Thursday, October 5, 2023

These Finnish actors could soon be world-class stars – we already know from Netflix’s fantastic Finland series


About Dance Brothers Dance Brothers is the first Finnish Netflix series to have a simultaneous world premiere in over 190 countries.

7.5. 23:15

Young Finnish actors Samuel Kujala, Roderick Kabanga, Jeanine Muimaa, Lauri Lohi and Fanny Noroila can be recognized almost anywhere in the world after May – as well as stars Crystal Snow and Eva Eloranta.

He is starring in the Finnish dance drama series Dance Brothers, which premieres Wednesday, May 10 on the streaming service Netflix, in more than 190 countries at once.

Kujala, 28, and Kabanga, 29, play professional dancers in the series who start their own club. As the club gains fame and popularity, tensions between the brothers also rise.

Series makes history: Dance Brothers is the first Finnish TV series to have its global premiere on Netflix.

Read more: Series about Dance Brothers makes history: First Finnish Netflix series

What is the series about?

For the protagonists of Dance Brothers, Sakari and Ronnie Luodo, their own club is a means of earning a living, but it is also a place to live and a training facility. When the duo’s dance patterns bring popularity and fame to the club, the brothers get the opportunity to perform at important contemporary dance festivals.

The fictional series deals with the tensions generated by art and entertainment, money and popularity, and relationships, which are reflected in the brothers’ mutual relationship. The dance unites the two brothers and tests their loyalty to each other. Based on the trailer, the dance sequences are spectacular and also highlight Finnish contemporary dance in a big way.

You can watch the trailer of the series here:

What are the main characters like?

Sakari, the youngest of the brothers, is a playful optimist, whose dance shows joy and improvisation. For him, running the club is a passion because he enjoys it.

– I am the god of dance, Sakari, played by Kujala, says in the trailer of the series.

On the other hand, Sakar’s brother Ronnie is a hearty and ambitious hard worker who sees dance as more of an art form than entertainment. Taking the pressure off of success, Ronnie seeks the attention and approval of other professionals and sees the club as a way to advance in her dance career.

— Sorry, soulless ass-kicking for stupid generic mainstream shit is not our thing, Ronnie was played by Kabanga Upload at the end of the trailer.

Other prominent characters in the series include successful club performer Angelo (Crystal Snow), professional dancer Caro (Jeanine Muima), sensitive transgender dancer Viima (Laurie Lohi), the brothers’ childhood friend and DJ Doris (Funni Noroila) and entrepreneur Aida Bosch-Azizi. (Eva Eloranta).

Professional dancer Caro is played by Jeanine Muima, who herself studied ballet and contemporary dance.

Professional dancer Caro is played by Jeanine Muima, who herself studied ballet and contemporary dance. Photo: Netflix

Who is the actor familiar with?

Shmuel Kujala, who plays Sakari, played the lead role in Yale’s youth series Norte: Dragonslayer 666. The role in the series, which gathered millions of viewers, also brought Kujala a Golden Venla nomination. He was also seen in the second lead role in the social media satire Fucking With Nobody (2020).

Roderick Kabanga has been seen on the theater stage in the musical West Side Story at the Savoy Theater and the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Helsinki City Theatre. He told Yale that after the death of his mother at the age of 13, he had to take responsibility for his younger brother.

– I had to grow up very young, take care of myself and my little brother, but at the same time I had to watch my brother grow up from the outside. It gave me the key to my adulthood, Kabanga told Yale.

Among other young actors, Jeanine Muima has studied ballet and contemporary dance, and Laurie Lohi is a professional dancer. Funni Noroila has starred in the Finnish National Theater and Elisa Vihde Vyplay’s TV series California Commando and Jalkelaset, and is part of the rap duo Sofa.

Read more: Crystal Snow was about to give up on her dream, until a phone call changed everything – “I laughed…”

Crystal Snow plays Angelo, a successful club performer, in the series.

Crystal Snow plays Angelo, a successful club performer, in the series. Photo: Netflix

Who made the series?

Series creator Max Malka’s previous productions include the children’s adventure Cinnamon in the Armpit, Tatu and Patu! (2016) and the Juicy Award-winning drama Aurora (2019). He already collaborated with Kujala in the youth series Norte: Dragonslayer 666.

– We noticed that there is a dearth of dance drama series in the market which does not tell the typical Romeo and Juliet romance or takes place in a school or a dance academy. Instead, we created a series that follows the happy dance drama genre and tells a modern story about brothers, Malka told the Nordisk Film & TV Fondi news website.

The director of the series is Taito Kawata from Espoo, who previously directed the documentary Vudet Olu Tuulisi about the band JVG. He began making videos in the early 2000s with breakdance documentaries.

– I went to street dance groups, and we filmed street dance events, Kawata described the early stages of his career to Helsingin Sanomat.

– They were mainly shown in dance shows, and thus became of interest to the public.

The Dance Brothers series was written in collaboration with Malka by Rita Ruotslainen, who was also helming the Kupala (2022) film. The dance sequences are choreographed by Finnish dance industry stars Sanaz Hassan and Ima Iduozzi.

Ronnie (Roderick Kabanga) sees dance as an art form, Sakari (Samuel Kujala) sees it as more fun.

Ronnie (Roderick Kabanga) sees dance as an art form, Sakari (Samuel Kujala) sees it as more fun. Photo: Endemol Shine Finland

What about Netflix’s first Finnish series?

Dance Brothers is the first Finnish TV series produced by Netflix and premieres on Netflix’s streaming service on the same day worldwide. Yale was also involved in the production, so the series would later be seen on Yale’s channels as well.

Finnish series have previously been shown on Netflix, but they originally premiered on domestic TV channels. These include Sorjonan, Karppi, Dona, Pirunpelto, Paratisi and Harjunpa.

The film version of Sorjones, Sorjonen: Muralimurhat was partially produced by Netflix, thanks to which the film premiered directly on Netflix in cinemas in Finland and other parts of the world.

Dance is a central part of the story in the Dance Brothers series.

Dance is a central part of the story in the Dance Brothers series. Photo: Netflix

The world premiere of Dance Brothers series will air on Wednesday, May 10. Streaming service on Netflix.

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