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Ballet meets Radiohead in Mikkeli

A dance festival brings Eastern European stars to eastern Finland -- as well as music by the English rock band Radiohead.

Slovenian Mariborin valtionbaletti
Dancers from the Slovenian National Theatre Maribor will visit Mikkeli in October. Image: Savcor Ballet

Ukrainian ballet superstar couple Denis and Anastasia Matvienko, known for their work with St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky and Mariinsky theatres, will bring some glitz to Mikkeli in eastern Finland this autumn.

The real-life couple, who had a child earlier this year, will dance the lead roles in Don Quixote. The couple are working on the piece with Romanian-born choreographer Edward Clug, leader of the Slovenian National Theatre Maribor.

This production of Don Quixote, which premiered last season at the Maribor in north-eastern Slovenia, has been slimmed down to fit the smaller Mikaeli theatre in Mikkeli. There will be three performances as part of the Savcor Ballet festival, which runs from October 18 to 20.

In the ballet version, the main characters of the Cervantes classic play smaller roles. This retelling focuses on the love story of an innkeeper’s daughter, Kitri, and a young barber named Basilio. The choreography is based on the classic 1869 staging by Marius Petipa, updated by contemporary Polish choreographer Krzysztof Nowogrodzki.

There will also be matinee performances of the modern ballet Radio & Juliet. Choreographed by Clug, the work re-imagines Shakespeare’s tragedy, setting it on today’s Israeli-Palestinian border. The work features the music of British experimental rock band Radiohead.

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