Over the decades, the Finnish National Ballet has always aimed to bring ballet closer to the people, beyond the walls of the Opera House. To prompt new audiences to discover the genre, productions have been created specifically for children, and school classes have been invited to watch dress rehearsals.
Many dancers of the Finnish National Ballet grew into choreographers over the years, continuing their careers as either choreographers for their own dance company, the Finnish National Ballet, or abroad. The first time this happened was before the wars at the turn of the 1940s. Saxelin and Sylvestersson promoted
In the 2000s, the Finnish National Ballet has been seeking novel solutions for young dancers to find work. In 2008, the Finnish National Ballet took 11 young dancers into apprenticeship training. Six years later in 2014, the Youth Company was established.
At the beginning of 2020, life was carrying on as usual at the ballet and the rest of society. At the same time, the news told of a new coronavirus that had originated in Wuhan in China, with fears of it spreading around the world. It wasn’t long until the first cases were found in Europe.
"When I was 11, I started to wear pointe shoes more regularly, and as soon as the following year I danced in a ballet competition in pointe shoes. It felt wonderful and weightless but also painful. I love dancing en pointe, though, and pointe shoes immediately became an integral part of me", 1st soloist dancer Violetta Keller tells about her relationship with pointe shoes.
"I like dancing barefoot, as I enjoy moving like that. In summer, too, I take my shoes off whenever I can. When I dance ballet, my aim is to have good traction with the floor. I wish that one day someone would still develop a ballet shoe that felt just like a sock", says 1st soloist dancer Tuukka Piitulainen.
"When I was at ballet school, I had one pair of shoes to wear for several months. Those shoes were totally destroyed. When I became a professional, I came to understand the importance of the shoes, which are a principal tool for me." Principal dancer Jun Xia tells about his thoughts on the importance of ballet shoes.