HUNT - Tero Saarinen Company


Saarinen’s signature solo HUNT was commissioned by the Venice Biennale in 2002. Saarinen toured with the work until the end of 2013 – The Rite of Spring Centennial – in a total of 83 cities and 32 countries.

During its short history, HUNT, praised by audiences and critics alike, was labelled one of the most significant contemporary reinterpretations of The Rite of Spring.

“Impressive” (10 best list of the year)
- The New York Times
32 minutes
2 June 2002, Venice Biennale, Italy
Tero Saarinen Company and La Biennale di Venezia in collaboration with Octobre en Normandie

Creative Process

Commissioned by the Venice Biennale in 2002, HUNT was Tero Saarinen’s first solo choreography in ten years. Set to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, HUNT delves into the mind of someone being sacrificed and of someone sacrificing himself.

Unlike most interpreters of this Stravinsky classic, Saarinen wanted to focus on the conflicts within an individual: between masculinity and femininity, good and evil, the fading of beauty…

“It was not my first choice, but I ended up using The Rite of Spring because Stravinsky’s music raises endlessly fascinating, fundamental human themes. He poses questions that I, too, want to deal with in my own works. Whose life is it? Who owns us? Who pulls our strings?

The Rite of Spring is the cruellest and most powerful of Stravinsky’s works. Its primitiveness is frightening yet fascinating in its apparent simplicity. For me, The Rite of Spring is above all music of the unconscious. It lures out humanity’s brutish, animal sides, just as the time when they are seeking to achieve a sacred state.

In HUNT, I wanted to dive into the mind and inner conflicts of a person being sacrificed and of the person who offers himself for sacrifice. This initial situation gave me as a performer a rare opportunity to look into myself, to freely mirror my own experiences, and even to visit the roots of my own dancehood.

While creating the piece I felt I still needed a power that would stand up to Stravinsky alongside with the choreography and the lighting design by Mikki Kunttu. That element ended up being multimedia artist Marita Liulia, who adds a live virtual level to the performance. The collaboration also added new themes, which to me, now seem more relevant than ever: the effects of the continuous flood of information and technological advances.”

– Tero Saarinen


Choreography Tero Saarinen
Music Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Lighting and set design Mikki Kunttu
Multimedia Marita Liulia
Costume design Erika Turunen

“Formidable --- (Saarinen) captivates the audience --- a superb way to start the festival!”

– Dance Light Magazine, July-August, 2008

“Tero Saarinen, the remarkable Finnish choreographer-dancer, isn’t the first to choreograph Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as a solo. But he may be the first to internalize the composer’s driving rhythms rather than stepping them out…”

– The Village Voice, April 4 2006

“(Saarinen is) an excellent Finnish dancer and choreographer. He is a true performer who manages to impose his lone presence against a score as powerful as Igor Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps.``

– Ballet2000, July 2008