In recent years I've noticed that I tend to prefer contemporary dance to classical ballet, which often irritates or bores me, although good music may salvage much, as in Swan Lake. Taking only the dancing and choreography into account, I prefer contemporary. Still, there are people who like even Giselle.

Last November I saw Top Choreographers Come Together with Rim by Jouka Valkama, Trickle, Green Oak by Susanna Leinonen, and Colours by Jorma Uotinen. Rim had a promising start, but then it got into the usual adolescent angst and relationship stuff. What really disappointed me was the singing. I realised that what I like about contemporary dance is that there is "something just beyond comprehension", and singing with words is just too easy to comprehend. But as far as the actual dancing went it was very good. A thickly made up youngish woman said during the remission: "This is real dancing, Uuden Kuun Tanssit (a festival of contemporary dance) is just entertainment." Trickle, Green Oak on the other hand was really beyond my comprehension. I just wasn't interested. Colours, I suppose, was on the whole the best. Only the music, Kimmo Pohjonen's Kalmukkisinfonia, dominated my experience so totally that at times I was completely blind to what was happening on the scene. But if one just let it go as it was without analysing or trying to pay attention to any special part, it was a good experience. There was nothing predictable or obvious in this performance.

Nordic Dimensions I saw yesterday wasn't too bad, although I had hoped for even more. The first, 91°N by Jouka Valkama was quite good, in the dark romanticism of a container dystopia. The music by Toni Wirtanen was mostly very interesting noise, unfortunately his background in lighter music showed in the parts with guitar or singing. The second, Walking Mad by Johan Inger was fun, and it was the first time I heard Ravel's Bolero live (a shameful secret: I like it). Unfortunately they had saved the worst for last last. Suite Murder by Jorma Elo to the music of Bernard Herrmann had been much praised by the media, but I found it disconnected, dispersed, lacking in intensity... and unfortunately the music missed the original films.

But classical ballet can be good, too. The 2004 Alexei Ratmansky / Copenhagen version of Anna Karenina with music by Rodion Shchedrin I saw in February 2007 was quite nice although a little bland, but of course, also new. Another literary contemporary ballet that I liked was The Seagull in Spring 2006, far from bland.