Monday, October 06, 2014

Arja's 25-year concert

On 29th September Arja Koriseva gave a concert in Tampere celebrating 25 years as Tango Queen. I wasn’t able to go, but Anna Hiltunen sent me this description (translated with her permission):
It was a truly wonderful concert! It was a small tour, going to Jyväskylä, Tampere, Helsinki, and possibly other places. Arja was accompanied by the Riku Niemi orchestra, a very popular orchestra which has performed by itself and also collaborated with other artists. The same orchestra accompanied Arja in her tango album Tango Illusion in 1996. The orchestra has many string instruments and wind instruments (a lot of different instruments) so that the songs sounded really great! The concert opened with a tango potpourri comprising Kultaiset korvarenkaat, Tango Illusion, Yksin, Sä oot mun tangoystäväin, and Muista minua. Among the tunes known to me Arja sang Enkelin silmin, Rakastunut nainen, Tuulen värit, Huomiseen, Kun tunteet kuljettaa, Tuhon tietä kuljen [I‘m a Fool to Want You], Rannalla, Näkemiin, Muisto (Memory)... Of course there were songs from musicals; Arja was here in the Turku Summer Theatre in My Fair Lady  in 2000 and commemorated it by singing snippets of On the Street Where You Live, Wouldn't It Be Loverly, and I Could Have Danced All Night - all in Finnish. Arja had the same hat and sunshade as she had in the musical! During Wouldn't It Be Loverly she threw chocolate bars into the audience, but I didn’t get one, even though I was in the front row. Other old friends followed. Particularly wonderful were the title song from Myrskyluodon Maija and the operetta number Itke en lemmen tähden. All the other numbers were familiar to me, except Kun paljon antaa, which Arja mentioned in her new online diary on her official website. It has marvellous words, and I hope Arja will record it, as she said she might when we talked after the concert. Arja told me that she had listened to the song a lot when she was a child, an it had been important to her; and now at last the time had come to include it in her repertoire. It was amazing to think about the passage of time, when I mentioned that I had first met Arja 22 years ago! I was 11 years old. The concert atmosphere was really fantastic, and when Arja sang Kuningaskobra as an encore the whole audience came to their feet and clapped along. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any pictures, or I would have sent them.

One of Arja’s songs come particularly to my mine, namely Jokainen hetki, from her record Kun aika on. Arja is giving Christmas concerts this year, with Tango King Amadeus Lundberg, but I will not be able to go, as The Turku concert will be very near Christmas, when I will be in Mikkeli celebrating Christmas with my parents.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tanssii tähtien kanssa 2014

The new series of Tanssii tähtien kanssa has started. One of the sponsors is Expressbus, and the introduction shows footprints dancing the Letkajenkka into a bus. Ten couples are competing, and I haven't heard of any of them. One of them has the distinctly un-Finnish name of Cristal Snow, who was a candidate for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, but in the event Teräsbetoni was selected to represent Finland. His professional partner is Kia Lehmuskoski, and they share the same taste in lipstick:
Helena Ahti-Hallberg has left the judging panel. I shall miss her, for two reasons. But her place has been taken by the lovely Krisse Salminen, who you will remember won in 2012 with Matti Puro.
Jukka Haapalainen and Jorma Uotinen remain as judges, and a guest judge will appear every week. The first one was the very glamorous former Minister of Finance, Jutta Urpilainen:
So far Sinikka Sokka and Topi Viermaa have been eliminated. We have seen the cha-cha, jive, waltz and quickstep. Tango, foxtrot, rumba and samba next week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Piritta Venho and Taina Kokkonen

I have just had a message from Taina Timucin, formerly Kokkonen: "Yes - Piritta was Princess the same time as me, in the year Kirsi Ranto was crowned." I love it when a celebrity writes to me! Paljon kiitoksia Taina!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tangomarkkinat 2014

Online voting starts today for this year's Tangomarkkinat. Log on to this for women:
and this for men:

You will see thumbnails of the contestants. Click to hear a 60-second clip. You can vote by pressing the green Äänestä. Votes are accepted from outside Finland. You can also post a comment, but you have to prove you're not a robot by answering a question. This will be of the order of "how many wheels has a bicycle?" and "what do you use to steer a car?", but will be in Finnish.

Familiar faces include the elfin Maria Tyyster and the blonde valkyrie Sari Hellsten. There is also Piritta Venho, who could be the same Piritta Venho who was Tango Princess in 1998. Varpu Virta has attracted some unkind comments, including "Is this some kind of joke?" and "Scary - I wouldn't dare go to a place where she was performing". Others love her, saying "Brilliant singer and great new-style tango." Actually she is a bit scary, but I like her.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kaija Pohjola and Kaija Lustila

Kaija Pohjola was due to appear at the Vanhan Kellari on 12th December. I would have liked to be there, particularly as she wasn't at the Tangomarkkinat, but wasn't able to go. But on 6th December, she was on Finnish tv in Neljän tähden illallinen, which translates as Four stars' dinner, but is in fact Celebrity Come Dine with Me. So although I couldn't see her at the Kellari, I could vicariously have dinner with her.

Kaija Lustila was particularly outstanding on the karaoke game show Tartu mikkiin. Here she is with Kake Randelin:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Arja the soap star

For the last two weeks, Arja Koriseva has been appearing in the Finnish soap opera Taivaan tulet, which could mean either "You will come to heaven" or "Fires into the sky". Possibly other things as well. A married policeman (Kari Väänänen) has a crush on the glamorous singer at the local dance pavilion (who else but Arja):

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tanssii tähtien kanssa results

The final of TTK was held last night. Helena Ahti-Hallberg was prominent on the judging panel.

Raakel Lignell and her professional partner Jani Rasimus. were winners:

with Manuela Bosco and Matti Puro as runners-up. If they had won, Matti would have been the only professional to win in three successive years. The judges' scores were not particularly useful, as only 9's and 10's were awarded. The public votes were announced, which has never happened on Strictly. Raakel and Jani got 51% of the votes. Raakel is pregnant, a fact which was referred to in the choice of music for her charleston: Me and my Baby.