A total of 37 applications were received for the post of Dance House director. The standard of the applications was exceedingly high, with a range of backgrounds and industries represented among them. The recruitment process was run by independent headhunters specialising in executive roles.
“Matti Numminen offered the mix of skills we felt were best suited to leading the Dance House in the organisation's first few years. What we set out to find was an innovative and clear-sighted leader, with the ability to recognise the cultural and social potential of dance and the capacity to effectively promote it through the Dance House," commented Sanna Rekola, Chair of the Dance House Helsinki Board.
"Matti Numminen has demonstrated his ability to identify the challenges facing the sector and impressed us with his solutions-oriented approach, whilst remaining committed to his artistic ambitions."
Matti Numminen, who holds a Master's degree in Theatre Arts, has worked at Riihimäki Theatre since 2009, starting out as producer and assuming the role of managing director in 2015 with responsibility for strategic and operative leadership and creative programme design in consultation with the artistic director.
For Matti Numminen himself, the new role represents a continuum of his work at Riihimäki Theatre.
“The Dance House Helsinki team will employ a number of different approaches, including joint productions, to ensure that the entire Finnish dance sector benefits from the resources at its disposal. I'm also delighted to say that the Dance House Helsinki mission statement perfectly encapsulates my own ideas for the performing arts in Finland," he said.
In practice, this means a commitment to introducing a range of production and collaborative models designed to ensure that the available resources are utilised as widely as possible.
“My aim is to establish the Dance House Helsinki as a highly-regarded arts institution both in Finland and further afield. I also want to make sure that it is an organisation capable of challenging and updating existing production practices."
Matti Numminen is set to assume his new role on 1 December 2018, when acting Managing Director Hanna-Mari Peltomäki steps down aftermore than seven years in the post.
"It has been wonderful to take part in such a historical project in the field of dance in Finland. The construction phase is now beginning, and the doors will be opened in about two years. This is a great time to hand over responsibility of the project to the new director of the house," says Peltomäki.
Working with Numminen will be a new programme manager whose recruitment will begin on 4 June.