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Ballet Finland

Ballet Finland is a professional dance company located in Helsinki, Finland. The company works under the supervision of Ballet Finland ry which is a registered association dedicated to providing possibilities for young professional dancers in Finland.

Ballet Finland: Art in progress

The company was originally founded in 2007 by Sami Saikkonen whose vision was to provide job and training opportunities to the unemployed graduates from Finnish ballet schools. Ville Valkonen followed Saikkonen as the Artistic Director in 2014. Steps towards a more professional standard in the performances were taken.

Ballet Finland: Art in progress

JOUKA VALKAMA

From 2019 dancer choreographer Jouka Valkama has taken on the artistic management of Ballet Finland. He is known for his choreographies for the Finnish National Ballet and the National Opera Ballet School. In 2011 he made a choreography for Ballet Finland called Sähkö Enkeli. He has also made a long career as a dancer at the Finnish National Ballet.

Jouka Valkama states that he is interested to see what the coming year will bring with it. He brags that the dancers of Ballet Finland are highly skilled, motivated and do their job with an uncompromising attitude. He says that there is potential in the company and that it is time for Ballet Finland to show the world what they can do!

Photo: Jouka Valkama

 

” It is with great joy and honor that I take up the duties of the Artistic Director for Ballet Finland. Dance is very intriguing but challenging at the same time. The spectator has to often use both their sight and hearing to be able to enjoy dance. And so it’s not possible to just shut your eyes to be taken merely by the music. On the other hand storytelling elements from theater and movies are often used in the art form. And so the effectiveness of dance is many times based on mental images and the feelings they bring forth. Very much like it is with music. And so it’s no wonder dance leaves space for the audience to interpret and create meanings from the performance they’ve witnessed. This is why a dance performance is always something unique for the spectator. ” – Jouka Valkama

Ballet Finland: Art in progress

We are, we live and we move dance. We want Finland to get inspired and excited about ballet as they see us perform!

Ballet Finland: Art in progress

UPCOMING EVENTS

Muuv -workshops continue to tour in schools around Finland to inspire young people to move and dance.

 

 

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ART IN PROGRESS-14

 

PAST REPERTOIRE

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Red Light Drowning

Red Light Drowning brings you a choreography made with video projections. They both dance hand in hand bringing you down to a journey of red light. How deep can you go when the creativity takes you in its controll? The choreography is made by Ville Valkonen and video materials by media artist Eetu Lipponen.

 

Art in Progress 1Seven

Seven is a piece by Ville Valkonen and it was premiered 7.11.2013 in co-operation with Tapiola Sinfonietta orchestra at Tapiola Hall, Espoo. The choreography is a tribute to the Finnish master and grand composer Jean Sibelius. Seven dancers interpret the last work of the composer, the 7th Symphony, and bring a range of emotions, beauty and flashes of the human life on stage by means of modern ballet.

 

_MG_7688Shining

Shining was the very first choreography by the artistic director Ville Valkonen. He created the piece for the dancers of Staatstheater Nürberg Ballet, where he was also working at that time. The piece was premiered in exquisite corps: young choreographers show. The Shining tells you a story of choices that makes you wish it was all just a dream. Or perhaps it is just a dream. Sometimes our feelings matter more than reality.

 

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Muuv

Audience outreach is an important part of Ballet Finland’s repertoire and at the moment the company has two different workshops they are taking to schools all around Finland. The Muuv project wants to inspire the young people to move, dance and to try new things with an open mind. During the workshop the children first see a professional performance, then learn a choreography and finally make a piece of their own, with the help of the dancers. They also get to battle each other in groups and push it to the limits. In the end they have created their own choreography and performed and competed with it. This brings the youth a huge innovation boost and shows them they can do it if they put their mind to it with a right attitude!  

So You Think You Can Muuv? -workshop has been held more than a hundred times already and the feedback from the children and the teachers has been very enthusiastic. Big Muuv is a simlar workshop, which also showcases tricking and acrobatics alongside dance. The two workshops continued on spreading the joy of moving in Finland also abroad during season 2016-2017.

 

PERSONNEL

 

Jouka Valkama

Artistic Director

Photo: Jouka Valkama

From 2019 dancer choreographer Jouka Valkama has taken on the artistic management of Ballet Finland. He is known for his choreographies for the Finnish National Ballet and the National Opera Ballet School. In 2011 he made a choreography for Ballet Finland called Sähkö Enkeli. He has also made a long career as a dancer at the Finnish National Ballet.

Ville Valkonen

Choreographer, guest dancer

Ville Valkonen graduated as a dancer from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2007. After his graduation he has danced for example with the Estonian National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and numerous theaters in England and Germany.

As a choreographer Ville started his career with the piece Shining, which was premiered in Nürnberg State Theater in 2011. His choreographing career has then continued in Finland, where he has completed numerous works for Ballet Finland, Finnish National Ballet and the Finnish National Opera Ballet School. Some of his best-known pieces are Seven (for Ballet Finland), Cluster of Flowers (for Finnish National Opera Ballet School) and So You Think You Can Muuv (a collaboration between Finnish National Ballet and Ballet Finland).

Ville joined Ballet Finland in 2012 as a dancer. In January 2014 he begun his work as the artistic director of the company, still continuing to dance and choreograph with the company. In 2018 Ville moved to Japan where he continues his career. It’s still possible to see Villes choreographies and also himself dancing from time to time in Finland.

”When I dance, my soul is free and my worries disappear. Dance is the way of expression I surrender myself for. It is an escape from the everyday life, the moment that dreams and love create.”

 

Inka Hulkko

DancerInka

Inka Hulkko started studying dance in the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2001 and graduated as a professional dancer in 2012.

Inka joined Ballet Finland after her graduation in 2012.

”I dance, because it gives me strength and opens up a door to a new world. Being on stage is the best feeling I know.”

Tuomas Hyvönen

DancerTuomas

Tuomas Hyvönen started his career as professional dancer with the Finnish National Ballet after graduating from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2007.

In 2006-2010 Tuomas danced many works by well known choreographers with the Finnish National Ballet.  During the year 2010 he danced with the Salzburg Ballet in Austria. In 2011 Tuomas moved to Germany to work as a soloist with Ballet Chemnitz (2011-2013) and Schwerin Ballett (2013-2014).

With Ballet Finland Tuomas has danced first in 2011 and again from autumn 2014 on.

”When dancing on stage I feel both light and powerful. Through dance I find a place that can’t be found any other way. That is why I dance.”

Hanna Korjus

Dancer, repetitorHanna

Hanna Korjus started dancing in Valkeakoski. She then moved to Helsinki to study with the special training program of Helsingin Tanssiopisto, and later with the Finnish National Opera Ballet School graduating as a dancer in 2006. After her graduation she continued on to study ballet with the Tallin Ballet School 2006-2007 in Estonia.

As a professional dancer she has worked as a freelance dancer in Finland in 2007-2010 and with the Chemnitz Ballet during 2010-2013 in Germany. Hanna is also a certified Somatic Pilates instructor.

Hanna has danced with Ballet Finland during 2007-2010 and again starting from autumn 2013. At the moment Hanna is also working as a repetitor for the company.

” In dance I’m fascinated by the endless possibilities to develop and by the moment when the energy of the performance is such in which I can completely throw myself into.”

Timo Korjus

DancerTimo

Timo Korjus got his dance education in the Finnish National Opera Ballet School during the years 1995-2007. He has also gained experience touring in France with Europa Dance youth company in 2005.

As a professional dancer Timo has worked with the Finnish National Ballet in 2006-2010, and again with production related contracts from 2013 on. Seasons 2010-2013 he danced as a soloist in Germany with the Chemnitz Ballet.

Timo joined Ballet Finland autumn 2013.

”I dance, because the feeling I get from being on stage I can’t find elsewhere”

Tiia Huuskonen

DancerTiia

 

Tiia Huuskonen graduated from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2007.

After her graduation Tiia worked with the Finnish National Ballet in 2007-2010. She has also danced in Swizerland with Ballet Junior de Genéve in 2010-2011 working with numerous internationally known choreographers. Starting from 2011 Tiia has danced in Finland as a freelance dancer.

Tiia joined Ballet Finland autumn 2011.

”I dance, because words are so limited. I enjoy the movement and the freedom on stage. When I’m on stage I can be anything!”

Marcus Björkbom

DancerMarcus

Marcus Björkbom started dancing with showdance and continued with ballet at the Finnish National Opera Ballet School. He graduated as a dancer 2016.

After his graduation Marcus has worked as a Freelance dancer in Finland. He has also won gold medal in the Finnish Showdance Championships i 2009 and 2010.

Marcus joined Ballet Finland in the spring 2016.

”Movement is in my DNA and I enjoy the energy that the audience gives me after a performance”

Susmita Meyer-Rochow

Dancer

Maria Beseghi

Dancer

Alina Sakko

Guest DancerAlina

 

Alina Sakko started dancing in Oulu, she then moved to Helsinki and graduated from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School as a professional dancer in 2012.

After her graduation she has worked with the Finnish National Ballet during season 2012-2013 and with the Vanemuine Theater in Tartu, Estonia during season 2013-2014 dancing soloist and corps de ballet roles.

Alina joined Ballet Finland 2015.

”For me dance is music and emotions, the most natural form of self expression and a way of life. Music moves me, and I long for the stage.”

Yuko Valkonen

Guest dancerYuko

Yuko Valkonen has studied ballet all over the world, for example in London Studio Centre and Centre d’art chorégraphique franco-japonais in France and Kawaguchi Yuriko Ballet School in Japan.

After her studies she has worked with European Ballet 2009, Vienna Festival Ballet 2012-2013 and Cork City Ballet 2014 and 2015 dancing many soloist roles.

Yuko joined Ballet Finland autumn 2016.

”When I dance on the stage,I feel so alive and free. And dance to become one with the music is one of the most amazing feelings I know.”

 

Ballet Finlandin blogi

 

International Contact information

Tuomas Hyvönen

International contact

+358 40 766 1303

tuomas.hyvonen(at)gmail.com

Ville Valkonen

International contact in Asia

+358 40 844 1196

ville.valkonen(at)balletfinland.com