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)