The Finnish National Ballet’s spring gala, For the love of dance, is a glorious ending to the spring season. It fills the stage of the Main Auditorium with highlights from the most memorable classical ballet and contemporary dance productions of the last few years. The gala culminates in the world-renowned Polina Semionova dancing an extract from ballet Don Quixote with Finnish National Ballet’s etoile Michal Krčmář. Soloists Julie Gardette and Douwe Dekkers from Norwegian National Ballet dance an extract from ballet Carmen by Liam Scarlett.
The best of classical ballet and contemporary dance
The spring gala is a spectacular joint effort by the entire Finnish National Ballet, delivering magical moments from iconic classical ballet productions like Patrice Bart’s Don Quixote and Jorma Elo’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These will be complemented by the most striking examples of neoclassical ballet and contemporary dance, including extracts from Ohad Naharin’s Minus 7 and Jyrki Karttunen’s emotional choreography to Sibelius’s iconic Valse Triste in its entirety. The students from the Finnish National Ballet School will also perform at the gala.
Guest star: Polina Semionova
The Russian star ballerina Polina Semionova was invited to join the Berlin State Ballet as a principal dancer at only 17 years of age in 2002. Since 2012, she has been principal dancer at American Ballet Theater in New York and a guest principal dancer at the Berlin State Ballet, Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich. Her guest performances have been seen at several of the world’s leading ballet companies, including the La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Ballet, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and Tokyo Ballet. Semionova holds the title of Honorary Professor at the ballet school of the Berlin State Ballet.
Soloists from Norwegian National Ballet
Julie Gardette came to The Norwegian National Ballet in 2009 and was appointed soloist in March 2017. She has danced in, among others, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Duato’s Arcangelo and Scarlett’s Firebird and Carmen, Odette and Odile in Swan Lake and Tatjana in Onegin. Originally from France, Gardette made her debut with the Ballet de Marseille and has also worked with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Ballet Zurich and the Finnish National Ballet.
After joining the Norwegian National Ballet in 2011, Dutchman Douwe Dekkers has danced the role of Lensky in Cranko’s Onegin and the role of Don Jose in Scarlett’s Carmen, solo roles in The Nutcracker and prominent roles in Scarlett’s The Firebird and Balanchine’s Symphony in C, among others. He studied at The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in his home country, and at the Royal Ballet School in London, where he graduated in spring 2011.
Krista Kosonen presents the spring gala
The spring gala of the Finnish National Ballet will be presented by the acclaimed actress Krista Kosonen. Kosonen has won the Jussi Award, Finland’s premier film industry award, for Best Actress for two years in a row. She is also a familiar face to ballet lovers, having starred as the grandmother in the ballet The Snow Queen.
The Yours with Gratitude, Kenneth gala has been renamed For the love of dance – The spring gala of the Finnish National Ballet. The new name describes the core of the Finnish National Ballet and the principal element of the gala: dance. Greve, who is leaving his role as the Artistic Director of the Ballet at the end of July, will not be present at the gala, nor will his choreographies be showcased there. He has, however, expressed a wish for the gala to take place and for the audience to experience a night to remember.
Sweet and savoury for the season
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