Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama: "Trickle, Green Oak"; "Reuna"
Susanna Leinonen is one of the most gifted Finnish choreographers today. Her poetic and yet precise motional expression creates a stark, aphoristic manner for the quartet of dancers in her piece “Trickle, Green Oak,” calling to mind the Japanese poetry known as haiku. The piece, created to the music of Mia Hämäläinen, is an exquisite combination of a variety of visual qualities and slow minimalist motion that joins the rugged with the beautiful in a manner that bears a distant resemblance to “Swan Lake.
The essence of this breath takingly intense piece is captured in a sculpture created by costume designer Erika Turunen, evoking a waterfall cascading from a mountain rather than an oak-tree oozing water, but the beauty of the vision is of course in the eye of the beholder. The four dancers of the Finnish National Ballet resemble the delicate swans of “Swan Lake,” having somehow wandered into a different spectacle, and the music sounds more like the heavy metal cello orchestra Apocalyptica than the work of Peter Tchaikovsky.
Jouka Valkama is another young Finnish choreographer, and dancer with the National Ballet, whose piece “Reuna” (The Ledge) portrays its characters moving in ...