Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FNB & Hartwall Arena

Last Saturday was just Grrrreat! :) I'm not talking about us losing the hockey game against Sweden nor the fact that our song in Eurovision contest got only 13 points... Instead, I'm saying it was just superduper awesome that 9000 people got to see our national ballet company perform - for free. There were seats for even more people, but in my opinion, that was a good result already!

A poster at the railway station.
Me and a ballet geek friend, her 2 daughters + one of their friends and her mom + my friend's sister and her husband all met outside the Hartwall Arena in Pasila (Helsinki). There was enough time to check out the powder room, stand in a que for a while and then, get in & choose seats. Most people had these advance tickets that told which area one could sit in, but no precise seat number. We found a nice place, right opposite the stage.

A panorama photo, taken from my seat (45 minutes before the show began).
Although we had to wait quite a "while" for the evening to start, it didn't feel that long. It was fun to look at all the people, try to spot familiar faces, catch up with the friend etc.

The host of the event was Marco Bjurström, former dancer himself, a choreographer and teacher. He's also been a host of a very popular music game show in tv, these days works also as a news reporter on channel Four (Nelonen). Sometimes I find his energetic style a bit overwhelming, but this evening it was ok. He introduced the works and some dancers interestingly, though I'd have preferred to hear All the soloist names... But you have to keep up with the time, that I understand :)

Mr Bjurström with a dark background.

Marco.B. with Mr Greve and 2 hockey players from the team Jokerit.
After a short speech by himself, Mister Bjurström invited FNB's artistic director to the stage, Kenneth Greve that is. They chatted for some minutes, thanking a lot of people, telling how the idea of this event came up and finally also introduced the 2 other tall men on stage. They were players from the team Jokerit, whose home arena this was/is. (They didn't have much else to do than just stand there and smile, the be swept away by some ballerinas.)

As it was forbidden to take photos of the works performed, I only have some shots of the final bows. But maybe they give some idea of how fabulous all of it was! :)

"It all" began with some scenes from the 3rd act of Swan Lake. This is the ending  pose. Eun-Ji Ha with Andrew Bowman, Nicholas Ziegler as Rothbart (on the right).

A very dusty pic... The end of Jorma Elo's Double Evil. Don't know who were dancing... But they were Great!

These cuties were butterflies from The Sleeping Beauty :)

Opera singers Helena Juntunen and Jyrki Anttila sang a duet from La Traviata. I missed the name of the accompanist, but he & the accordion were very nice indeed in this number!
Next up was the cool (and sweaty/hot) sauna scene from The Snow Queen. Mr Bjurström introducing it in this one.

After sauna it was time for Snow Queen herself & underlings team up - right in the middle of the floor!  Too bad the camera man was so close to them, we missed the most cool part... 

A big fight scene between snow queen folks and the goblins, ended with peaceful bows... ;) Mai Komori on the righ as the Queen, Wilfried Jacobs in the middle as the "main goblin" (sorry, don't remember the correct role name!!). Terhi Räsänen was the lynx maiden, on the left.

Can you guess what was coming up here... :)
Yes, The Sleeping Beauty - roses... :) So lovely! Also there was a hunting scene. This is from the end, they're about to bow. The tutus are gorgeous. 

All the folks! 

Maki Nakagawa (I think...) on the left as Carabosse, Michal Krcmar as the prince and Petia Ilieva on the right as... The lilac fairy? (I'm embarrassed, I'm really not sure :D)

Okay, there was this forbidden photo... But as a punishment my camera's battery died Right after taking this. 
I tried to take some pics with my phone, but they were super messy and well, not good. But here's one of them anyway.

The dancers of Walking Mad, one of my favourites (as all the others... :D).  Tuukka Piitulainen had a solo in this, he's a name to remember.
The last works we saw were a song by H. Juntunen (from the Monty Python -musical 'Spamalot'), a hilarious number! Then a comic bit called The Sofa. I've seen it twice before and still it made me laugh. On stage were Linda Haakana, Samuli Poutanen and Antti Keinänen, a trio that amused us last May, too.

Final number was an extract from Minus 7 (by Ohad Naharin). It really is something else. Also some members of the audience got to take part in it, yay! :)

Then it was time to leave, go home. I managed to fell in the stairs = one bruised knee. It still hurts, but we had a lot of fun, so I don't mind :) Tomorrow I'm going to Helsinki again, to have 1 (or 2) ballet classes. It's my final chance to experience Madame Greve's wonderful teaching, as the classes next year will be on Wednesday's and I'm working till evening. So, tomorrow it is. And now, some sleep!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Music that SHOULD be choreographed

...unless it already is and I just don't know about it... :D

I've had this idea for a long time now, maybe I've even mentioned it here, linked some videos. Here it is, anyway. It came to my mind again today, as we were talking (in fb) about Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, particularly the music. We're going to see it on stage May 30th, with Eun-Ji Ha as Aurora.

Soooo. I mentioned that my favorite work from Piotr is actually his 4th symphony. We played it in Liminka music camp (this one time... :D :D) and I still remember the 1st flute part quite well. 4 movements, all very typical (in my opinion) to P.T. but still interesting. First part begins super-dramatically, pompous even. Second part starts at 22 minutes in this version, with an oboe solo that could bring tears to someone's eyes. Third part with pizzicatos at 33.15 and finale at 39.30, with a Russian folksong as the main theme. (Btw, they used the same song in Anna Karenina, the movie).

I really urge just anyone, do listen to this. Even if this wasn't written by Tchaikovsky, the ballet composer, it would bring some sort of storyline to mind. Some steps and combinations too, though I've never made a choreo myself.

Myself, I wasn't going to listen the Whole work this time but well, it just happened... :D (I also wasn't going to watch the Russian ballet movie from 1953, but couldn't stop after I started.) My feet still hurt from yesterday, but now I have to try and get some fresh air. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Get on stage - tomorrow!

It's Monday evening and I'm sitting in the kitchen, with ALL my make-up on the table. Have to figure out what eyeshadow will be on my eyelids tomorrow. Also my hair is almost un-naturally tidy-looking, combed all very neatly and close to my skull, put together with masses of pins and bottles of hairspray. My hair is too short to make any kind of bun at the moment, but if you look from the front, you Could be mistaken. I Could have a neat bun, somewhere back there. Had to try it (all the combing and pinning) today, just to see if it's even possible and how it'll hold (we had an hour long rehearsal).

So, I should put all my things together for tomorrow. By this time (I've been home a bit more than 2 hours now) I've managed to eat, update my facebook a little and bring all the mascaras etc. here. So, I still have some stuff to do... :D Luckily I've got all of tomorrow off from work. So I can pack in the afternoon. Have to be at The House about at 4pm, on stage at 4.45pm. But I'll probably go even earlier, just to see others rehearsing on stage, it's nice to sit in the audience for a change :)

These days I'm using -> http://fi.rimmellondon.com/tuotteet/silm%C3%A4t/extra-super-lash-waterproof-mascara

This is the palet, but my color choice is Twilight Zone -> http://fi.rimmellondon.com/tuotteet/silm%C3%A4t/glameyes-trio-eyeshadow-luomiv%C3%A4rikokoelma

My favorite for a long time :) ->  http://www.lumene.com/fi/tuotteet/meikit/silmat/sensitive-touch-silmameikkikyna-0

My color is number 15 - Vintage Red. ->  http://www.lumene.com/fi/tuotteet/natural-code/huulet/natural-code-smile-booster-huulipuna

Really, I have to admit that I'm probably one of the laziest women to wear lipstick. I do like it, but a) my lips are for some reason super sensitive and get sore so easily... and b) I can't (don't like to) wear any when playing flute. That's why I buy quite cheap ones.

I'll have powder and blush and other skin-coloring stuff too, but don't have the energy to dig those photos up.

So. What do I have to remember, besides make-up?

  • the black leotard
  • 2 pairs of ballet pink tights (make sure they don't have unnecessary holes)
  • bottle of light pink nailpolish (IF the tights get holes, both pair I mean)
  • the yellow "gown" for P's number (Peter Pan, the 2nd star to the right)
  • the golden star -headpiece, also for P's
  • the flowery dress for L's number (Schindler's List)
  • black small cardigan, also for L's
  • maybe a small scarf (-//-, but not mandatory)
  • one pair of soft ballet slippers, pink ones (or maybe 2 pairs? well... what could happen to the first ones...)
  • legwarmers, shorts and some warm-ish shirt (maybe also woollen socks, I'm too lazy to put shoes on and take them off, to put slippers on and take them off)
  • pins and hairspray, comb
  • make-up bag
  • something to drink
  • something to eat
  • something to knit (if there's spare time)
  • (Do I Really Need All Of This???)
  • (Yes.)
  • cards etc. to give to the teachers
  • camera (optional), phone (mandatory!), wallet (yes!)
  • ...and finally - lots of joy and happy spirit! I love being on stage! :)

Photo by Tristram Kenton -> http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture-professionals-network/culture-professionals-blog/2012/may/31/dance-arts-motherhood-having-children-rights