Tampere Hall and Kantelinen Company’s production, The Snow Queen ice ballet, will have its world premiere at Nokia Arena in Tampere on the 30th of December 2022. This Finnish mega production targeted at the whole family had to be postponed earlier this year. Now they announce a renewed visual look and casting. The role of the Snow Queen will be performed by the many-time European and World Championship medallist Laura Lepistö. Kiira Korpi is stepping down from the role due to a scheduling conflict.
The Snow Queen ice ballet is based on Danish Hans Christian Andersen’s (1805–1875) classic fairytale by the same name, and the new production brings together figure skaters, synchronized skaters, dancers, hockey players and professionals from many other performing arts in a never-before-seen way. This Finnish ice ballet is a globally noteworthy premiere, and has been in the works since 2019. The work’s creative team includes many top professionals, such as director and choreographer Reija Wäre, visualist and lighting designer Mikki Kunttu, scriptwriter Melissa A. Thompson, and costume designer Erika Turunen. The original score is by award-winning composer Tuomas Kantelinen.
The creative team has influenced the work along the way, and together the whole team has produced a new kind of art form. Over the past year, the marketing look has been revised to reflect the uniqueness of the production. Working on this look together with Tampere Hall have been photographer Saara Salmi and the Canadian company Thompson + Cleal. The company is ran by expert visualist Gerard Cleal and the Snow Queen’s scriptwriter and concept producer Melissa A. Thompson, who has worked as a creative director at, among others, Cirque du Soleil.
“The author, H. C. Andersen, emphasized that his fairy tales are not meant just for children but for people of all ages. With this new marketing look, we want to underline that point and welcome all-adult parties to the Nokia Arena as well. Our retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale comes with a Finnish twist, and its themes include friendship, Finnish Sisu, resilience, Nordic mysticism and a battle between good and evil. These themes, as well as the many different forms of performing arts combined in the work, are reflected in our new visual look,” says Tampere Hall’s Head of Communications and Marketing, Tiia Välimäki.
Laura Lepistö skates as the Snow Queen
The Snow Queen ice ballet will have five performances at Nokia Arena in Tampere at the turn of the year, from the 30th of December 2022 to the 1st of January 2023. Originally the ice ballet was supposed to premiere on 1st of January 2022, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, all the performances had to be pushed back a year. Laura Lepistö will perform the title role, because previously announced figure skater Kiira Korpi has to step down from the production due to scheduling conflicts.
Laura Lepistö is the most successful Finnish solo figure skater of all time. Before she ended her competitive career in 2012, she was awarded, among others, three European Championship medals and she placed sixth at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In recent years Lepistö has influenced the field of sports as a wellness entrepreneur and as a board member of the Finnish Figure Skating Association. In the Snow Queen ice ballet, Lepistö had originally been cast in the role of Spring, a counterforce to the chilly Snow Queen.
“When they offered me the role of the Snow Queen, the first thought in my mind was that it is such a pity that Kiira can’t make it. My second reaction was a massive amount of excitement and a tingly feeling. In the end this was an easy decision to make: I gladly accept this challenge. It’s wonderful to get back on ice surrounded by such a qualified team – there is certainly a bit of a ‘one more try’ feel to the whole thing. With my skating style and personality, I’m going to bring different nuances to the role. I will give this part my all, moving froward with ambition but also a relaxed mind. The part I look forward to the most is performing and putting my soul in the role in front of audiences while surrounded by incredible costumes, lights and sets. Thinking about that moment is already giving me the chills, which is of course quite appropriate for the Snow Queen,” Laura Lepistö says with a laugh.
“The Snow Queen is a new concept and form of performing arts, and we had the opportunity to develop and advance it with Kiira Korpi. We would not be in this stage of the production without that persevering and fruitful cooperation. We are infinitely grateful that the torch of the Snow Queen can be naturally passed on to Laura Lepistö,” Tampere Hall’s Program Manager Suvi Leinonen says.
“I’m incredibly grateful that I got to be a part of creating this unique mega production in Finland. It’s a pity I’m unable to commit to the role of the Snow Queen after the performances had to be moved back a year due to corona. My friend Laura will be an enchanting Snow Queen and I wish her and the whole production crew all the best,” Kiira Korpi states.
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