Atte Kilpinen


Atte Kilpinen first started dancing at a local dance studio in his home town Turku, Finland. Kilpinen received his professional degree from the Turku Conservatory for Music and Dance in 2015, joining the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki the same year. He has since danced various soloist roles with the National Ballet, also acting as Choreographer’s Assistant for Kenneth Greve and as Repetiteur in a piece for the National Ballet Youth Company. From 2020 onwards Kilpinen has danced with John Neuemeier’s Hamburg Ballet, and was appointed as soloist in 2021. In addition to Neuemeier, Kilpinen has worked with renowned choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Alexander Ekman, Marco Goecke, Kenneth Greve, Marjo Kuusela, Jirí Kylián, Tero Saarinen and Jorma Uotinen, among others. He has also performed with other Finnish companies, including Susanna Leinonen Company, Pori Dance Company, Oulu Dance Centre and Turku City Theatre.

In 2019 Kilpinen received a prize from the Outi and Jan Vapaavuori Foundation, awarded biennially for the best young dancer at the Finnish National Ballet. In April 2020 Kilpinen’s solo work, an interpretation of conductor Sergei Prokofiev’s chamber piece Quintet Op. 39, premiered with The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Helsinki, and was later broadcasted on national television. In December 2020 the President of the Republic of Finland invited Kilpinen to perform for the official Independence Day reception.

Kilpinen’s collaboration with Tero Saarinen Company started on Saarinen’s iconic solo HUNT

“Stravinsky’s music is a lot like life, both beautiful and stressful. Many choreographies featuring ‘The Rite of Spring’ have multiple performers, and among them, “the chosen one”. In HUNT, the dancer is alone, without company. To me, there is something quite beautiful in that. When you’re all by yourself in front of a large audience, you have a unique chance to expose your most authentic self.

When I first heard about the possibility of interpreting Saarinen’s classic solo, I was, of course, really excited! We began rehearsing the movement material in the summer of 2021 with Tero and rehearsal director Henrikki Heikkilä. Alongside our rehearsal periods, we also started discussing the themes of the work, as well as the emotions Tero went through while creating the solo. I’ve found the whole process really inspiring.

It’s been interesting to explore my own approach to the subjects of the work; to a life lived, a past before our own birth, and a future that none of us yet knows. I’ve had complete freedom to find my own perspective and ways to experience the piece. HUNT’s movement quality has also been tailored to suit me, although the choreography and the other substantial parts of the work – Marita Liulia’s multimedia projections, Erika Turunen’s costume design and Mikki Kunttu’s lighting design – have remained largely the same since the early days of the creation.”

Atte Kilpinen (11 March, 2022)

“Atte Kilpinen's interpretation connects HUNT with the world of contemporary ballet. His jumps and stretches rise into the air with force, and the lines of his body arc with great volume, not forgetting about high speed. Kilpinen is a magnificent dancer, with a dynamic and even defiant agency -- made the classic his own.“<br />

- Teatteri & Tanssi + Sirkus (Finland) 4 May 2022 / HUNT

“Wonderful and charismatic Atte Kilpinen. I was touched.“

- Audience feedback / HUNT

“Because of Atte's spectacular interpretation, I almost forgot to breathe midway through the performance! I got shivers as he flew, glided, jumped and strode through the stage and curved like a bow. His dance was precise, yet truly alive.“

- Social media feedback / HUNT