The Afternoon of a Faun – La Petrushka

Afternoon of a Faun | photo: Jussi Pakkala | in the photo: Sanna

Celebrating its ten years in the Finnish dance scene Kekäläinen & Company looks back in time. The coming spring performances celebrate K&C’s own history and also dance history in the spirit of Vaslav Nijinsky.

The Afternoon of a Faun was originally commissioned from Kekäläinen & Company in 1996 by Kuopio Dance Festival. Mika Backlund, one of the founding members of Kekäläinen & Company, danced as the faun. Now ten years after Sanna Kekäläinen choreographs a version for herself.

The Afternoon of a Faun (1912) was ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky’s debut as a choreographer. The choreography was based on Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem and on Claude Debussy’s composition. In her work Kekäläinen uses the composition of Debussy, but the theme and some of Nijinsky’s motifs are interpreted from a contemporary perspective.

La Petrushka is Sanna Kekäläinen’s new interpretation for three female dancers of the classical ballet of Petrushka. In her work Kekäläinen has studied the concept of envy. She tries to outline this complex emotion in the relations between women and their life in our world.

Petrushka was first made into a ballet in 1911 by the famous Russian ballet company, Ballets Russes. The music was composed by Igor Stravinsky and the role of Petrushka was danced by Vaslav Nijinsky. The story of the ballet is about a puppet theatre and its three puppets Petrushka, the Moor and the Ballerina. In the story the puppets come to life, they feel and experience strong human emotions such as love, anger and envy. The story culminates in the death of Petrushka. However Petrushka’s spirit is immortal and he appears above the scenery to grimace to the world.

Afternoon of a Faun
Choreography and dance: Sanna Kekäläinen
Music: Claude Debussy
Text: Kari Hukkila

La Petrushka
Choreography: Sanna Kekäläinen
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Dance: Lilja Lehmuskallio, Tiia Vainonen, Agnese Vanaga

Lights: Jarkko Lievonen
Visualisation: Taina Relander
Production: Kekäläinen & Company
Premiere: 22.4. at 19, K&C Tila, Cable Factory Tallberginkatu 1 C , 4th floor.
Performances: 26/27/28.4. and 3/5/6/8/9/11/12/13.5 at 19 and also 24.4 and 2.5. at 14

Afternoon of a Faun visited:
Mobile Dance -programme / IETM Helsinki, November 2006
X International Dance Theatres Festival, Lublin, Poland, November 2006
Tanz ist-festival, Dornbirn, Austria. June 2009

Afternoon of a Faun | photo: Jussi Pakkala | in the photo: Sanna

La Petrushka | photo: Jussi Pakkala | in the photo: Agnese Vanaga, Lilja Lehmuskallio

La Petrushka | photo: Jussi Pakkala | in the photo: Agnese Vanaga, Tiia
Vainonen, Lilja Lehmuskallio