September 27, 2017 - New York, NY

Tero Saarinen Company   Embarks on 2017-18 North American Tour Seven Cities Across the U.S. and Canada

  • North American premiere of Morphed, with music by Esa-Pekka Salonen, includes week-long engagement at The Joyce in NYC


  • World Premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, at Walt Disney Concert Hall


  • Tero Saarinen to perform new duet with revolutionary accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen. World premiere at Grand Théâtre de Québec followed by a week-long engagement in Montreal, programmed by Danse Danse


Finland’s Tero Saarinen Company, one of Europe’s leading contemporary dance companies, will embark on a North American tour across the United States and Canada, opening in October 2017 with the North American premiere of Mr. Saarinen’s Morphed, with music by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The tour will continue in January 2018 with a world premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, and will conclude with a world premiere duet performed by Tero Saarinen and avant-garde accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen in Quebec City and Montreal in April 2018.


Tero Saarinen has had a distinguished international career both as a dancer and a choreographer.  He began his career as a dancer at the Finnish National Ballet, went on to study traditional Japanese dance and Butoh, and worked with internationally renowned choreographers.  He is considered on the most significant dancers of his generation. He has choreographed more than 40 works which have won wide international acclaim and have been performed by many international dance companies, including Nederlands Dans Theater, Batsheva Dance Company, Lyon Opéra Ballet and the National Dance Company of Korea.


Saarinen is known for his insightful fusions of classical music and contemporary dance and his unique movement technique which plays with balance and off-balance. Influences ranging from Butoh and martial arts to classical ballet and Western contemporary dance can be seen in his style. His works, are characteristically total artworks: combinations of unique choreography, strong performers, striking visuals, and often, live music.


Morphed          October 4 – 28, 2017


Morphed (2014), a North American premiere, showcases a diverse group of seven male dancers bursting with virile energy and strength, as themes of sensuality and the abundant emotions and artistry of a man dancing, are explored.  Morphed is set to the cutting-edge music of Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, which much like Saarinen’s captivating choreography ranges from boldly aggressive to meditatively minimalistic. The work has received acclaim from audiences and critics in 10 countries and across Europe and Asia and features scenic and lighting design by Bessie Award-winner Mikki Kunttu, and edgy costumes by Finnish fashion designer Teemu Muurimäki (Marimekko, Giorgio Armani).  

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, where the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations have allowed people all over the world to step inside the orchestra through audio and video projections. Salonen also drove the development of a much-hailed app for iPad, The Orchestra, which gives the user unprecedented access to the internal workings of eight symphonic works.  As the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he is now Conductor Laureate, Salonen was instrumental in opening the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall and made the orchestra one of the best attended and funded in the country. He is currently Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic and Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. In 2015, he addressed the Apple Distinguished Educator conference on the uses of technology in music education, and his Violin Concerto was featured in an international campaign for iPad.


World Premiere          January 19 – 21, 2018

The Los Angeles Philharmonic ventures into new territory with this commissioned dance work, a groundbreaking fusion of visuality, live music and dance, featuring Tero Saarinen Company soloist dancers and the U.S. premiere of composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Cello Concerto en forme de pas de trois (1966), interpreted by cellist Robert DeMaine.  Susanna Mälkki, Principal Guest Conductor, directs this world premiere at the Frank Geary-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Tero Saarinen’s creative team includes long-time collaborators, lighting designer Mikki Kunttu and costume designer Erika Turunen.


Susanna Mälkki, a much sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, is beginning her inaugural season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and was named 2017 Conductor of the Year by Musical America. Her versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony and chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and opera houses around the world.  She is Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Previously she held the position of Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain and Artistic Director of Stavanger Symfoniorkester.


Breath          April 12 – 18, 2018

Live music, dance and visuals intertwine to create wild forms and mythical images – infused by Samuel Beckett-inspired existentialism and absurd humor. In this world premiere duet, Tero Saarinen and Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen take measure of each other on stage, composing a power web of sound and movement, with a striking visual setting designed by Mikki Kunttu, costumes by fashion designer Teemu Muurimäki and sound design by Pohjonen’s long-time collaborator Tuomas Norvio. Breath will receive its world premiere Grand Théâtre de Québec followed by a week-long engagement in Montreal, programmed by contemporary dance presented Danse Danse.


April 12                    Grand Théâtre de Québec, Quebec City

April 17 – 21            Place Des Arts, Montreal, Canada


Kimmo Pohjonen is known as a revolutionist of accordion music. With his custom made electrified and MIDI-fied instrument, as well as different voices, lights, sounds and other effects, he creates captivating performance experiences. A visionary of boundless energy, Pohjonen’s roots go back forty years in all forms of accordion music including folk, dance, classical, rock, experimental, theater music and more, He studied at the progressive and innovative Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department, and has toured the world performing at over 600 international festivals and venues such as BAM Next Wave, Sydney Festival, the WOMAD, Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Proms at Royal Albert Hall London, to name a few.


About Tero Saarinen Company

Founded in 1996 by Finnish dancer and choreographer Tero Saarinen, Tero Saarinen Company has established itself as one of Europe’s leading contemporary dance troupes. The Company has captivated audiences and critics in 40 countries on six continents, including at prestigious venues such as BAM and The Joyce in New York, Chaillot and Châtelet in Paris, and the Royal Festival Hall in London.  Coinciding with its North American activities, the Company’s 2018 season will open with performances at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.


Tero Saarinen Company has won international acclaim and loyal audiences for Saarinen’s unique movement and choreographic vision, for strong individual performers, exquisite visual design and, often, live music performed by renowned musical collaborators.  It is committed to promoting a humane worldview and basic human values through the language of dance, while also increasing people’s understanding of their own physicality and its significance for a good life.


Tero Saarinen Company’s core activities also include running an international teaching program and community outreach projects. In addition, Saarinen and his team collaborate with other prominent dance groups; Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT1), the Batsheva Dance Company, The National Dance Company of Korea, Lyon Opéra Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet, to name but a few, have featured Saarinen’s works in their repertoires. The group is the resident company of the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki and is supported by Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture and The City of Helsinki. The group is the resident company of the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki and is supported by Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture and The City of Helsinki.


For more information about Tero Saarinen Company’s 2017-18 North American Tour, visit

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2017-18 TOUR DATES


October 4,5           National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada

October 13             62 Center for Theatre & Dance, Williamstown, U.S.

October 18 – 22    The Joyce Theater, NYC

October 27 – 28    Vancouver Playhouse, Vancouver, Canada


World Premiere with LA Philharmonic

January 19 – 21, 2018


April 12                Grand Théâtre de Québec, Quebec City

April 17 – 21        Place Des Arts, Montreal, Canada