Tero Saarinen

Dancer-choreographer Tero Saarinen (born 1964) began his career as a dancer at the Finnish National Ballet in 1985, where he soon gained attention as a soloist. Despite his success, he left the ballet in 1992 to search for new influences from contemporary dance from Western Europe and Japan, where he studied traditional Japanese dance and Butoh from 1992 to 1993.Even though Saarinen's work displays features of classical ballet, butoh and Western contemporary dance, he has managed to create a unique style of his own. In his work, sensitivity of thought is combined with a refined grotesqueness of movement and a clarity of texture.

Saarinen founded his own group, Company Toothpick, in 1996 as a canvas for his own choreographic work. In 2002 the company changed its name into Tero Saarinen Company. The repertoire of the company consists mainly of Saarinen's choreographies, but it also displays solos that have been created for him by other choreographers, such as Carolyn Carlson, Jorma Uotinen and Murray Louis.

Saarinen has also made choreographies for numerous other major companies, such as The Batsheva Dance Company, Ballet Gullbenkian, the Lyon Opéra Ballet, the Gothenburg Opera Ballet, the Nurenberg Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet.

Saarinen has received several acknowledgements for his work as an artist. Most recently, in 2001, he was awarded the Finland Prize, the most prestigious recognition given to artists in Finland.
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