So after some thinking, I made up my mind and made my way to the The Aleksanteri theater, also known as the "Old Opera House" by locals to watch a ballet performance.
This charming XIX Cetury venue is is located near Hietalahti square and the charming Sinebrychoff park. Completed in 1879 to serve as a theater to local Russian troupes, nowadays the building is home to occasional theatrical performances and concerts. The National Theater and Opera companies moved there in 1918; the National Theater moved away soon after, but the National Opera remained at the theater until 1993, when the new Opera House was completed in Töölö. The National Ballet school also operates there.
Now, about the performance...well, that would be something else. I was mainly attracted by the fact that the performance poster showed beautiful MINNA TERVAMAKI, principal dancer with the Finnish National Ballet, in a classical pose and wearing toe shoes-(yes...DEFINITELY a plus).
With a little help from Google I found out that Miss Tervamaki joined that company in 1986 and has danced all the big classical roles. Besides, Tervamaki is quite a celebrity outside of the ballet world over here; she has taken part in ballet competitions, galas, and fashion shows. This amazonian blonde beauty has also been seen on the cover of various magazines and national commercial ads. Her partner was set to be dancer/choreographer ROBERT SHER-MACHHERNDL, director of the Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet of Colorado.
The whole performance consisted in an hour plus contemporary Pas de Deux.
Now, from the Programme notes...
"In Liquid-Space, the couple meticulously investigates extreme combinations of movement, sound and silences. Expressed through the choreographer's unique technical and musical style, the emotionally charged work juxtaposes ballet technique, pedestrian movement, and gesture. "I feel a responsibility to take bold steps, reach for new information," states the choreographer about his new work, set to minimalist electronic music by Berlin DJs Pole and Thomas Brinkmann."
"The choreography is intriguing, and I appreciate the challenge it presents at this point in my career.", also noted Tervamaki in the Programme.
Well, on the other side, poor cubanmiamiboy was-(I know, AGAIN )-lost in translation. The music was an electronic "something"-(I am really unable to describe it better)-and it would just keep repeating a couple of unpleasant sounds over and over...an over. The couple wandered around the stage doing everything and anything possible, including a fair amount of classical steps, jetes and even fouettes for her. At some point I even almost fall asleep. Embarrassing, I know...
After the performance was over, a long ovation took place, along with several curtain calls and lots of "Bravos" from the audience.
I think that, again, some cultural shock was somehow involved in my inability to appreciate the performance better.
Will be back.
"Liquid Space". A ballet performance.Aleksanteri Theater. Helsinki. 02/12
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