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Explosions of colour and lights

Visuality and an abundance of colour are the key concepts at the National Ballet’s new evening featuring contemporary dance. At the Valkama-Leinonen-Uotinen evening the eye rests on the harmonious grey colours in Jouka Valkama’s work and is inspired by the patches and points of colour in Jorma Uotinen’s piece.

In these first premieres – Valkama’s Reuna and Uotinen’s Colours – the visuality and music are almost the main focus while the innovation of the movement takes a back seat.

This is not true however of Susanna Leinonen’s Trickle, Green Oak, which received its first premiere in 2003. This was, not just to my eye but also my mind and emotions, the highlight of the evening.

The work is touching in its beauty, which is not born of a mass of different kinds of elements but rather controlled austerity and powerful yet simple aesthetic.

The four dancers have internalised Leinonen’s movement, which is a cross between ballet and contemporary dance, wonderfully well.

Well-aligned leg-lifts are followed by the movement of the entire back: the upper back rolls up, hands make grotesquely warped turns and the rhythmically and musically skilful movement adheres to the accents of Mia Hämäläinen’s composition.

The atmosphere is magical and takes us to mythological creatures and phenomena, power animals and the source of all life, a massive oak tree. Trickle, Green Oak is a fantastic piece, and it’s wonderful to see it back in the repertoire again.