Scapino is seeking an Artistic Director
NOTE: the deadline for this vacancy has passed
Since Johanna Snoek founded it in 1945, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam has only had four artistic directors. After 30 years, the current artistic director Ed Wubbe believes it is time to hand over the responsibility, and the challenges that come with it, to the next generation. For this reason, we are looking for an ambitious artistic director who is keen to build on our company’s position based on a clear artistic vision.
Scapino Ballet Rotterdam is one of the five major dance companies in the Netherlands and the oldest professional dance company in the country. Since 1992, the group has been Rotterdam’s city dance company, making an indispensable contribution to the city’s cultural infrastructure. In addition to this, Scapino is part of the national cultural Basic Infrastructure (the BIS).
Dance fans enjoy our exciting performances in all the large and medium-sized theatres all over the Netherlands. Scapino also performs abroad on a regular basis.
The company celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2021.
Scapino performs in its own recognisable style: distinctive, original, accessible, theatrical and multidisciplinary, and the performances are often accompanied by live music.
Scapino Ballet Rotterdam is always on the move. Dynamism is par for the course and reflects the organisation’s way of working. A healthy curiosity feeds the team’s and the leadership’s eagerness to learn. There is never a shortage of inspiration, intuition and passion. Not only in the studios, but among the technical crew and behind the desks of the office workers.
Scapino has courage and shows this by taking artistic and commercially responsible risks.
Our policy is based on three pillars, namely production, talent development and education.
- We produce full-evening performances for the large auditorium. It could be work created by the current artistic director. But we also challenge experienced and talented guest choreographers to step off the beaten track and relate to the dynamics of the City of Rotterdam and of society in a broader sense. This creates novel work that is innovative and of a high standard and that connects.
- We offer promising and talented choreographers the opportunity to develop their own signature style by creating work for an energetic company with professionally trained, highly rated dancers. These are preferably long-term partnerships in which Scapino can contribute to the next step in their careers. Many choreographers who have been able to develop at Scapino now work with major houses or leading companies.
Scapino also puts a lot of effort into developing talented dancers. Each year, several trainees from renowned dance academies take on intensive roles in our ensemble. They discover all the facets of professional dancing under the careful guidance of our staff.
Encouraging promising choreography and dance talent is not only important for the future of Scapino itself, but it is also essential for the innovation of dance as an art form. Scapino draws inspiration from other disciplines and art disciplines: interaction and exchange feed the richness of the imagination.
- Education is deeply enshrined in our DNA. Scapino was founded shortly after the Second World War as the world's first professional dance company for young people. Meanwhile, cultural education has undergone an exciting development as one of our pillars. It is never too soon for children and young people to come into contact with dance so that they are given the opportunity to acquire indispensable skills through imagination, adventure and movement. We've signed up for that too at Scapino.
Scapino produces artistic performances at the highest level. That said, the true value only comes to the fore when others watch these works and are moved by it.
This includes not only connoisseurs and professionals, but also The Public, for which we deliberately use capitals. Our connection with a large and wide audience is of paramount importance to us. In addition, we are constantly introducing new audiences to the world of dance. The more people who experience dance, the better. Scapino’s work is a great draw card in that respect. And it lays a firm foundation for our bond with committed professionals from the theatres we visit, both at home and abroad.
The ensemble consists of 18 dancers; the organisation has a total of 42 FTEs. Scapino’s aim is to create a working environment in which well-being, collaboration and inclusion are the norm.
Due to the imminent retirement of our artistic director, Scapino is looking for a replacement.
The new artistic director will wholeheartedly embrace the high standards, meaning and core values that Scapino Ballet Rotterdam holds dear. At the same time this person (he, she, them) must have a clear vision for the company’s future course and the challenges that will accompany it. The candidate must have the ambition to take on this managerial position in a contemporary, innovative and inclusive way and have the competencies to achieve this ambition. We expect every candidate to put forward an attractive and convincing vision of Scapino’s strengths, its identity and its pillars, as well as an understanding of how they can be honed, changed and enhanced. The candidate must look for the best way to bind the company to the ultra-diverse city that is Rotterdam. And ensure that Scapino is a welcome guest on all the major podiums in the Netherlands and abroad.
We are looking for candidates that believe that Scapino is the place where experience, talent, competencies, and artistic and social relevance merge. They could and may be ‘old hands’, but new and extraordinary candidates from unexpected quarters are most welcome too. A background as a choreographer or performing dancer is not essential; candidates with experience or ambition in artistic management are also invited to apply.
- The new artistic director will develop a distinct and convincing artistic vision of Scapino Ballet Rotterdam's strengths and potential, both in relation to the performing arts in the Netherlands as well as the city of Rotterdam, and in relation to the diverse range of theatres and in relation to current social trends;
- will formulate a clear vision on how to put together a well-functioning team of dancers, ballet masters, choreographers and guest teachers and guide them during their career at Scapino;
- will take on the ultimate responsibility without reservations and can cope with the volume and complexity of the work;
- will support the development of the education policy;
- will translate important current themes such as diversity, social relevance, new trends in the performing arts, etc into concrete and original choices that are part of the artistic policy and engenders support for them in the organization.
- The artistic director at Scapino Ballet Rotterdam is a charismatic, inspiring and unifying team leader and team builder. The focus is on the entire team, based on the awareness that every artistic decision also entails an organisational and financial choice.
- is capable of developing and implementing an inclusive artistic policy, in cooperation with the management team and the organisation's other departments;
- has a relevant network, maintains it and expands it.
- feels driven to follow every step of the developments in the field of domestic and international dance and to scout for dancers and choreographers;
- is capable of differentiating between key points and less important matters, and promotes this skill among members of staff;
- has business-like and commercial acumen and realises that every decision also includes organisational and financial consequences;
- has experience with creative processes;
- has an image-defining presence, also vis-a-vis the outside world;
- has an understanding of and is sensitive to the interests of stakeholders and subscribes to the cultural governance code, the cultural diversity code and the fair practice code.
- is able to multi-task and listen, and is a team player.
The new artistic director will be given the opportunity to develop a vision for the company with a view to forming the policy in the Long-Term Policy Plan for 2025-2028. This may include a transitional phase, in which the current and new artistic director will work together, and the baton will be passed on in phases.
The artistic director together with the general manager form the board of the foundation. Both are jointly and separately accountable to the supervisory board.
The appointment is on a full-time employment basis. The conditions of service are set within the frameworks of the CBA for Drama and Dance and the employment conditions that are customary in the sector.
The date of commencement of service will be determined in mutual consultation.
We look forward to receiving a letter of motivation from candidates in which they briefly and clearly share their vision of Scapino Ballet Rotterdam’s future with the Supervisory Board. The procedure includes an assessment. The closing date for the vacancy is 23 January 2022.
Please send job applications plus a curriculum vitae to Tirza Paais (firstname.lastname@example.org). Information about the job requirements can be requested from the general director Erik Pals (email@example.com).