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New National Ballet youth ensemble

The Finnish National Ballet's announcement of a new youth ensemble has sparked the interest of hopeful young professional dancers from around the world.

Balettitanssijoita koe-esiintymässä.
Twelve hundred young hopefuls auditioned for the Finnish National Ballet's new youth ensemble. Image: Yle

The new ensemble will begin rehearsing this autumn and potential new stars auditioned in Helsinki on Saturday. About 1,200 hopefuls from across the globe applied for positions, but only twelve talented dancers will gain a place in the company.

Artistic Director Kenneth Greve is the main man behind the idea of getting a new youth troupe off the ground. Putting it together became possible when the plan was given financial backing by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

“Actually - we really need a youth company. I think it's a fantastic opportunity for young talents to come and dance in Finland. And also I think it's a fantastic thing for a country and for a house and for a National Ballet to have a youth company," says Greve.

Pressure to be on point

The pressure on young dancers is quite extreme at auditions such as this.

Feeling the tension was 20 year old French ballerina, Maud-Hélène Treille. She already has plenty of experience under her belt, but finds that auditions are always nerve-wracking. Like the job itself, they are physically and mentally taxing.

Like many young dancers, she has noticed that open positions in reputable dance companies are few and far between.

“I just saw the audition on the internet,” she said. “Because there are actually few auditions at the moment, I thought… ‘Wow! There's an audition – I'm going for it.’"

The company will showcase both local and foreign dancers and Kenneth Greve has a lot of talent to choose from.

"I have seen some really extraordinary clips, things and pictures and dancers that are already here. So I look forward to it with a great anticipation," says Greve.

The first performance of the group of dedicated youngsters will grace the stage of the National Ballet already this autumn.

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