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Meet Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen

Finlandia Foundation National is honored to have had the opportunity to visit via Zoom with internationally renowned Mikko Nissinen, artistic director of the Boston Ballet and the Boston Ballet School, the largest dance school in North America.

The online visit is conducted by FFN Trustee Eeva Syvanen, a founder of the House of Finland in San Diego—and is a dancer! 

In their informal, cross-country chat, Mikko talks about how a boy from Finland rapidly rose to acclaim as a dancer, then choreographer and creative director in Boston; what he does with his free time; how his Finnishness guides his life and his work; and his advice to “Take the best and leave the rest.”

One of the leading figures in the world of dance shares why he would consider banishing the word “ballet,” and his views on contemporary culture and the arts in a post-Covid world.

“We are not a museum. We have to adapt to a whole new culture.”

Mikko Nissinen

Learn how he drew on his sisu to see Boston Ballet through its darkest hours, and to not only survive, but flourish.

“I was never going to give up. Failure was not an option.”

Mikko Nissinen

Be inspired by his outlook: “Life is about experiences,” says Mikko. “One lifetime gets you to scratch a little bit of that surface. Let’s not waste that. Enjoy ourselves and believe in ourselves. We can do anything we want when we put our minds into it.”

It’s an interesting and entertaining 45-minute program with insights about more than the world of dance.