Heart Drive

A gripping new creation by in-demand Dutch choreographers Imre and Marne van Opstal. An exploration of love, connection and pleasure, as well as the stigmas and moral taboos that exist within. Heart Drive was co-commissioned by Vancouver-based Ballet BC and Tero Saarinen Company.

The creation premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Canada on 3 November 2022. The international co-production will be restaged for eight stunning TSC dancers in 2023. The European premiere of Heart Drive will take place at Dance House Helsinki in June as a part of Tero Saarinen Company’s new double bill. Tickets for all our 2023 productions at Dance House Helsinki are on sale now! 

Choreographers' note

”Through multiple stages, Heart Drive invites you to reflect, unburden, and accept instincts and impulses. Where the physical experience of the body and sensations can exist without boundaries, and the acknowledgement of our nature is present. By exploring the primal drive we carry to love, hold, and connect. 

Our sexual nature is a fundamental energy we possess to create, nurture and shape the world. It enables us to create bonds by entertaining our fantasies of love, commitment, and sense of pleasure while forming our experience, social status and desirability. These notions are often shamed, boxed in or even taken advantage of, yet they ultimately ensure our very survival.”

– Imre and Marne van Opstal

“Heart Drive is the most overt exploration of sexuality, investigating our inner, animal forces in noncliched and open-minded ways –– movement language is distinct and a bit surreal –– partnering is an innovative highlight –– Haunting and dreamlike [...] alluring taste of the European vanguard“

- Stir, Canada | Heart Drive (2022)

“Indescribably good –– they not only brought what is “en vogue” in international dance [...] they also showed that they can be the future.“

- Die Reinpfalz | The little man (2022)

“Ingenious –– stands out dance-choreographically“

- The Edge | I’m afraid to forget your smile (2022)


- De Volkskrant | Baby don't Hurt Me (2021)

“The piece is able to comment on beauty standards and taboo issues without being too difficult to follow“

- The Edge | Eye Candy (2021)

“The movement language is versatile, virtuoso and yet has a lightness”

- Theaterkrant | Take Root (2019)

TSC at Dance House Helsinki in 2023

Tero Saarinen Company presents three performance seasons at Dance House Helsinki in 2023.

In March you can experience the unique collaboration, Third Practice by Tero Saarinen Company and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra – finally live in Helsinki!

In June TSC’s exciting double bill combines a new creation Heart Drive with a Finnish contemporary dance classic Digital Duende.

In October Saarinen’s large-scale choreography Transit returns in our programme by popular demand.

Check out our programme and get your tickets for our home seasons!

2023 Helsinki-seasons


3 November 2022 20:00

Heart Drive (Premiere)

Performed by Ballet BC at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver BC, Canada

9 June 2023 19:00 - 20:20

Van Opstal | Karttunen (European Premiere)

Tanssin talo, Helsinki, Finland

10 June 2023 19:00 - 20:20

Van Opstal | Karttunen

Tanssin talo, Helsinki, Finland

13 June 2023 19:00 - 20:20

Van Opstal | Karttunen

Tanssin talo, Helsinki, Finland

14 June 2023 19:00 - 20:20

Van Opstal | Karttunen

Tanssin talo, Helsinki, Finland

15 June 2023 19:00 - 20:20

Van Opstal | Karttunen

Tanssin talo, Helsinki, Finland

16 June 2023 19:00 - 20:20

Van Opstal | Karttunen

Tanssin talo, Helsinki, Finland

All events

Imre van Opstal and Marne van Opstal are Dutch choreographers, renowned performing artists and siblings, who form a creative duo. Both artists had prominent careers as dancers before focusing their creativity on choreography. In recent years, they have created works for Nederlands Dans Theater and Rambert Dance Company among others. The collaborative nature of their work often speaks to the human condition, limits and possibilities of the body and mind. Their work is known to be multi-layered and surrealistic, with a strong and outspoken dance language known for its eclecticism, theatricality and partnering elements.

Read about the choreographers

I’m thrilled to present Imre & Marne’s work in Tero Saarinen Company’s repertoire! Heart Drive plays with highly interesting opposites – it’s animalistic, ritualistic and at the same time futuristic. The choreography delves into unsaid and untalked frequencies of sexuality yet does it with style and grace. The movement language is highly challenging with a feverish tempo, but it still manages to convey depth and strong emotion instead of simply showcasing the dancers’ virtuosity. 

All in all, our new double bill, presented at Dance House Helsinki in Jun 2023, is a very interesting take on passion, longing, desire and inner fire. While Jyrki Karttunen’s Digital Duende takes a slightly more sensitive and subtle approach, the Van Opstals attack with fierce energy.” says TSC Artistic Director Tero Saarinen.


Choreography Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal
Music / Composition Amos Ben-Tal
Light Design Tom Visser
Set Design Tom Visser, Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal
Costume Design Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal in consultation with Kate Burrows
Assistant to the Choreographers Chloé Albaret
Rehearsal Director David Scarantino

Dance | TSC Chloé Albaret, Amie-Blaire Chartier, Sabrina KlasilaOskari Kymäläinen, Joni Österlund, Katerina Torp, Jack Traylen, Gaya Yemini Understudies Anni Koskinen, Samuli Emery

32 minutes
Ballet BC, World Premiere: 3 November, 2022, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, Canada | Tero Saarinen Company: 9 June, 2023, Dance House Helsinki, Finland
A Co-Production of Ballet BC and Tero Saarinen Company

Photo and video credits

Photos ©Ballet BC by Michael Slobodian
In photo 1: Ballet BC artists
In photo 2: Ballet BC Artists: Michael Garcia, Kiana Jung
In photo 3: Ballet BC artist Orlando Harbutt with Chloé Albaret
In photo 4: Ballet BC Artists: Sarah Pippin, Rae Srivastava
In photo 5: Ballet BC Artists: Michael Garcia, Jacob Williams, Kiana Jung
In photo 6: Ballet BC artist Orlando Harbutt with Chloé Albaret
Stage and studio trailers ©Ballet BC
Interview ©Sensus Pool Project

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