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!

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