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.

”HUNT is still astonishing –– an exceptionally organic, total work of art.”

- Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)

”[Ahola’s] dance was intense, yet carefully controlled – a stunning interpretation of a creation that has withstood the test of time.”

- Demokraatti (Finland)

”Kilpinen is an amazing dancer, whose ‘Rite of Spring’ is a dynamic and defiant agent -- he made the classic his own”

- Teatteri & Tanssi + Sirkus (Finland)

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

HZ | HUNT (2022) – Digital evening programme

The spring 2022 season’s digital evening programme includes never-before-seen footage that takes you on a tour behind the scenes! Get to know the two works of the double bill 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.”