On 4.2.2021, the Board of Kuopio Dance Festival selected Johanna Rajamäki as the new Festival Director. The personnel change will take place in August 2021 when Anna Pitkänen, who has been in the role since 1996, leaves the Festival.
"We feel Johanna is well-suited to the role as far as her abilities and personality are concerned. Her positive and optimistic, forward-looking personality made an impression on us. Johanna’s international background in dance shows her ability to work with different people. Her attitude towards dance is that of a passionate facilitator that affords artistic direction the space and freedom it needs. We feel Johanna’s qualities will complement our team excellently", says the Chairman of the Board, Mika Sutinen.
Johanna Rajamäki is an experienced art management professional, transferring to her director’s role at Kuopio Dance Festival from Tero Saarinen Company where she has been in charge of international relations and sales. A great deal of her experience comes from the international field of dance. Prior to her current role, Johanna worked with the American IMG Artists agency and Dancers’ Career Development & Shape Arts organisation in London. She has also worked at Helsinki Theatre Academy and Fremantle Media. She gained her Master of Arts at London City University, and her BA in Cultural Management at Humak in Turku.
"I am really pleased and excited about this unique opportunity to work at Kuopio Dance Festival and contribute to the Finnish dance scene following years of focusing on export. I am looking forward to working with the Festival’s core team. I have experience from major events and collaborations, including with Kuopio Dance Festival. I understand the significance of the Festival both home and abroad", comments Ms Rajamäki.
"I am looking forward to working with Johanna and bouncing new ideas off her. She knows the field of international dance well, she has a wide network, and she is open-minded – I see these as fantastic points of departure for developing the Festival", states the Festival’s artistic director Riku Lehtopolku.
The Festival Director is in charge of the organisation’s operation and is the head of the Festival. The selection was considered by a board-appointed working party that, in addition to Mr Sutinen and Ms Pitkänen, also included Leila Savolainen and Tuomo Meriläinen. Riku Lehtopolku will continue as the Artistic Director and Sirpa Miettinen as the producer of the Festival.
For further information, contact:
Mika Sutinen, Chairman of the Board, tel. +358 400 6009
Johanna Rajamäki, tel. +358 44 98 60 598
Anna Pitkänen, tel. +358 50 543 92 67