Helsinki has an active theatre and dance scene. The city’s ten professional theatres give thousands of performances each year. There are dozens of theatre companies, both professional and amateur. The many dance companies give hundreds of performances each year.
The three biggest theatres in Helsinki are the Finnish National Theatre, Helsinki City Theatre and Swedish National Theatre (Svenska Teatern). In addition to their regular performances, which are in Finnish or Swedish, theatre houses often host foreign theatre companies.
Helsinki City Theatre (site in Finnish) runs a highly varied repertoire, consisting of musicals, comedy, drama, classics, family theatre and dance. The theatre company operates on three locations including the main City Theatre building and Lilla Teatern. Lilla Teatern’s offering is in Finnish and Swedish.
The Finnish National Theatre is the first Finnish-language professional theatre established in the country (1872). World classics, both ancient and modern, are an essential part of the repertoire. The theatre also takes pride in being a gateway to the avant-garde of international drama. Another major, important responsibility of the theatre is to nurture and promote Finnish-language drama.
The Swedish National Theatre, Svenska teatern (site in Swedish), offers a broad repertoire in Swedish. The repertoire ranges from classics and modern drama to family and children’s plays, to stand-up comedy and revues. The theatre is particularly famous for musicals.
The Finnish Theatre Information Centre operates an online service that allows users to search for theatres by key word and other selected criteria. The service also provides diverse information on theatre and theatre groups in Finland.
Helsinki Dance Company operates within the framework of Helsinki City Theatre. It focuses on modern dance.
The Finnish National Opera includes a ballet company with close to 80 dancers. The repertoire emphasizes classical ballet.
Zodiak – Center for New Dance provides a platform for Finnish independent dance groups and artists. For the public, Zodiak offers a versatile repertoire representing recent trends in contemporary dance. The centre also organizes workshops and outreach programmes. Performances are largely held at the Kaapelitehdas (Cable Factory) cultural centre but also at other venues in Helsinki.
Hurjaruuth is a dynamic dance theatre that performs at Kaapelitehdas.
Tero Saarinen Company is an internationally famous modern dance group that largely tours but holds its home base at Alexander Theatre in Helsinki, making regular appearances on that stage.
Dance Info Finland provides information on dance in Finland and maintains a performance calendar.