Jury member of Benois de la Danse
Nissinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1962.
He began his dance training at age eleven at The Finnish National Ballet School. At age fifteen he launched his dance career and immediately began performing soloist roles. In 1978 he won First Prize at The National Ballet Competition in Kuopio, Finland. In 1979 he joined The Kirov Ballet School to continue his studies. Nissinen went on to dance with the Dutch National Ballet, Basel Ballet and San Francisco Ballet — where he was of Principal Dancer for ten years. During Nissinen's performance career his vast repertoire ranged from classical to contemporary works.
As a guest artist, Nissinen danced at numerous international galas and with many different companies and partners. In 1996 Nissinen retired as Principal Dancer from San Francisco Ballet and was appointed Artistic Director of the Marin Ballet in San Rafael, California.
In the summer of 1998 Nissinen was appointed Artistic Director of Alberta Ballet in Calgary, Canada. Under Nissinen's leadership Alberta Ballet embraced a more neo-classical approach to its repertoire, while continuing to cultivate contemporary works. Nissinen brought such notable choreographers as Helgi Tomasson, Rudi Van Dantzig, Christopher Wheeldon, Myriam Naisy, Dominique Dumais and Jorma Elo to the company as well as annually adding a new work by George Balanchine. Nissinen increased Alberta Ballet's performance schedule, touring and global visibility.
Nissinen continues to teach ballet technique at numerous schools and summer happennings. His knowledge and interest in dance history have also made him a popular presenter at conferences. In 1992 Nissinen appeared on the cover of Dance Magazine with a corresponding feature article, and was profiled on CNN Worldwide.