Tero Saarinen’s signature solo HUNT was commissioned by the Venice Biennale in 2002. Saarinen toured with the work until the end of 2013, in a total of 83 cities and 32 countries. Praised by audiences and critics alike, HUNT was labelled one of the most significant contemporary reinterpretations of Stravinsky‘s The Rite of Spring.

In Spring 2022 in Helsinki the iconic work was interpreted for the first time by two new dancers: Auri Ahola and Atte Kilpinen. The much-waited return of HUNT was a part of a double bill, seen for the first time at Tanssin talo, featuring choreographer Johanna Nuutinen‘s premiere Hz (2022).

”There is depth and passion in Auri, as well as strength and vulnerability. Atte on the other hand, although young, is an old soul. Both dancers are strong and authentic. They also have a quality I can personally relate to, and something that I feel is essential when interpreting this piece.”

- Tero Saarinen

“Auri Ahola’s stunning virtuosity and intensity were breathtaking.”


“Atte Kilpinen was absolutely brilliant. His extremely sensitive and movementally expressive interpretation was stunning.”


Creative process

Commissioned by the Venice Biennale in 2002, HUNT was Tero Saarinen’s first solo choreography in ten years. Unlike most interpreters of Igor Stravinsky‘s The Rite of Spring, 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.

HUNT examines the duality of life: birth, death and the transience of corporeality. 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


Tero Saarinen Company’s first Tanssin talo season will finally make TSC’s Artistic Director Tero Saarinen’s long-standing dream a reality, as Spring 2022 will open with an exceptional double bill. The evening starts with the first-ever piece created for TSC by another choreographer, Johanna Nuutinen’s Hz, and ends with a reinterpretation of HUNT.

“Our field has been distorted, so that we do not even really talk about past works, nor has it generally been possible to see them live anywhere. This can easily create a strange delusion of contemporary dance having no history. I see this as affecting the entire field and the respect it has. With our programming we want to take responsibility for preserving and expanding the contemporary dance repertoire. In the future our yearly programme will entail double bills that combine new creations with classic works of contemporary dance, that have withstood the test of time.

Both works in this double bill deal with the effects flood of information and stimuli. It feels as if the theme is now more relevant than ever. ”

– Tero Saarinen

HZ | HUNT – Digital evening programme

The season’s digital evening programme includes never-before-seen footage that takes you on a tour behind the scenes! Get to know the works and read the essay by cultural journalist Suna Vuori on why contemporary dance needs its classics. You can easily access the content, designed especially for mobile devices and tablets, from the link below.

Download the evening programme


Choreography Tero Saarinen
Music Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Lighting and set design Mikki Kunttu
Multimedia, photos Marita Liulia
Costume design Erika Turunen
Rehearsal director Henrikki Heikkilä

32 minutes
2 June 2002, Venice Biennale, Italy
Tero Saarinen Company and La Biennale di Venezia in collaboration with Octobre en Normandie | Thanks to Anonymous donor (2022)

“Impressive – Extraordinary – Powerful“


“HUNT is remarkable on a number of levels, evoking the ballet of the past, and the 20th century artistic and scientific movements that shook the world. It is truly a tour de force.“


”The stunningly elegant movements imply great inventiveness, which intrigues one's mind. It abolishes the stereotypical male-female image…turning the dancer into a mythical being: a scapegoat, a mythical white swan, or a Giselle, dying of love.”


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