Third Practice

Tero Saarinen’s new magnum opus explores radical shifts in values and perspectives. Claudio Monteverdi’s revolutionary, breathtakingly beautiful madrigals are incarnated by twelve dancers and musicians, plus tenor Topi Lehtipuu and virtual soprano Núria Rial. TSC and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra join forces to create a gripping contemporary fusion of dance, live music, opera and design.

”Simultaneously in the 17th century, the present and the future – – tenor Topi Lehtipuu’s multifaceted expression was gripping”


“Sophisticated – – baroque transposed to the contemporary”


”An ambitious union of dance and music – – Unforgettable moments”


”A true total artwork – – Magic”


Choreographer's Note

“I am interested in the way that, right now, we are having to recalibrate our existence and to rethink our humanity: our relationship to the world, to its changes and its history. At turning points there is always a chance of finding but sadly also of forgetting something. What inspires and touches me is the character of Monteverdi’s music, which was revolutionary in its time and which demands skill, while also being free-flowing and intimate. Amid the tumult of the world the Renaissance values that resonate in the Madrigals seem to be perpetually relevant as a way of anchoring ourselves. On the other hand, just as the composer once did with his newly created Seconda prattica, I too seek a new kind of expression – a third practice – in my choreography.”

– Tero Saarinen

About the Music

“Although the music in the work is characteristic of a certain epoch, the world that opens out on the stage is totally abstract. From Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s perspective what particularly expanded our horizon is the combination of sound amplification, virtual soloist and movement with the work of live musicians. Relating the partly improvisatory character of the madrigals to the stage arrangements and to the collaboration between the dancers is also an interesting challenge.”

– Aapo Häkkinen

”Captures the immaterial reflections of human longing, even in digital format – – a handsome, independent work of art”


”An extraordinary work – – Once again Tero Saarinen and his dancers and associates have given me an experience like no other. I love dance that expands the boundaries of my thinking. Third Practice does that and more.”

- MICHELLEPOTTER.ORG, 2021 (Australia)

”Contrary to preconceived fears, the multi-camera recording of Third Practice manages to bring dance to the viewer's skin, with well-thought-out angles and sizes in the editing.”


”The whole stage picture is highly effective with freeze-frame and chiaroscuro effects that divide up the set – – The sense of change at the heart of Saarinen’s work plays a very beautiful role here.”

- BALLET 2000, 2022

Digital evening programme

The digital evening programme of Third Practice includes footage that takes you on a tour behind the scenes! Get to know Claudio Monteverdi, the “master of Madrigals” and read Saarinen‘s thoughts on the creation process of Third Practice. You can easily access the content, designed especially for mobile devices and tablets, from the link below.

Open the evening programme

Third Practice recording

Third Practice has been released as a multi-camera recording on DVD and Blu-ray formats. The recording, in distribution also world-wide, was shot at the Finnish National Opera in 2021 by a team led by director Thomas Freundlich. The digital version of the work has been praised by critics and audiences alike. The release also includes Freundlich’s award-winning documentary Rooted with Wings about Tero Saarinen and his creative process.

Third Practice

Choreography & Concept Tero Saarinen
Music Claudio Monteverdi
Music direction, Arrangement Aapo Häkkinen
Lighting design Eero Auvinen (TTT-Theatre)
Costume design Erika Turunen
Projection design Thomas Freundlich
Sound design Marco Melchior
Choreographer’s Assistants Henrikki Heikkilä, Satu Halttunen

Tenor Topi Lehtipuu
Virtual soprano Núria Rial

Dancers | Tero Saarinen Company Jenna Broas / Elina Häyrynen, Annika Hyvärinen, David Scarantino, Mikko Lampinen / Pekka Louhio, Natasha Lommi, Oskari Kymäläinen / Eero Vesterinen. Understudy: Emmi Pennanen

Musicians | Helsinki Baroque Orchestra: Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord), Hanna Haapamäki (recorder), Aira Maria Lehtipuu (violin), Eero Palviainen (theorbo) Heidi Peltoniemi (viola da gamba), Tuomo Suni (violin)

Tirsi e Clori recording Núria Rial, soprano, Tuuli Lindeberg, soprano, Teppo Lampela, countertenor, Topi Lehtipuu, tenor, Jussi Lehtipuu, bass

Streaming production | Tero Saarinen Company in collaboration with Thomas Freundlich (Lumikinos Production, 2021)

With thanks to
Jane & Aatos Erkko Foundation
Ministry of Education and Culture
Anonymous donor

60 minutes, no intermission
29 May, 2019, Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli, Rassegna di Danza & Festival Monteverdi, Cremona, Italy
Tero Saarinen Company in collaboration with Fondazione Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli (Italy) Rassegna di Danza & Festival Monteverdi (Fondazione Teatro A. Ponchielli, Cremona, Italy), ATER – Associazione Teatrale Emilia Romagna (Italy), Kuopio Dance Festival (Finland), Stoa (Finland), the Finnish National Theatre and TTT-Theatre (Finland)

”A true total artwork --- Magic”

- Hufvudstadbladet, Finland, 2019

”An ambitious union of dance and music — Unforgettable moments”

Helsingin Sanomat, Finland, 2019

”Simultaneously in the 17th century, the present and the future — tenor Topi Lehtipuu’s multifaceted expression was gripping”

- Rondo, Finland, 2019

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