49th Kuopio Dance Festival (13.-20.6.2018) in Eastern Finland is looking to Canada this summer. Two of the Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and Compagnie Marie Chouinard, are featuring in the main programme. The premiere will be by the Finnish Carl Knif. This year the Festival will last eight days concluding in the amazing Chinese performance.
Kuopio Dance Festival is the oldest and largest dance festival in Nordic Countries. It was founded in 1970 and is held in June each year. The festival presents the new trends in the world of dance. For one week you can see international dance stars, as well as the best Finnish talent. The festival week consists of about 100 different proposal, dance courses, open-air event, artist interviews, square dances and other auxiliary programs. Kuopio Dance Festival´s Artistic Director is an artist Professor Jorma Uotinen.
– Such an extensive festival programme has been facilitated by the support from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Veikkaus Oy & the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as many more associates and volunteers. The Festival week will encompass more than a hundred shows, courses and fringe events, says event’s executive director Anna Pitkänen.
Canadian leading contemporary dance companies
Canada’s leading contemporary dance groups, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and Compagnie Marie Chouinard, will perform in Kuopio.
The latest piece by Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Dance Me, an homage to Leonard Cohen and his music, was premiered in Canada in December. The world-famous triptych by the Dutch renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, will be brought to life through dance by Compagnie Marie Chouinard. The Garden of Earthly Delights transitions from the Garden of Eden via earthly delights to the horrors of Hell.
A Finnish younger generation choreographer Carl Knif will perform his premiere At Once and a Swedish dancer-choreographer Helena Franzen her retrospective solo Extended.
The stars around the world shining in the gala
The Festival atmosphere will raise to the roof when the stars around the world assemble for the gala evening. The Indian ANART kathak dance company and the French Compagnie Didier Théron will perform in the evening.
The gala will also be visited by the Montreal company with a piece from the Israeli Itzik Galili and by the Dutch Introdans, already familiar to the festival audiences.
– The gala programme will be added to during the spring, says the Artistic Director Jorma Uotinen, who will host the gala and also perform at a festival concert with pianist Jari Hakkarainen.
Program for children and young people
Children and young people will be strongly represented at this summer’s festival, including the Austrian SEAD, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Glims & Gloms Dance Theatre, dance schools, Nukketeatteri Sytkyt, dance courses and open-air events.
On the final day of the festival, Shanghai Empireast Culture Group will dazzle the city theatre, combining traditional drums, dance and acrobatics. The group’s appearances have included the World Expo, Olympics, a Disney opening event and President Xi’s events. The Chinese visit will be brought to the festival by the twinned cities of Shanghai-Pudong and Kuopio.