← Back

Susanna Leinonen’s poetic clarity

Leinonen, who began with classical dance, is one of Finland’s most promising new contemporary dance-makers. She first attracted international attention several years ago with her first work. The ballet certainly made the right decision when it commissioned a new work from her. Leinonen’s piece has a poetic title and the entire work has a highly poetic style. Trickle, Green Oak is characterised by a quality of brightness and clarity that brings to mind an epiphany. It is enchantingly mystical, and the mise-en-scene is simply amazing. It is dominated by a hanging, white cloth sculpture against a black backdrop that is reminiscent of frozen water. In relation to it, the four female dancers look like small creatures in their feathery white tutu dresses. Their parallel, highly ritualistic dance sequences, which are partly in unison, are like cranes dancing on the icy marsh. Leinonen’s movement language is live and expressive, bringing together small changes and clear forms. Tension is created by an artistic juxtaposition of fragility and strength that brings nature to mind. More tension is created between the beauty of the movement and its grotesque characteristics. In this way it resembles the butoh aesthetic. Movement sequences develop in lucid, focused and surprising ways from beginning to end. Mia Hämäläinen’s diverse sound tape, Erika Turunen’s costumes and Olli-Pekka Koivunen’s dramatic lighting contribute to the creation of this impressive whole art work.

Jan-Peter Kaiku
Dance journal 1/2004