Taiteellinen johtaja Jorma Uotinen

Artistic Director

Kuopio Dance Festival is internationally the most significant, most varied, and also the oldest annual dance festival in the Nordic Countries. It is internationally renowned for its individual profile.
The deadline for applications for the Artistic Director’s post ended on 31.7.2017.  By then, 14 people, both Finland and abroad, had submitted their applications. Short-listed applicants are being interviewed. The aim is to publish the choice in 2018. Jorma Uotinen is continuing until the Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2019, and the new Artistic Director will start off the next 50 years with the 2020 Festival.
The applicants are a diverse high-calibre group, representing strong professionalism in dance and event production. Many of them have a dancer’s background. Almost all of them have experience in working in the international arena with top companies and choreographers.
We are not looking for another Jorma Uotinen to take over from Jorma Uotinen – nobody could fill his shoes – but we are looking for somebody to bring their own new and fresh perspective to the Festival, while respecting and retaining the current audiences and the experience and work that has taken us from the 1970s to this day. In addition to internationalism and professionalism, it is vital for us to value the local and the amateur scene. There would be no strong professionalism in dance without a strong amateur scene in dance, says the Chair of the Board of Kuopio Dance Festival, Kirsi Soininen.
The Festival will change with the new Artistic Director. Each period of artistic direction has had its own character. During Doris Laine’s reign, it was classical ballet, Jukka O. Miettinen focused on ethnic cultures, Alpo Pakarinen brought in British and American visitors, and Jorma Uotinen’s era has concentrated largely on contemporary dance.
  • Artistic directors are not born, but are grown over time from their own background, sums up the Executive Director of the Festival, Anna Pitkänen.

Additional Information                                       
Executive Director Anna Pitkänen, tel. +358 (0) 50 543 92 67
Kuopio Dance Festival is the oldest, most comprehensive and important, international, annual dance festival in Northern Europe. The first festival was held in 1970. The festival is known for its high quality and distinctive international profile. Through the decades, it has remained true to its mission to blend art and culture. Its importance to Finnish dance is undeniable. The event has strong influence as the motivator and promoter of culture, employment, image, event production and tourism in its community.

The festival's content is diverse and top notch, combining both art professionals, enthusiasts, students and ordinary people. In recent years, the festival week has consisted of about 20 main performances, 50-60 workshops (700 participants), as well as the dozens of free fringe and accompanying events, involving tens of thousands of audience members and participants.

The festival has a budget of €950,000 (2017). Over the decades, the festival has had the audience of almost 2 million people, thousands of artists from all continents and thousands of volunteers and employees. The festival has full-time producer and festival director as well as a number of temporary workers and trainees. The festival has also an extensive partner network. Please see the Festival edition 2017 at www.kuopiodancefestival.fi