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Donald Hutera sifts through the Finnish Festival´s eclectic offerings

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No Arena dance gave me greater pleasure than Susanna Leinonen´s Babolat. This piquant female quintet, only her second work, expands upon the promise that was evident in her women´s trio No One, Just Your Friend. There Leinonen used curving gesture as commentary on the vindictive nature of gossip and social ostracism. Here she slyly scrutinises the feminine image, how it´s learned and displayed. In harem-style outfits she and four other fluid neo-odalisques work through sinuous, filigreed movement flecked with classicism. I enjoyed equally the way Leinonen´s movement travelled in each body and led my eye across a stage canvas lit primarily with pop polka dots. Set to a terrific soundtrack (Middle Eastern rock, Mozart meets bhangra, Saint-Saens), the piece is witty and knowing about its own sensuality. It may be the sole festival dance I wasn´t ready to see end, and one I would have readily watched again immediately.
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Donald Hutera
Dance Europe February 2002