs. Photo by Sakari Viika.

The married couple, Salla and Jaakko Eerola, had their glorious moment as Kitri and Basilio. Precise work with perfect amount of romantic atmosphere, touch of virtuosity (the jumps and pirouettes, wow!)... It was all there. They got maybe the biggest applause of the evening (after Minus 7 and the end of gala). And you know what? They sure did deserve it.

Salla and Jaakko Eerola. Photo by Sakari Viika.

One piece that everyone was surely waiting for, was an excerpt of Anna Karenina. Why? Because it had our soon-to-retire prima ballerina Minna Tervamäki, with Jani Talo as Count Vronsky. The pas de deux was Passionate - and so short... It's a pity we can't see her in this role again, even if the work comes on stage some day. But I consider myself quite lucky to have seen even this tiny bit.

Minna Tervamäki and Jani Talo. Photo by Sakari Viika.

Walking Mad was also presented as an excerpt. And it was one of those contemporary pieces.... But Again it happened! I liked it - a Lot! Music was Bolero by Ravel, a hypnotic experience every time I listen to it. Also a quite long one... This coreography used a plank wall very inventively, it had hidden doors, it was moved around the stage, it "fell down" and next it was a boardwalk of some kind. Then a wall again. In the beginning the dancers (one woman, one and then more men) were almost slamming each other against the wall, with loud bangs. But it didn't seem violent, the movement always continued softer. Until it was on the edge again. I'm really happy that this one was on the tv-version too.

Johanna Nuutinen, Wilfried Jacobs and Johan Pakkanen (not from the gala). Photo by Sakari Viika.

Something I waited for and something I was a bit disappointead with. I could have danced all night. I knew that the soprano is a good singer - and yet we couldn't hear much of her voice. I noticed she had an ear plug thingie, but don't know if she had a mic. The song was from the musical (Pygmalion / My Fair Lady), so not your normal opera stuff. I could only hear some of the very highest notes. And felt very sorry for her at the same time, she did her best. The dancing part wasn't much, to my opinion. It was all nice and pretty, but very musical-ish. "Fine and dandy", could some say. The reason they had this number on the programme was as follows: our opera turned 100 last year, so they wanted to have something that mixed these two species together.

Ballet Pathétique's male solo was something I saw in June 2011, right here in my hometown. And the dancer was the same, Antti Keinänen. I knew he'd be awesome again - and so he was! :) Luckily the home audience got to see him also, and so can You (the tv version will be availabe untill February 28th all over the world HERE but the interviews only in Finnish). This ballet is from the "hands" (or should I say brains) of the amazing and fabulous Jorma Uotinen! I think he's one of the most gifted people in dance business I've ever seen. This solo combined elements from classical ballerina variations (e.g. Dying Swan - those arms and the back - you really should see it), humour and deeper thinking. I think A. Keinänen has embraced the mood as magnificently as one ever could. Watch it people! :) And yes, it's a modern piece.

You won't get much out of this photo of mine, but this is from the dying swan -part. The Hands. 

...and if you'll be hush-hush, I'll share this video that I just found. Exactly the bit from the gala! Hope it doesn't disappear right away. (The hands are somewhere round 1.50 or so.)

As some might remember, I saw Scheherazade last Autumn (-11). So I knew what was to come - beautiful and emotional dancing. Lovely music. The excerpt was from the end, when the main couple finally find each other.  Nothing surprising there, I just watched and enjoyed myself.

Wilfried Jacobs with Julie Gardette (not from the gala). Photo by Sakari Viika.

As Monsieur Greve and Madame Almi told us, the comedy bit of the evening was The Sofa. Hi-la-ri-ous!!! :D First a woman & man arguing, with some almost acrobatic moves (still dancing). Then the roles changed totally - this first man was in the woman's "shoes" and a transvestite-ish man was in his. And they did (almost) exactly the same moves as the first couple! :D And then they didn't put This on the tv version... Bo-hooooo... I would have wanted to see Everything again, though. Knowing our opera and their past ways of using social media (youtube, their own site, etc.), this tv programme was a Big thing. So I have to remind myself to be grateful. Yes. I am. 

Jaakko Eerola and Wilfried Jacobs (not from the gala). Photo by Sakari Viika.

The Grande Finale of the gala was from the Etudes. An excerpt, to which Mr Greve had made a small coreography for the ballet school kids to perform in the beginning. All of them got to be on stage and that's what they showed on tv of this last piece. Nothing more. Even though there were some pretty cool performances by Salla Eerola, Minna Tervamäki (unfortunately only a small bit from her), Jaakko Eerola, Michal Krcmár... I could only wonder how the dancers managed through it. I mean, they had already given so much of themselves to us and Still they had strength and pirouettes and everything to offer. I'm very proud that our dancers are this capable! :) And the choir dancers, they had been on stage almost all the time. Huge respect, I say. 

The kids, once more :) Photo by Sakari Viika.

So my opinions were quite positive, to put it short. But isn't that just good? :) Now I'll go to sleep and probably dream about dancing again, as I often do after blogging... :D


p.s. Found also this from youtube, straight from the gala... :) Might vanish soon, so watch it soon!

*** Good Night! ***

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

90 years of National Ballet in Finland (pt. 2 with Opinions)

First of all, this took me a bit longer than I thought, but here it is. My personal opinions of the gala! :) You'll find the whole programme here.

2 friends were able to see the main rehearsal for the gala, so I had some info about the evening's list. But still it felt like not knowing what to expect, in a good way! I was in a weird mood, didn't sleep too much the night before, had a busy day (training, lots of teaching), then back to hotel (wanted to sleep), put on the fancy clothes, took a tram to the Opera... Then started to feel the excitement of all the people round me. Searched for a programme leaflet. Went to my seat (on the 2nd balcony, out of 3), took a look down to the parquet and the orchestra.

The lights went off and a girl in a white tutu came to the stage, looking around. Doing some poses. Then Mr Greve (the big boss) emerged and soon they left, both pulling a curtain in their own direction. And so the show really began!

Clip of Etudes. 3 barres of the stage, each having a couple of ballerinas by, doing basic moves slowly. Adagio-style. Lighting was interesting, quite dark even.

Next up: Swan Lake. I was interested in this bit, as I haven't seen the particular production on stage. Did like it, the big pas de deux. Petia Ilieva's Odette was felt genuinely suffering, also romantic. A bit discreet maybe, but it didn't bother me. I've always found Odette somewhat shy as a person, delicate and graceful being other adjectives. Some other dancer might (and they do, I've seen many) interpret the role (well, this pdd here) more passionately, throwing themselves "to the flames"... But I liked what I saw.

Petia Ilieva and Jani Talo. Photo by Sakari Viika.

And the Cygnets. What can I say? They were Good. (And a bit hilarious - there were feathers flying around them as they went on... :D)

Linda Haakana, Annabelle Hellinckx, Claire Voss, Maki Nakagawa. Photo by Sergi Nicolau.
Seven Brothers was one of the works that really surprised me. One of those I didn't know what to expect of. But it was GOOD. Interesting. The music was kind of enchanting. Also after seeing a videoclip of Marjo Kuusela teaching the work to the dancers it felt even more special. And as I hadn't noticed the existance of the (female) fox on the leaflet, it was even More Suprising! :) Sara Saviola was very convincing, with all the little gestures of the animal. Seven Brothers is based on a play/novel by our national author Aleksis Kivi.

Frans Valkama, Jaakko Eerola, Kare Länsivuori, Johan Pakkanen, Nikolas Koskivirta, Aki Pakarinen, Antti Keinänen. Photo by Sakari Viika.

Suite Murder by Jorma Elo. I've heard a lot about this man's works. He's talented and so on. But I have a teeny-tiniest "feeling" always with contemporary ballet (same thing was with the Brothers, might I add). With this excerpt of the Suite - there simply was No time to think and feel weird, it was happening snap-snap-snap, right from the beginning to the end. And again I enjoyed myself. The only thing bothering me was my glasses. I should get new ones, can't see too clear with the current ones.

Many people were waiting for Pessi and Illusia a lot. I was curious, but not too much. If you know what I mean. Just the normal amount. Not, like, anxious. This ballet is based on a fairytale written by Yrjö Kokko (in 1944), about a troll and a fairy. Nicol Edmonds was Pessi, and what a musical & talented troll he was! I liked him maybe a bit more than Aino Ettala as Illusia-the-fairy. But all in all, the excerpt was done beautifully. Would be interesting to see the whole thing some day.

Nicol Edmonds and Aino Ettala. Photo by Sakari Viika.

Now I might be a bad person, but in my opinion the Springtime Encounters wasn't needed in the programme. Okay okay, the kids were adorable and danced well enough, but the coreography wasn't interesting. I understand that they wanted to show the schoolers more than the bit in the very end, but this... Well. I've said what I think.

Seventh Symphony was FireWorks the whole thing through, like Elo's piece. But even More! Also I got to see the new star, Maria Baranova, in action. There sure is a lot to see in her, fine, precise working. Dancing. Soul in it, too. Mr Greve has said about this Symphony that it is a difficult piece. I agree after seeing only this finale. The music and Uwe Scholtz's steps are Fast, one really has to know exactly what to do and when. (Well, the dancers have to anyway... Haha....) Something to recommend, this piece. I hope we'll get the whole of it some day Again. (p.s. Baranova was dancing with my currently favorite male soloist, Nicholas Ziegler. Yay!) (p.p.s. The other soloists in this were up to their job, too. Very very well, I'd say. Without forgetting the corps of course.)

Swan of Tuonela was first performed by Jarmo Rastas (Lemminkäinen) and Ulrika Hallberg (the swan) in 1976. They taught the work to Jarkko Niininen and Tiina Myllymäki for this gala. We got to see a videoclip from the rehearsals and some funny bits in it, too! :D It's really too bad that this piece wasn't in the tv-version of the gala. *grumpy face* The music was of course amazing, by our very own composer, Jean Sibelius. He was born in my hometown Hämeenlinna and went to the same school as I did (my high school). His birth home is a museum these days, I've been there couple times. Just too bad he didn't write any cool stuff for flute... (Some orchestra solos, but that's it.) Back to the dancing -> The music is relatively long (9 minutes), but the piece kept it's touch to the end. And the body language, the coreography had captured the music's soul. Or that's what it felt to me. There was a certain tension, it was persistent, slow but not drowsy. I'll put a video here (from youtube) that has a short explaining in the beginning, about our "national legend" Kalevala and the meaning of Tuonela's Swan. There are sketches from an animation that would have been part of Fantasia, if it ever would've been finished.

Tiina Myllymäki & Jarkko Niininen rehearsing, Ulrika Hallberg & Jarmo Rastas watching. (Photo from here:

The last piece before intermission (Minus 7) was a suprise for the audience. We did know the name of it and stuff like coreographer & music, but what most of us did Not know.... The dancers came and took some people on stage! :D To dance with them! It was at first a bit like a rave, then some latin moves, then a slow dance. And in the end - furious applause! 

You'll get the idea... ;) Photo from here:


It's Really late now and Viuhti-the-cat is getting very annoying. Have to try to sleep a bit. But tomorrow's a day off, so I'll write (try to) about the second half then :) Goooooooood night! :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

90 years of National Ballet in Finland (pt.1)

As promised and planned, here's the first part of my gala report. It will include a lot of names - works, coreographers, dancers, composers... I'll mention the soloists' names (and corps de ballet - if they were on the same piece). If there were no solos, only cdb, won't mention them separately (too many names to write :P). In the second part I'll share my opinions about them :)

Participants were:

- Conductor Pietro Rizzo
- Hosts Kenneth Greve (Artistic Director of the Ballet) & Heidi Almi (Press Manager)
- Finnish National Ballet
- FNO Ballet School
- FNO Opera Orchestra
- Many important technical people!

The evening was said to last 2 hours and 50 minutes, including 1 intermission. Well... It started at 19.00 (7pm) and ended at 22.30 (10.30pm)! And I can tell you, it was ALL worth it. All 3,5 hours.

First half included:

  • Etudes (excerpt) - choreography by Harald Lander - music by Carl Czerny, Knudåge Riisager - Premiere at the Finnish National Opera Ballet 14th January 1965 - no soloists in this bit
  • Swan Lake (Pas de deux from the 2nd act, Cygnets) - Kenneth Greve / Marius Petipa - Pjotr Tshaikovsky - Premiere 17th January 1922 / this production 23rd October 2009 - Odette / Petia Ilieva, Siegfried / Jani Talo, Cygnets / Linda Haakana, Annabelle Hellinckx, Maki Nakagawa, Claire Voss
  • Seven Brothers (excerpt) - Marjo Kuusela - Eero Ojanen - World premiere at the FNO 23rd August 1980 - Juhani / Kare Länsivuori, Tuomas / Johan Pakkanen, Aapo / Aki Pakarinen, Timo / Nikolas Koskivirta, Simeoni / Antti Keinänen, Lauri / Jaakko Eerola, Eero / Frans Valkama, Female Fox / Sara Saviola
  •  Suite Murder (excerpt) - Jorma Elo - Bernard Herrmann - World premiere at the FNO 25th October 2008 - Milla Eloranta, Mai Komori, Maki Nakagawa, Terhi Räsänen (females), Yusuke Hikichi, Ville Mäki, Samuli Poutanen, Eemu Äikiö (males)
  •  Pessi and Illusia (excerpt) - after Irja Koskinen, Doris Laine - Ahti Sonninen - World premiere at Riihimäki 29th May 1952, premiere at Helsinki 23rd October 1952 - Pessi / Nicol Edmonds, Illusia / Aino Ettala
  • Springtime encounters - Satu Soldan - Adolphe Adam - World premiere - Darja Gustavsson, Ada Kaijala, Rosa Säilynoja (girls from the FNO Ballet School), Bruno Baer, Schonan Greve, Colin Jacobs (boys)
  • Seventh Symphony (Finale) - Uwe Scholtz - Ludwig van Beethoven - Premiere 28th February 2009 - Mai Komori & Jani Talo, Maki Nakagawa & Wilfried Jacobs, Maria Baranova & Nicholas Ziegler, corps de ballet
  • Swan of Tuonela (pas de deux from Lemminkäinen) - Imre Eck - Jean Sibelius - World Premiere (Lemminkäinen) 15th January 1976 - Swan of Tuonela / Tiina Myllymäki, Lemminkäinen / Jarkko Niininen
  • Minus 7 (excerpt) - Ohad Naharin - collage (music) - Premiere 7th May 2010 - no soloists, but some of the audience got to participate!!! :)

Second half included:

  • Don Quijote (Fandango, Grand pas de deux) - Patrice Bart / Marius Petipa, José de Udaeta (fandango) - Ludvig Minkus - Premiere 21st October 1930 / this production 20th October 1995 - Kitri / Salla Eerola, Basilio / Jaakko Eerola, Two friends / Annabelle Hellinckx & Maki Nakagawa, Fandango / Petia Ilieva & Nicholas Ziegler, corps de ballet
  • Anna Karenina (pas de deux) - Alexei Ratmansky - Rodion Stsedrin - Premiere 16th February 2007 - Anna Karenina / Minna Tervamäki, Count Vronsky / Jani Talo
  • Walking Mad (excerpt) - Johan Inger - Maurice Ravel - premiere 25th October 2008 - Linda Haakana, Johanna Nuutinen, Anna Sariola (females), Henrik Burman, Antti Keinänen, Nikolas Koskivirta, Johan Pakkanen, Samuli Poutanen, Emrecan Tanis
  • I could have danced all night - Marilena Fontoura - Frederick Loewe, Riku Niemi - World premiere - no soloists (dancers), Hanna Rantala (soprano/singer)
  • Ballet Pathétique (excerpt / male solo) - Jorma Uotinen - Pjotr Tshaikovsky - World premiere at the Helsinki City Theatre 22nd September 1989, premiere by the FNO in front of the House of Parliament 13th August 1992 -  Antti Keinänen
  • Scheherazade (excerpt from the end) - Kenneth Greve - Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov - World premiere 29th October 2010 - Scheherazade / Eun-Ji Ha, Shahryar / Wilfried Jacobs, Dünyazad / Annabelle Hellinckx, Shahzarem / Frans Valkama, corps de ballet
  • The Sofa - Itzik Galili - Tom Waits - Premiere 21st November 2009 - Antti Keinänen, Anna Konkari, Samuli Poutanen
  • Etudes (excerpt from the end) - Harald Lander / Kenneth Greve (chor. for the Ballet School) - Czerny / Riisager - Premiere 14th January 1965 - Salla Eerola, Minna Tervamäki (female), Jaakko Eerola, Michal Krcmár (male), Petia Ilieva, Eun-Ji Ha, Maria Baranova, Maki Nakagawa (female), corps de ballet, FNO Ballet School students (all of them!!!)
Ballet School kids - Photo by Sakari Viika

So, that was it. Quite an evening. Oh boy... Tomorrow is the day our country gets a new president. In honor of this important event I'll write the second part ;)

p.s Today's ballet was Good. Latino jazz wasn't - because we didn't have the class at all (teacher sick). Waiting for tomorrows JAZZ!

In Finnish - Perjantain keväinen koreografia

Kolme viikkoa ollaan nyt sitä treenattu, pikkuruisen kerrallaan. Ehkä 10 minuuttia tunnin lopusta käytetään siihen. Esitys on kuulemma 25.4. illalla, kivaa! :) Kaksi viikkoa sitten tehtiin eka pätkä, viime viikolla oli tehneet vähän lisää - tänään sitten muisteltiin ne osiot (eli itse opettelin jälkimmäisen uutena). Kappale on ns. rondo-muotoinen, eli A-osa musiikista toistuu joka välissä, niiden väliset jutut on sitten aina uutta (osa B, osa C jne.). Nyt ollaan tehty kolmen musiikki-osan verran (A-B-A).

Meidän versio kappaleesta on pelkällä sinfiksellä (sinfoniaorkesteri) soitettu, ei solisteja. Mutta toi oli ehkä kivoin, jonka äkkiseltään orkesteriversioista löysin (tempo hitaampi kuin meillä). Kyseinen kappale kuuluu mm. Suzuki-huiluohjelmistoon, eli on tullut koulutuksen (ja työn) puolesta veivattua ees-taas. Tutun musiikin avulla muistaa askeleet vähän helpommin. 

Joops. Asiaan. Askeleet on nyt taas "omalla systeemillä" ihan oman itseni huviksi ja hyödyksi lähinnä, saa nauraa :D

* Aloitusasento: selkä yleisöön, vasen polvi maassa, oikea ei (jalkapohja tietty on), kädet suht vapaasti alhaalla, allongé-tyyliin kuitenkin (tähän varmaan tulee kyllä vielä tarkennusta).

*** A-osa ekan kerran musiikissa ***

* Musiikki alkaa, laskut vielä vähän muuttuvaisia... Odotetaan n. neljään, noustaan hitaasti ylös -> relevé viidennessä (oikea edessä), kädet kolmanteen (laskut taas n. neljään), hidas käännös vasemman kautta, jäädään edelleen relevé kasvot yleisöön (käännös + tasapaino n. kahdeksaan). 

* Oikean jalan ojennus eteen (matala developpé, coupén kautta), samalla kädet aukeaa (sormet ja kämmenet lähinnä) allongé yläviistoon (laskut n. neljään) -> kävely demi-pointe parilla hitaahkolla askeleella eteenpäin (laskut 4-6) -> croisé (oikea edessä, vasen takana "attitude lattiassa" taimikäsenytsiton), vasen käsi 1. ja oikea matala 2. -> kädet ekan kautta toisinpäin (oikea 1, vasen 2), oikea jalka plié, vasen takana coupé (croisé + tää asennon vaihto - laskut 6-8, riippuen niistä askeleista).

*** A-osa kertautuu ***

* Pas de bourrée oikealle (laskut 4), sama vasemmalle (4) -> relevé vasemmalla & oikea retiré, oikea alas plié & vasen taakse coupé (tälle koko jutulle oli ihan nimikin, mutkunenmuista) (laskut 4) -> sama setti/relevé & retiré, plié & coupé (4).
** Kädet tähän osaan: pdb:ssa "normaalit" (eli ekan kautta, se käsi aukeaa sivulle jonka puoleinen jalka on takana coupé) -> relevé & retiré / plié / coupé: tänään pidettiin koko ajan sama asento (oikea 1, vasen 2.), mutta epäilisin muutosta myöhemmin.

* Relevé (vasen), oikealla matala developpé (ehkä reilu 45, laskut 4) -> plié viidennessä oikea edessä, relevé ja käännös vas. kautta, jäädään tasapainoon croisé (vas. edessä, laskut 4-6) -> alas & samalla pieni askel (oik.) taakse plién (4. asento) kautta, vasen jää ojennukseen eteen (6-8).
**  Kädet: vasen käsi ojentuu allongé eteen (katse seuraa), oikea sivulle all. -> plié = kädet perus/eka -> relevé ja ympäri ja tasapaino = kädet 3. -> askel taakse = kädet sivulta 2. kautta perus -> plié = kädet 1. -> polvet ojentuu = kädet aukeaa / oikea yläviistoon allongé, vasen sivulle 2. (allongé).

*** B-osa musiikissa ***

* Astu vasemman päälle ja plié, oikea jää taakse suoraksi, kädet: vasen siirtyy eteen (edelleen allongé), oikea tuulimyllymäisesti (no ei kuitenkaan viuhtoen, vaan isossa kaaressa) taakse, katse vasemman olan yli (eli toinen arabesque, laskut 4) -> fouetté-käännös takavasempaan kulmaan / polvet ojentuu samalla, oikea jalka jää ojennukseen eteen, vasen käsi 3. ja oikea 2. (laskut 4) -> askel oikealla eteen, samantien vasemmalla sivulle (huom! sivu = tässä vaiheessa se vasen takanurkka, eli käännytään samalla nokka kohti vasenta etunurkkaa), oikea coupén kautta ojennus taas eteen, kädet = vasen siirtyy 2, oikea 1, samalla katse kääntyy taas kohti yleisöä (preparaatio ympärimenoihin, laskut 8).

* 2 x rauhallinen soutenu oikealle (kohti oik. etunurkkaa, laskut 8) -> chaînés (3 x ympäri, laskut 4-6), päättyy poosaan (plié-askeleen kautta) kohti oikeaa etunurkkaa: seistään oikealla jalalla, vasen ojennettuna taakse (ei ilmassa), kädet allongé (vasen yläviisto, oikea 2. vähän alaviisto), katse kohti vasenta kättä (laskut 2-4).

*** A1-osa (eli A-osa, mutta loppu vähän muunneltua alkuperäisestä) ***

* Pas de basque vasemmalle, kädet jää lopussa eteen (1.) ristikkäin allongé (oikea päällimmäisenä, laskut 8) -> askel oikealla eteen plién kautta, vasen jää taakse ojennukseen, vasen käsi nousee 3, oikea 2. (laskut 8).

* Kuudes port de bras (laskut 8), joka päättyy neljänteen asentoon oikea edessä plié / en dedans piruetin valmistava asento (myös kädet) -> piruetti kädet 3. asennossa (laskut 3-4) -> plién kautta relevé viidennessä (vasen edessä), kädet edelleen 3. josta aukeavat allongé yläviistoon (kämmenet/sormet) (laskut 4-5).

*** C-osa (musiikin ehkä dramaattisin osa, mollissa) ***

...ja tuohon asti me vaan tehtiinkin. Kaikki on tehneet koko ajan samaa, ilman sen kummempia ryhmittelyitä. Enpäs tiedä tuleeko sellaisia, voi olla, että heilutaan vaan massana lavalla (joka ei ole kovin suuri siellä koululla, jossa näytös pidetään). Vähän ehkä jännittää jo vaatetuskin, ei mitään hajua onko tällä opistolla omia pukuja/asusteita käytettävissä. 

Koreografia on sikäli kiva, että kaikki siinä oleva on meidän tuntisarjoista peräisin. Ainakin tähän asti :) Hyödyllistä kaikille. Tosin nyt kun selvisi se esityspäivämäärä ja onkin keskellä viikkoa, ainakin yksi luotettava-muistinen osallistuja sanoi, että ei todennäköisesti pääse. Toivottavasti suurin osa kuitenkin pääsee - ja haluaa osallistua. Mä haluan ainakin - jos ei vielä käynyt ilmi.... ;)

Tähän loppuun vielä illan/yön hupinumeroksi mun tän illan sammakonreidet. Tai koivet. 

Villasukat oli jalassa vaan ennen tuntia, enkä muutenkaan hirveästi "hiihtänyt" niillä siinä lattialla. Ettei kukaan liukastuisi sen takia :)