Finland’s largest cultural festival opens its doors next week

Finland’s largest cultural festival opens its doors next week

The Helsinki performing arts festival – Finland’s largest cultural event of its kind – opens its doors next Friday, 20 August.

Running until September 5, the festival has a mix different performances and art on its schedule, including dance, art and film and different genres of music. This year’s festival boasts a host of international debuts and unique ensembles.

Dance fans can see especially-commissioned work for Finnish performers by renowned American choreographer Deborah Hay, as well as Brazilian Bruno Beltrao’s new take on the hiphop genre. There will also be acrobatics from the French new circus ensemble Les Colporteurs, who will be performing a tightrope show at their very own big top at Suvilahti.

As for theatrical productions, the theme for this year is ‘storytelling’, which will be showcased by 12 international theatre ensembles and the annual Finnish Case theatre review.

Magdalena Kozena – the internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano from Czech Republic – will also be making her Finland debut with the added treat of a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Songstress Martha Wainwright will also be attending, singing the songs of Edith Piaf rather than her usual mix of folk and rock.

For children, there is a circus and the anniversary of the recording of the first ever Finnish children’s record will be marked at the Huvila festival tent – one of the main areas of the festival – while the Theatre d’Illusia’s lavishly-staged multi-lingual show will sweep school-age children off to explore the history of the Middle East.

The Night of the Arts also promises to be a spectacular event which takes over Helsinki on Friday 27 August.

For more information see

MORE FINLAND: our pick of the best places to go and where to stay

HELSINKI: our guide to Finland’s capital

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