We are delighted to announce that 32-year-old Mr Riku Lehtopolku (FI) has been appointed as the next Artistic Director of The Kuopio Dance Festival, Finland. Despite his young age, he has managed to forge a diverse artistic career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, trainer, and in various specialist roles. He has worked in the Nordic Countries, and toured several festivals in Europe, Asia, and Africa as an artist and teacher. He has performed in Tero Saarinen’s works, among others, and acted as an artistic co-director with the Pori Dance Company, collaborating also with the Festival’s current Artistic Director, Mr Jorma Uotinen.
“Large-scale dance productions have become familiar to me through my work with the Finnish National Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and Reykjavik Arts Festival, as well as several regional theatres. I am actively involved in international dance”, states Lehtopolku and continues,
“I see the future of Kuopio Dance Festival as an international festival, focusing on contemporary dance, with very different works in its programme, both in terms of their content and their means of expression. Choices maintaining originality and diversity should offer the audience not only experiences but also meaning. I’m interested in stretching the boundaries of dance, and how it overlaps other arts. I’m also going to take dance out of its traditional settings. With the courses, I’d particularly like to expand the offering for advanced dance students and professionals. My objective is to create a mentoring programme, led by experienced artists, and to provide room to grow for young talent.”
Riku Lehtopolku’s first Festival will be in 2020 and his contract will run for three years. The previous artistic directors were Mrs Doris Laine, Mr Jukka O. Miettinen and Mr Alpo Pakarinen.
Jorma Uotinen’s tenure as Artistic Director will continue until 2019, which is the 50th anniversary of the Kuopio Dance Festival. Ms Anna Pitkänen will continued as the Executive Director. The Kuopio Dance Festival is the oldest, most diverse, and one of the largest annual international dance festivals in the Nordic Countries. The Festival takes place every June. 49th Kuopio Dance Festival June 13.-20.6.2018