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Javier Torres López proposed as the new Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet

The Board of Directors of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet decided upon the proposal today.

In its meeting today, on Wednesday 6 October, the Board of Directors of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet decided to propose Javier Torres López as the Artistic Director of the Ballet. The proposal followed a motion by General Director Gita Kadambi, which had been unanimously supported by the nomination and remuneration committee appointed by the board. The board will decide upon the appointment of the Artistic Director after hearing personnel groups on Thursday 21 October, 2021.

The recruitment of the Artistic Director of the Ballet was open to the public and involved the services of a recruitment specialist as well as an invitation to apply directly. An international panel of experts also participated in the process. The board made its selection based on the applicants’ merits, interviews, preliminary assignments, and aptitude evaluations.

Reporting to the General Director, the Artistic Director of the Ballet is responsible for the artistic planning of the repertoire, while leading and developing the operations of the Finnish National Ballet. The key requirements set for the position in the recruitment process were the knowledge of classical ballet and contemporary dance, artistic and strategic vision, and the ability to lead operations and manage external networks.

45 applicants from 15 different countries took part in the recruitment process.

The reasoning behind the proposal:

Javier Torres has a deep knowledge of classical ballet and contemporary dance. He has more than 30 years of experience as a choreographer and teacher for numerous renowned ballet companies and educational institutions. During his extensive career Torres has built an impressive network of contacts both in Finland and beyond. He is also a sought-after visiting lecturer.

Besides artistic vision, Javier Torres has the ability to lead and delegate, and his way of working is both steadfast and financially sustainable. His collaboration and communication skills are excellent, and he has demonstrated a participatory approach to leadership and management.   Creating his own productions and choreographies has further strengthened his expertise. Having worked as a dancer at the Finnish National Ballet from 1991 to 2008, Torres is thoroughly familiar with the institution and its ways of working. The most recent of Torres’s choreographies to be performed at the Finnish National Ballet has been Sleeping Beauty, a firm favourite of the audience, this autumn.

Torres is a Finnish and Mexican citizen. In addition to Finnish, he speaks Spanish, English and French.

If Javier Torres is appointed, his fixed term contract will be valid until 31 July, 2026 (four years), with an optional extension of another three years. The tenure of the current Artistic Director of the Ballet, Madeleine Onne, ends on 31 July, 2022.

Javier Torres, General Director Gita Kadambi, and the members of the Board of Directors are not available for comments before the board meeting on 21 October, 2021.