One Flat Thing 004 Agathe Poupeney
Show photographer Agathe Poupeney

Lyon Opera Ballet: Forsythe I Pontvianne

  • 3 performances


  • Duration

    1 H 45 min, intermission

  • Venue

    Erkko Hall

  • Tickets

    59-31 €

  • Schedule

    Tue 30.5.2023 at 19:00

    Wed 31.5.2023 at 19:00

    Thu 1.6.2023 at 19:00

    1 h 45 min, including intermission


A rare visit to Finland by a renowned French contemporary dance and ballet company

Lyon Opera Ballet, which has opened a new chapter with its artistic director Julie Guibert, has distinguished itself particularly as a contemporary dance and contemporary ballet company. Lyon Opera Ballet not only maintains a high technical level to meet the demands of the world's most renowned choreographers, but also constantly seeks new forms of expression by commissioning works from contemporary choreographers.

Lyon Opera Ballet arrives at the Dance House Helsinki with an evening of three works by choreographer William Forsythe and Pierre Pontvianne, giving the dancers a chance to present their astonishing virtuosity.

Forsythe is one of the most influential choreographers of the late 20th century. He has been credited with​ revolutionizing ballet, and his works have become an integral part of the repertoire of ballet companies internationally.

N.N.N.N. is a quartet for four male dancers that explores the different combinations of the human anatomy — producing a counterpoint of movements and sounds, like a kind of living percussion.

One Flat Thing, reproduced, a vast abstract work, bordering on an art installation, allows Forsythe to play a game of breathtaking combinations: a choreographic fugue for 14 dancers and 20 tables.

Pierre Pontvianne is a French choreographer on the rise. He follows eclectic sources of inspiration and has developed his own choreographic language, influenced by classical ballet, contemporary dance and contemporary performance.

Intermission after the first piece BEASTS POEM. After the second piece, there will be a break of about 5 minutes for a technical change.

The performances are part of the Dance House Helsinki's series of international guests, which brings the most interesting dance groups and artists to Finland. The series is supported by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and will take place during the opening years of the Dance House Helsinki 2022–2023.

Note: To ensure good visibility to everyone, The Erkko Hall auditorium is steep. Please note that there is no lift to the upper section. Only the first row seats are fully accessible.

Ticket information

Standard ticket | 59–51 €
Discount tickets | Under 25, Students, Unemployed, Civil Servants, Conscripts: 35–31 €
Please be prepared to present a certificate entitling you to a discount.

Pensioners | 53–46 €

Professional ticket | Members of STST and SVÄV: 35–31 €. Purchase limit one ticket.

Group ticket | Minimum amount 10 persons: 50 €. For group bookings contact:

Pay What You Can | A small number of "Pay What You Can" tickets are also on sale for the performance. PWYC tickets are available at the info point, located at the Cable Factory's Glass Courtyard, and here. Read more about Pay What You Can tickets and other ticket information.

Lyon Opera Ballet

As soon as Louis Erlo became director at “Opéra Nouveau de Lyon” in1969, he gave dance a place at the heart of the organisation. For the first time, an opera house outside of Paris devoted entire events to dance and its ballet company.

Particularly invigorating for the Ballet was the opening to the world through its first directors, the Italian Vittorio Biagi, then the Yugoslav Milko Speremblek and the New Zealand Gray Veredon, who were all at the forefront of the dance avant- garde of the time.

But, as of 1985, it was Françoise Adret who gave the company a resolutely plural turn. Her mission was to give the troop a national and international dimension. She built up a repertory based on a twofold spectrum : great international choreographers at the time still up and coming (including the likes of Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato or William Forsythe) and an opportunity given to “young French dance” (Mathilde Monnier, Maryse Delente, or Angelin Preljocaj).

The company continually looks back to the history of dance, at the contemporary scene, and at what it will be tomorrow. Together with a plethora of styles and choreographers of different ages, origins and backgrounds, the strength of the Lyon Opera Ballet comes from the very absence of any particularity–unless it is just that: the highly diverse repertory as sought out by Yorgos Loukos.

Under the direction of Julie Guibert, the Lyon Opera Ballet continues to discover new areas for contemporary creation while continuing to meet the technical demands of the great choreographers. It is still finding new ways of celebrating dance, turning the spotlight on the way dancers interpret the choreography. It wants to broaden the current spectrum by providing a sensitive counterpoint to the creation of choreographic art, while giving a special place to the creation of meaning, language, voices and collaboration across different disciplines.

William Forsythe

William Forsythe has worked as a choreographer for over fifty years. His acclaimed work has reoriented ballet from the classical repertoire to a dynamic 21st century art form.

Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and then with the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed resident choreographer in 1976. In 1984 he became director of the Frankfurt Ballet, a position he held for twenty years before founding and directing The Forsythe Company until 2015.

Forsythe's deep interest in the fundamentals of organisation has led him to produce a wide range of projects, including installations, films and web-based knowledge creation.

His stage works are performed by companies around the world, and his installations are exhibited in international exhibitions and museums. Forsythe has received numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and the German Theatre Prize Der FAUST, both for lifetime achievement.

Pierre Pontvianne

Winner of the Prix de Lausanne 1999, Pierre Pontvianne has worked with various companies internationally. He also worked on a number of alternative choreographic projects before founding the company PARC in 2004 in Saint-Étienne.

Since 2012 Pierre Pontvianne’s work has been presented in a large number of international festivals (June Events, Paris, Biennale de la danse, Lyon, Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine Saint-Denis. His work has also been shown in venues such as: Comédie de Saint-Étienne, Maison de la Danse de Lyon and Théâtre de la Ville de Paris.

Pierre Pontvianne says of his own work: “I don’t merely look for meaning or surprise but rather the place where the two collide."

Pierre Pontvianne is an associate artist at l'Atelier de Paris / CDCN from 2021 to 2024.

Pierre Pontvianne - BEASTS POEM

Choreography and costumes

Pierre Pontvianne

Light design

Valérie Colas

Set design

Pierre Treille


Marie Albert, Eleonora Campello, Alvaro Dule, Caelyn Knight, Paul Gregoire, Lore Pryszo, Leoannis, Pupo-Guillen, Anna Romanova, Raúl Serrano Nunez, Merel Van Heeswijk, Paul Vezin

Text and reading

Ikram Benchrif

William Forsythe - N.N.N.N


William Forsythe


Thom Willems

Set and light design

William Forsythe


Alvaro Dule, Paul Vezin, Leoannis Pupo-Guillen, Paul Gregoire

Performed by

Lyon Opera Ballet

One Flat Thing, reproduced


William Forsythe


Thom Willems

Set and light design

William Forsythe


Stephen Galloway


Marie Albert, Jacqueline Baby, Eleonora Campello, Alvaro Dule, Brendan Evans, Paul Gregoire, Marco Merenda, Yan Leiva, Caelyn Knight, Albert Nikolli, Chiara Paperini, Raúl Serrano Núñez, Giacomo Todeschi, Anna Romanova, Maeva Lassere (cover), Edi Blloshmi (cover)

Performed by

Lyon Opera Ballet

Supported by


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