VORTEX (Haeori) was commissioned by the National Dance Company of Korea in 2014. Tero Saarinen was the first western contemporary choreographer to work with the renowned troupe. In the creation, Saarinen’s signature choreographic style is interpreted by 19 exquisite dancers, and intertwined with Korean dance traditions the NDCK is dedicated to upholding. Live music is composed and directed by Young-gyu Jang, known for his innovative interpretations of Korean musical heritage.

In 2022 VORTEX returned to the programme of the National Theater of Korea at Haeoreum Grand Theater on 24–26 June. The creation is also set to have its Finnish premiere at Dance House Helsinki on 22–24 September tickets on sale now

”The performance was almost magical – undoubtedly one of Saarinen's finest choreographies. [...] Vortex is a show that is hard to forget – it was so uniquely perfect”

- Demokraatti 2022 (Finland)

”The audience is sold. It has hardly ever seen anything like this.”

- Rondo 2022 (Finland)

”What a show! – A meeting of cultures at its finest – created a bridge from an ancient tradition to the present day in a touching and energizing way.”

- Rondo 2022 (Finland)

”Tero Saarinen's spectacular work for the Korean national dance group exudes Koreanness”

- Helsingin Sanomat 2022 (Finland)

”[VORTEX] creates an irresistibly beautiful world, a different kind of fairy tale landscape than we are used to seeing.”

- Dansportalen 2022 (Sweden)

”Dance-wise, the whole group is like a dream. They breathe a dance that surges like a powerful current. Their technical skills are so natural and self-evident, that one doesn’t even pay attention to it.”

- Demokraatti 2022 (Finland)

”The final scene is a firework of music and dance – the feeling of freedom and joy grows irresistible.”

- Rondo 2022 (Finland)

”The music is enchanting, exotic, but not strange. Fresh and melodic, but also whimsical.”

- Demokraatti 2022 (Finland)

Digital evening programme

The Dance House Helsinki season’s digital evening programme includes never-before-seen footage that takes you on a tour behind the scenes! Read the choreographer’s notes on the creation process of VORTEX and get to know the history behind NDCK and Korean dance tradition. You can easily access the content, designed especially for mobile devices and tablets, from the link below.


About the creation

In the creation, the primal vortex of the interface between past and present is interpreted by 25 performers. The live music, composed for VORTEX by Young-gyu Jang, is performed on stage by an ensemble known for its innovative interpretations of the Korean musical heritage. The lighting and set design is by Mikki Kunttu and costumes are by Erika Turunen.

Having achieved huge success with both audiences and critics alike, VORTEX has established itself in the repetitive repertoire one of Asia’s leading dance companies, NDCK. In addition to performing the creation in Seoul the group has also toured with the creation in other parts of Asia and Europe.

“When we have a possibility to weave dance together with live music – and musicians, we are able to celebrate primal “vortices” of inspiration, intuition, transparency and strength of spirit – everything powerful, creative and constructive there is in all of us.”
– Tero Saarinen


Choreography Tero Saarinen
Music direction, composer Young-gyu Jang
Lighting and set design Mikki Kunttu
Costume design Erika Turunen
Choreographer’s Assistants Satu Halttunen, Henrikki Heikkilä, Mi-ae Kim

”In the overlap of tradition and modernity, the East and the West – explosive energy – magnificent”

- The Chosun Ilbo 2019 (South Korea)

”Splendid movements – exquisite music”

- THE MONTHLY CHOSUN 2022 (South Korea)

”Saarinen seems to have cast a spell on dancers to make the most of their creativity”

- The Donga Ilbo 2019 (South Korea)

“A celebration of the passion for dance – a remarkable intercultural production – brings new life to a tradition dating back thousands of years”

- Tanz 2015 (Germany)

”Critic’s choice: Choreographer of the year (VORTEX)”

- Tanz Yearbook 2014 (Germany)

80 minutes
April 16, 2014, National Theater of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
The National Dance Company of Korea