Choreographer Sami Saikkonen, composer Vellu Halkosalmi
Conductor Vellu Halkosalmi
Strive! is a dance work by choreographer Sami Saikkonen and composer Vellu Halkosalmi, combining rhythm music, concert music, modern ballet and a mean street attitude. This is the first joint production by UMO Jazz Orchestra and Pieni suomalainen balettiseurue [Small Finnish Ballet Company].
In the 45-minute composition by Vellu Halkosalmi, African rhythms, electronic club minimalism and a pinch of modern concert music combine in a hypnotic underlay to Saikkonen’s primitive take on contemporary ballet.
Strive! – without it you are either dead or already enlightened.
Pieni suomalainen balettiseurue [Small Finnish Ballet Company]
•professional company founded by dancer and choreographer Sami Saikkonen in 2010
•consists of classically trained professional dancers with an interest in Finnish contemporary dance
Sami Saikkonen (b. 1966)
•Helsinki-based dancer, choreographer, actor and director; has also appeared on TV as a jury member on Finland’s Got Talent
•member of the Finnish National Ballet 1992–2010 and began working in theatre in 1997
•best-known works for the Finnish National Ballet: Pienten joutsenten lampi (Little Swan Lake, 2005) and Jailhouse Rock (1995)
Vellu Halkosalmi (b. 1971)
•Helsinki-based composer and arranger with a particular interest in rhythm music
•significant collaborators include the WDR Big Band in Germany, sax player Jukka Perko, the Mikkeli City Orchestra, rock singer Kauko Röyhkä and the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands
•co-author with Pasi Heikkilä of a music theory textbook, Tohtori Toonika (Doctor Tonic, 2005)
Concert duration 45 minutes, no interval.