Decision of the Board of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet announced today
By Liisa Riekki
At its meeting on Thursday 21 October 2021, the Board of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet appointed Javier Torres López to the position of the Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet. The Board made its decision unanimously on the motion of General Director Gita Kadambi after first consulting staff groups.
Javier Torres is well versed in classical ballet and contemporary dance and possesses over 30 years of experience as a choreographer and teacher with numerous renowned ballet companies and institutions. He is also in great demand as a lecturer. Over his long career, he has gained an extensive network of contacts in Finland and abroad. Aside from his artistic vision, he possesses excellent management skills and the ability to delegate duties and adopt a long-term approach to working on a financially sustainable basis. Torres used to work as a dancer in the Finnish National Ballet during 1991–2008. The latest of his choreographies performed in the Finnish National Ballet is the beloved Sleeping Beauty this autumn.
“Having been selected as the director of the Ballet is an honour. Choosing me is placing in me an enormous amount of trust that implies a huge responsibility. I feel capable and will do all my best to make each member of the Ballet, of the Ballet School and of the whole Opera House proud of having made this decision. I trust that together we will work to please the audience even more. My aim is to encourage creativity and growth, both in a personal and group level, to achieve an originality and excellence that will give the Finnish National Ballet an even stronger identity. I wish is to continue developing a safe and friendly environment based on the respect of the values of the Finnish National Ballet”, Javier Torres says.
When the dancers were consulted, a narrow majority did not endorse Torres’ appointment, whereas the other personnel groups endorsed it. General Director of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet Gita Kadambi has discussed the situation with the dancers. “We have addressed the situation together in a constructive spirit and the dancers are ready to co-operate. Personally, I´m convinced that in him we will have an excellent Director of the Ballet. He was the best among the excellent candidates and his merits are impressive”, Gita Kadambi highlights.
Javier Torres will assume his new position on 1 August 2022. The fixed-term contract with an option for an additional three years extends up to 31 July 2026.