Skip to Content
Total duration 1 h 30 min
no intermission
7 performances
22.8.2020 – 9.9.2020
Main Stage

Absurd comedy meets energetic dance

The fast-paced and surprising COW is awash with absurd comedy, but at the same time it challenges the audience’s preconceptions about themselves and society. This striking production is an outrageous, satirical journey with no unnecessary lulls. The performance of an hour and a half packs in 12 scenes of energetic dance, which pay homage to neoclassical ballet and even the legendary dance work The Rite of Spring. At the core of everything there is, of course, a COW.

Recommended for children over the age of 7. 

Your safety is important to us

For safety reasons, only every other seat will be sold. Please maintain a 1–2 metre distance to other members of the audience. At the end of the performance, we may ask the audience to exit the auditorium in stages. This might take additional 10 to 20 minutes. Thank you for your patience!

Read more about our safety recommendations here.

Performances & Tickets

1 h 30 min
no intermission
7 performances
22.8.2020 – 9.9.2020
Main Stage
Sat 22.8.2020
at 19:00
Wed 26.8.2020
at 19:00
Sat 29.8.2020
at 19:00
Wed 2.9.2020
at 19:00
Fri 4.9.2020
at 19:00
Tue 8.9.2020
at 19:00
Wed 9.9.2020
at 19:00

"What a cow is?"

Video: T. M. Rives

Ekman tests the boundaries of ballet

The Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman, one of today’s hottest names in contemporary ballet, impressed Finnish audiences a few years back with his production Episode 31. Now, for the first time ever in Finland, the Finnish National Ballet presents a night completely dedicated to Ekman’s work.

Ekman wants his work to appeal to younger viewers, too, as he is concerned that too slow-paced and long productions will bore them. He even goes as far as to question whether we even need ballet. The German press has described Ekman as being ”as radically liberating as the cool northerly wind.”

New music and costumes by the pioneer of contemporary fashion

Originally from Sweden, composer Mikael Karlsson currently works in New York. His score will be played from a recording. Karlsson is Ekman’s trusted composer partner, who has created the music for several of Ekman’s most important works. He has also composed, for example, for contemporary opera and video games.

The costumes of the production are by the Danish Fashion designer Henrik Vibskov. The Design Museum, while hosting an exhibition of Vibskov’s work, described him as the pioneer of contemporary fashion and likened him to Gyro Gearloose, the unorthodox inventor of the Donald Duck comics. This helps explain why his imaginative visual approach is a perfect match for Ekman’s absurd productions.


“Before starting to work on any new production, I ask myself the most important question: why do we need it?”

– Alexander Ekman, choreographer


Creative team

Choreography, set design, lighting design
Alexander Ekman
Music (recording)
Mikael Karlsson
Henrik Vibskov
T.M. Rives


Mira Ollila
Jouka Valkama

A Dresden Semperoper production

Image credit: Sakari Viika / FNB and T. M. Rives / Semperoper Dresden

Order refreshments online

Afternoon Tea

Sweet and savoury treats

Choose your favourite refreshments from this season’s tasty menu. You can easily add refreshments to your shopping basket while selecting tickets in our online store.

The services of the Opera Restaurant are available before performances and during the interval. Order beforehand and avoid the queues.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a specific table for orders made via the online store. We may also seat several parties at the same table. You may be assigned a bar height table for enjoying refreshments standing up.

Stay and enjoy

Your 20% discount for Radisson Blu Hotels

Complete your experience by staying the night at a hotel. As a customer of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, you can enjoy the hospitality of Helsinki’s Radisson Blu Hotels at a special rate.

This treat-yourself-offer includes accommodation for two in the hotel of your choice in Helsinki, two glasses of sparkling wine upon arrival, and the hotel’s delicious Super Breakfast.

Explore the stylish hotels and book your favourite.