Aurinkobaletti - AB Dance Company
The Turku-based Aurinkobaletti (AB Dance Company) was founded on the May Day eve 1981. The early works were neoclassical, but later the style and the steps changed. Aurinkobaletti is known as a constantly evolving, high-quality contemporary dance group, which is not afraid to venture over the limits of its own genre. Aurinkobaletti's repertoire includes productions for both adult spectators and for children.
Aurinkobaletti's artistic director is dancer-choreographer Urmas Poolamets, who took up after the choreographer Raija Lehmussaari (founding member of Aurinkobaletti and the artistic director during 1981–2004).
Besides Lehmussaari and Poolamets, the company has also offered a stage for appreciated Finnish names and several international choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Kilina Crémona, Boris Eifman, Andrew de Groat, Walter Gore, Sanna Kekäläinen, Tommi Kitti, Marjo Kuusela, Kirsi Monni, Ari Numminen, Virpi Pahkinen, Arja Raatikainen, Tuomo Railo, Sami Saikkonen, Elsa Sylvestersson, Arja Tiili, Jorma Uotinen and Juha Vanhakartano.
Aurinkobaletti's regular guest since 2001 has been the renowned Russian choreographer-director Sasha (Alexander) Pepelyaev.
Aurinkobaletti's works have been seen, besides Finland, around Europe as well as in Palestine and Hong Kong.
The home stage of the Aurinkobaletti is at the Manilla Quarters, a former factory complex. The beautifully restored unique old factory milieu by the Aura River is also the site for the annual Factory Festival Manifesti, co-produced by Pro Manilla foundation and Aurinkobaletti. Manifesti is organized yearly in September.