Misc News

Danish dancer nominated for director post at National Ballet

Greve, who is 39, has previously worked as a dancer with, among others, the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theater, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Vienna State Opera Ballet. He currently works with the Danish Royal Ballet in Copenhagen, where he has worked as Principal Dancer since 1992 and Ballet Master since 2006.

The Board will take its final decision on November 14th. If Greve is indeed appointed as the National Ballet’s Artistic Director, he will start working in Helsinki at the beginning of August, 2008.

Video of Kenneth Greve performing with the Danish Royal Ballet

Finnish National Ballet (at the Finnish National Opera)

Danish Royal Ballet

Misc News

Finnish musicians get “humiliating” treatment at U.S. airport

The ordeal took place on the 13th of September after Karjalainen and fellow musicians Ninni Poijärvi and Mika Kuokkanen had arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a three week tour through the U.S. states of Minnesota and Michigan, including meetings with Finnish-Americans and performances at Finnish-American cultural events. They were joined by Finnish documentary filmmaker Erkki Määttänen, who was making a TV programme about the visit for Finnish public broadcaster YLE.

“Humiliating” treatment

The four were stopped by customs officials and interrogated for nearly three hours. “The treatment was bad,” Karjalainen told Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat. “’Don’t lie to us’, they yelled at us all the time.”

The Finns were each taken to separate rooms for questioning. Their luggage was checked by sniffer dogs. “First they suspected drugs. Then crime registers were asked for, “, said the singer, who described the actions of the officials as “supremacy“ and “humiliating“.

The questioning focused on whether or not the group came to earn money in the United States, while they were entering the country without work permits.

Threats, accused of lying

"They threatened us with severe punishments if we talk to each other," the Star Tribune quoted from the complaint that was signed by musicians Ninni Poijärvi and Mika Kuokkanen, "Through the walls, I can hear officers yelling, screaming. They ask about the purpose of our trip — except we are only allowed to give yes-or-no answers. I try to talk about our plans to meet with Finnish-American folk musicians. Nobody listens. They interrupt me constantly and they yell, 'You are a liar!"'

Filmmaker Määttänen told of similar experiences in the room he was kept in. "From the beginning, they said I was lying, that these guys were coming here to work. They were shouting at me, and people were going in and out of doors. They tried to put you down mentally, to humiliate you."

No apology

The Finns were released after nearly three hours, without any explanation or apology, according to the complaint.

A press officer for the regional Customs and Border Protection office in Chicago, who had not seen the complaint yet, told in a reaction that if such behaviour had indeed occurred, it would be against the agency’s policy and thoroughly investigated.

J. Karjalainen is one of Finland’s most popular singer-songwriters and a well-known devotee of Finnish-American folk music. Last year he released Lännen Jukka, Amerikansuomalaisia lauluja (Jukka of the West, Finnish-American songs), a collection of Finnish-American blues songs and a tribute to his musical mentor. The album was widely considered one of the best Finnish recordings of 2006.

Minnesota's Finnish guests find a rude airport welcome – Star Tribune

J. Karjalainen – official label site (in Finnish)
Lännen Jukka – official album website (in Finnish)

J. Karjalainen records classic Finnish-American songs – Helsingin Sanomat International Edition
Jukka Karjalainen "Channels" Old Country Blues… – New World Finn

Misc News

Discover Giotto, the first great Italian master painter, in Annantalo

Sculptor and architect Giotto di Bondone
(c.1267-1337) is considered not only as one of the first Italian, but one of
the first European master painters that would have a great impact on future
generations. All around the chapel, you can assist to their images where joys,
pain, betrayal, good or evil are depicted always in a religious environment;
All involved in the painter’s characteristic blue background.


Useful Information:

Annantalo Arts Centre

Street address: Annankatu 30 Helsinki


Exhibition: The perfect circle of a master –
Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel in

18 August – 4 November 2007-10-28

Free admission.

The exhibition is open to the public
1-8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Open to groups Mon.-Fri 9 a.m.-1 p.m., advance notification requires as of 20 August by phone.

tel. +358 9 310 37168 (weekdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.).

Art Exhibitions

Tales from Denmark

{mosimage}This autumn’s
main exhibition at Ateneum museum travels to Denmark and brings an overview of
Danish 19th-century art. Starting from the Golden Age, it presents 90 works from major Danish artists including C.W.
Eckersberg, Christen Købke, J.Th. Lundbye, P.C. Skovgaard, Vilhelm Hammershøi
and L.A. Ring. This is the most extensive collection of Danish Golden Age art
ever seen in Finland. Also side activities are organized: the
festival of Danish music is this weekend. On the right: M.L. Nathanson's Elder Daughters Bella and Hanna (C.W. Eckersberg, 1820)

In spite of
economic depression and poverty, between 1815 and 1850 Danish art blossomed in
what it is known today as the Golden Age of Danish art. This is the time of
storyteller H.C. Andersen. Artists created skillful portrayals of their surroundings
and friends, creating warm paintings of everyday life. At that time, Danish art
differed from that of the other Nordic countries.

The exhibition
is divided into two major sections: landscapes (nature) and pictures of home
(people). Landscape painting grew in popularity in the 1830s and it made
artists participate in the making of a national identity. Artists like Thomas
felt it was their mission to “paint their beloved Denmark with all the
simplicity and modesty so characteristic of it”.

also found inspiration inside home and soon portrait painting started developing
along with the rise of a middle-class lifestyle. Among others C.W. Eckersberg
and Christen Købke emphasized family relations and the passing on of

Tales from
Denmark also extends to the art of the late 19th century, when Nordic artist
communities were created, like Skagen, which included Michael and Anna Ancher
and P.S. Krøyer. Friends at work or evening get togethers were often depicted
by these artists.

exhibition is based on Ateneum’s own collection of Danish art. In 1953, Norwegian-born
ship owner Hans Beyer Tobiesen donated 14 high-class paitings of Danish 19th-century
art. For the past years this collection has been deposited at Finland’s Embassy
in Copenhagen. Paintings from the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, the Nationalmuseum
in Stockholm and private collections completed the 90 works on show.

Tales from
is not only an art exhibition. Lectures, workshops, dance and music for
children and adults complete until the end of January four months of events.
This weekend the festival of Danish music features wind quintet Carion.

Front page painting – Evening at Skagen (Peder Severin Krøyer, 1893)

Until 27 January
Ateneum, Kaivokatu 2,
hours: Tue, Fri 9-18, Thu 9-20, Sat, Sun 11-17, Mon closed
8/6,50 euro. Free for visitors under 18.
More information:

Misc News

Mika Kaurismäki opens Brazilian restaurant

The restaurant will have a capacity of about 300 people and will offer Brazilian food, wine, beer and other drinks.

There will also be live music on offer at Bossa, starting with Brazilian music about once a week. Later on, Kaurismäki would also like to programme a wider range of music performances.

Mika Kaurismäki is the elder brother of director Aki Kaurismäki. Unlike Aki, he is especially known for his international co-productions.  During the past five years, Mika, who has lived in Rio de Janeiro since the early nineties, has delivered several films that focused on music and Brazil, such as Moro no Brasil (2002) and Brasileirinho (2005). His latest documentary, Sonic Mirror, explores different cultures through music and is centred around legendary jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham.

Mika Kaurismäki earlier co-founded the well-known Moskova and Corono bars in the centre of Helsinki. Between 1999 and 2001, he also used to run a music club in Rio de Janeiro: Mika's Bar.

Bossa will likely officially open around the 15th of November, although the bar side of the restaurant will be taken into use already some time earlier.


Watching the sound – FREE!'s interview with Mika Kaurismäki 

Mika Kaurismäki – Official website

Misc News

Next Bond theme by Ville Valo?

According to Daily Star columnist Kim Dawson, long-time Bond soundtrack writers Don Black and David Arnold have dumped British singer Amy Winehouse as their favourite to record the next 007 theme and now want Valo instead.

The Finnish rock singer was approached by the Bond team during a dinner at the BMI Awards in London on Tuesday (16.10), the tabloid’s columnist claimed. Valo attended the ceremony to collect an award for HIM’s hit song Wings of a Butterfly.

“David Arnold and Don Black were in deep conversation with Ville on the night,” Dawnson quoted a source she referred to only as ‘a slightly shaken but not stirred BMI spy’. “They love the song that won him an award. They think he has just the right ear to write a classic Bond hit with them.”

HIM manager Seppo Vesterinen only heard of the claims when he was asked for his comments by a Finnish journalist. “If the matter would have been under discussion, I would presume that I would know about it,” Vesterinen told STT from the United States.

HIM is currently on tour in North America. Earlier this year, Valo recorded Summer Wine, the soundtrack of German film Das Wilde Leben (2007), with Polish-born German actress Natalia Avelon.

The spy who shoved me – the column by Daily Star columnist Kim Dawson

HIM – official website
HIM – MySpace

Summer Wine – by Ville Valo & Natalia Avelon (YouTube)

Misc News

New Finlandia prize for comics

The prize is partially funded by the City of Tampere‘s Luova Tampere (Creative Tampere) programme.

The winner of the prize is chosen in the same way as the receiver of its big namesake, the prestigious Finlandia Prize for Literature. Every year, the Tampere Kuplii comics association will name a selection committee that will choose a maximum of ten candidates from all the submitted comic works. The committee will then appoint a person who will make the final selection from the nominated works.

Anyone can propose a Finnish or Swedish language comic album from Finland for the prize. Also works in other languages will be taken into consideration by the committee.

The first Sarjakuva Finlandia will be presented on the 20th of April during the 2008 edition of the Tampere Kuplii (Tampere is bubbling) comics festival.

Sarjakuva Finlandia (in Finnish only)

Tampere Kuplii (mostly in Finnish)

Misc News

Fox days in Andorra

total, the festival will show 154 different films, (chosen from the
316 sent to the competition), that will compete to get the classical
prize Hinku and Vinku,
consisting of a picture and flowers for the winners. The prizes are
given for those considered as the best in fiction and documentaries,
with the categories sub-divided between professionals and amateurs.
As well, short films of less than three minutes of duration are shown
for the FoxOff competition, being the subject of the present year
“temptation”. Kari Yli-Annala will be on charge also of
choosing the best experimental film during the festival.

Fox Days the visitors will have the chance also to see
a selection of the best music videos from the past Oulu festival, and
a review of the films made in other Nordic countries in the “Nordisk
Panorama” screenings. Other topics that acquire importance during
this year is the region of Karjala with Iris Olsson´s
film Kesän lapsi and KJ Kosken´s Unerlmana Karjala,
or the problems of the teenagers when growing up and facing adult’s
life in the films Heavy Metal by Zaida Bergrothin, Elää
by Reeta Aallon and Lilli by Oliwia Tonteri.


Kettupäivät. 7.-10.11.2207
Andorra cultural centre (Eerikinkatu 11. Helsinki)
for 1 screening: 3 euro.
for 10 screenings: 20 euro.
more information visit:


Misc News

Extensive Helene Schjerfbeck retrospective in Paris

The presentation, organised by the Hamburger Kunsthalle, is the first ever retrospective of Schjerfbeck’s art in France. It contains 125 paintings, watercolours and drawings as well as documentary material.

Helene Schjerfbeck (1862 – 1946) is one of the most acclaimed female painters from Northern Europe, and her unique, ascetic yet expressive style is drawing a lot of attention from outside Finland. Earlier, the exhibition already attracted nearly 200,000 visitors at the Gemeentemuseum at The Hague and the Kunsthalle in Hamburg.

The art on show in Paris is on loan from Helsinki’s Ateneum Art Museum and other museums in Finland and Sweden, as well as from private collections. Key works in the exhibition are The Convalescent (1888) and The Seamstress (1905) as well as Schjerfbeck’s imposing self-portraits, particularly those from her later years that approach the issues of ageing in a very bold and straightforward way.

The Helene Schjerfbeck exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne runs until the 13th of January, 2008.


Helene Schjerfbeck, a modernist observer of life – Virtual Finland

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (in English)

Misc News

Director Rauni Mollberg dead

Mollberg also worked as a radio and TV drama director with Finnish public broadcasting company YLE for nearly forty years. Between 1968-1986 he was the director of the theatrical department of YLE TV2.

Mollberg had been suffering from leukaemia for the past four years. He
passed away in a health centre in Loimaa, western Finland, on Thursday
morning (11.10.2007).

Rauni Mollberg – Wikipedia
Rauni Mollberg – Internet Movie Database (IMDB)

The Unknown Soldier (1985 film) – Wikipedia

Misc News

Nightwish Nummer Eins in Germany

In Sweden the group currently stands at number 4, in Austria, the Netherlands and Greece at 5 and in Norway at number 7 of the official album charts.

In the UK, the album entered at number 25, a fact many newspapers and on line media in Finland have found worth dedicating separate articles to.

In their home country Finland, Dark Passion Play sold double platinum in record time and  went straight to the top of the album chart. Nightwish’s latest single "Amaranth" also tops the Finnish singles list.

The album has done less well in Belgium, Poland and Ireland, where it entered the charts at 36, 50 and 62 respectively.

The band from Kitee, southeast Finland, kicked off their first world tour with vocalist Annette with a sold-out concert in Tel Aviv last Saturday (6.10.2007). Next Monday the group will start the North-American leg of the tour in Springfield, USA.

Nightwish – official website

Misc News

And the Nordic Council Film Prize goes to… Denmark

Kunsten at græde i kor, Schønau Fog’s directoral debut, tells about an 11-year-old boy’s attempts to keep his dysfunctional family together. The prize money will be shared between the director, scriptwriter Bo hr Hansen and the film’s producer, Thomas Stenderup.

The prize will be presented on the 31st of October during the annual session of the Nordic Council in Oslo.

Although member countries Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland can each choose two candidates for the Film Prize, the Finnish jury decided to only send in one film this year as it found Miehen Työ the clear candidate and couldn’t find another equally strong domestic film.

Earlier this year, Miehen Työ was also submitted as Finland’s selection for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and for the European Film Awards.

The Nordic Film Prize was awarded for the first time in 2002. The first – and so far only Finnish – winning film was Aki Kaurismäki’s Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past).

Kunsten at græde i kor (The Art of Crying)

Miehen työ – Official site (in Finnish)
Miehen työ / Man's Job – Blind Spot Pictures

Nordic Council Film Prize


Miehen Työ up for Nordic film prize and Oscar


Misc News

PM Vanhanen to face former girlfriend in court

Vanhanen and (then) Kuronen had a nine-month relationship after the Prime Minister and his wife Merja had announced their divorce in April 2005. After their romance ended, Kuronen frequently appeared in the media to talk about the relationship.

In February 2007 Kuronen published her tell-all book, in which she exposed intimate details about the romance and the Prime Minister’s private life. After the publication of the exposé, Vanhanen filed a complaint against its publisher Kari Ojala with the police, who investigated the case to see if charges could be filed.

Vanhanen himself announced on Friday on his web log that his complaint had led to charges and expressed satisfaction that there would be more clarity about “where the boundary of privacy runs”.

"I want to discuss the principle at stake here,” Vanhanen said to YLE News on Sunday. “Apparently some people think that the prime minister doesn't have the courage to go to court over this, and it seems that there are no limits to what is acceptable. Now we'll see whether these limits exist.”

Susan Ruusunen and her publisher have denied that they have broken the law by publishing the book. “Our defence will leave from the freedom of speech,” Ojala said in a reaction to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. “Finns should surely continue to be able to write memoirs in which other people are mentioned.”

“But what do you do when there’s a sensitive-skinned Prime Minister,” the publisher added.

Susan Kuronen changed her last name to Ruusunen, the maidenname of her grand grandmother, earlier this year.

Misc News

Bob Geldof in Helsinki: trade vital for end to poverty

The world-famous activist also heavily criticized the ‘subsidies of surpluses’ in Europe, which, according to him, have a huge negative effect on the development of certain African countries. Geldof also stressed the importance of corporate social responsibility.

The seminar was aimed at business executives in Finland and was also attended by Finland’s President Tarja Halonen.

Watch video footage of Geldof’s speech

Misc News

HIM sets Finnish record in U.S.

In the band’s home country, Venus Doom entered at number 2 in the official album chart, where it is currently standing at number 3, behind Tuhannen riemua by Lauri Tähkä & Elonkerjuu and Eppu Normaali’s Syvään päähän.

Venus Doom has also done relatively well in album charts in Sweden (14) and Italy (20), with more moderate successes in Britain (31), Australia (32), Ireland (36), the Netherlands (36) and New Zealand (38).

HIM’s previous album Dark Light made it to number 18 in the Billboard 200 chart.