Norlan Leygonier wants YOU to dance, sucka!

THE MULTICULTURAL Ourvision dance contest seeks to showcase the changing flavour of Finland’s cultural makeup, with dancers performing many varieties of dance styles from around the world. Various rounds of pre-trials, trials and semi-finals will culminate in the September 2010 finals.

The semi-finals, held in May, are rapidly approaching. The competition is open to children, youth and adults from the Helsinki metropolitan area and focuses on giving refugees and immigrants to Finland the chance for a bit of self-expression and, in some cases, even popular national acclaim.

Norlan Leygonier, Ourvision goodwill ambassador and previous song contest winner, provides coaching and support to competitors. As a proud member of the Ourvision family, he tells SixDegrees that Finnish society can learn much from such multicultural projects. The fact that Norlan’s winning song Sauna Caliente spent seven weeks at number two on the official Finnish Singles charts last year and peaked at the top of NRJ`s Pepsi Max Chart Show is testimony to the fact that Ourvision is not just some token contest to keep the foreigners happy.

Not only does this contest provide “hope and opens opportunities for so many foreigners here,” as Norlan claims, but it is a genuine chance for aspiring artists to get some exposure and spice up the traditional Finnish pop-culture scene – a welcome departure from the Nordic/Scandinavian tendency to overindulge in heavy metal and melancholic pop-rock.

Fri 14 May
Ourvision Semifinals
Savoy Theatre, Helsinki

The Ourvision dance contest firmly sends the message that a multicultural Finland is already here, so it’s about time everyone started to enjoy it. The final rounds of the contest may well yield the next Finnish dance sensation – and they’re more likely to be into reggaeton than humppa.

Sarah Hudson