The Finnish National Ballet will go on tour to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan in April 2017, with six performances at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo on 22–25 April and two performances in Osaka on 29–30 April.
“We are proud to have been invited, as this is the FNOB’s first-ever visit to Japan. Only the best performing ensembles in the world are invited to Japan, and audiences there are ballet connoisseurs, so we are extremely honoured,” says Kenneth Greve, Artistic Director of the National Ballet.
Finnair, a leading Nordic airline, is the Finnish National Ballet’s partner for the Japan tour. The tour forms part of the official celebrations for the centenary of Finland’s independence.
Nearly half of the members of the FNB, about 40, will go on the tour. The programme will include a gala performance featuring extracts from the FNB’s foremost productions, such as Swan of Tuonela by Imre Eck to music by Sibelius and scenes from Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Ballet Pathétique by Jorma Uotinen. The gala opens with a Moomin ballet lasting under an hour, Moomin and the Magician’s Hat, specifically designed for the Japan tour, based on Tove Jansson’s book Trollkarlens hatt (Finn Family Moomintroll). This new work will be choreographed by Kenneth Greve to music by Tuomas Kantelinen. The production has costumes by Erika Turunen and sets by Anna Kontek.
“We wish to show Japanese audiences what a wide range of competence the FNB has, and the gala programme contains both contemporary dance and classical ballet, not forgetting Finnish themes. The Moomin characters are an essential part of Finland’s image abroad, which is why we are including an entire Moomin ballet customised for Japanese audiences,” says Greve about the programming.
Character on the picture: © Moomin Characters™