Kuopio Dance Festival
12 June 2024 – 18 June 2024 | Kuopio
The programme of the largest and most diverse dance art festival in the Nordic countries will welcome performers of the most important Finnish and international dance art of our time, including performances by students and enthusiasts in the field. A busy festival week will feature more than one hundred dance performances, courses, seminars and other events, so be sure not to miss our 55th season in the Kuopio summer sunshine!
Toiminnanjohtaja / Festival Director Salima Peippo
Phone +358 (0) 50 364 0456
Puijonkatu 27 a 14, FI-70100 Kuopio
The 1960s was the golden age of summer festivals, and various events were founded on a large scale. The idea of organizing an internationally attention-grabbing summer event also arose in Kuopio. In 1968, Lauri Siimes, conductor and music director of the Kuopio city orchestra, city manager Eino Luukkonen and theater director Aimo Hiltunen, as well as the newly elected director of the Kuopio ballet school, Elsa Sylvestersson, were involved in a brainstorming session where the idea for the Kuopio Ballet summer began.
In 1970, the first international dance festival was organized in Kuopio, then still called “Kuopio tanssii” (Kuopio Dances). The following year, the festival was renamed and the words “ja soi” (and plays music) were added to the name of the festival. At the beginning of the 70s, the idea of organizing competitions and reviews was born, and in addition, offering dance courses was an essential part of the festival. The core of the festival’s programme has remained the same for decades.
It wasn’t until 1984 that the music part of the festival was reduced and the festival began to focus almost exclusively around dance. Festival stood out from the crowd, as it was the only dance festival in the Nordics. The following years reinforced the success with great visiting performances.
What was worth noting about the festival was its internationality and wide, genre-breaking performance repertoire. The open-minded program, the appearance of high-quality visitors already in the first years, and the festival’s concept, which was refined during the first decade, quickly guaranteed the event its own place in the Finnish and international cultural field. The festival has also offered free admission programme and has tried to visibly direct the festival to wider audiences.
The week-long Kuopio Dance Festival offers a comprehensive main program this year as well as entertaining program with free admission. Various courses are also available for professionals, hobbyists and beginners. The instructors of the courses are domestic and foreign on top of their fields.
(Source: www.liikekieli.com 2007 and History of Kuopio Dance Festival).