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UPM supports choreographer Hanna Brotherus’ \"An ode to the forest\" dance work for the opening of Helsinki’s new central library Oodi

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The choreographer and dance artist Hanna Brotherus’ "Oodi metsälle" (an ode to the forest) dance work will be premiered on Friday at the opening ceremony of Oodi, Helsinki’s new central library. UPM supports the dance work, which depicts the birth of civilisation and literacy.

The full dance work, with 207 performers, will be shown at the public opening on Wednesday, 5 December. It progresses from the outdoor stage to the three floors of Oodi, reflecting the interaction between nature and people : the growth of seeds to saplings, and the journey trees make to become paper, books and civilisation.

The core theme of Hanna Brotherus’ work is the forest. The forest is also present in the dancers’ costumes, which are made from paper.

"The forest inspires and it is also a place to rest. The forest is the nature’s library. Flying birds, raging winds and murmuring brooks, as well as the flora and fauna, are as rich as the people who we now welcome to the central library. In the forest and in the library, you have the freedom to meet with your thoughts and to honour science and art, wisdom and your fellow men," says Hanna Brotherus.

"We have been pleased to have been looking at the construction of the new library from close by. Forests have always inspired Finns, as well as science and art. Forests have also helped Finland to prosper. Encouraging reading and learning is important for UPM and libraries play a key role in doing it well," notes Pirkko Harrela, Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPM.

"UPMers have already been interested in the library’s activities in advance. We have agreed on a long-term collaboration with the new central library, Oodi, as UPM’s volunteers will lend a helping hand in organising workshops for children," she continues.

Altogether, the dance work features 207 performers, ranging from children to elderly people. In addition to professional dancers, students from local schools, elderly people from various parts of Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy Chamber Choir, conducted by Reijo Aittakumpu, will perform.

In addition to UPM, "an ode to the forest" is carried out in collaboration with the Finnish Association for rural culture and education.

An ode to the forest

Choreography and direction : Hanna Brotherus

Music composition and sound : John Brotherus

Costume design : Karoliina Koiso-Kanttila

Set design : Jonathan Maxwell

Choreographer assistant : Johanna Ikola

Production assistant : Tara Nyman

Production : Hanna Brotherus Company

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