Works in Silence offers a unique view of the early work and artistic development of one of the most important choreographers of the twentieth century: the grand old lady of American Modern dance Lucinda Childs. Ty Boomershine, who as a dancer had a long-lasting relationship with Childs’ company and has been the artistic director of the German 40+ ensemble Dance On since 2019, managed to involve her in this remarkable collaborative project.
An immense influence on generations of choreographers The six selected choreographies from the extensive repertory of Childs are fascinating both because of their rarity as well as their great importance to international dance and immense influence on generations of choreographers. The works could be seen in museums, churches, and public spaces in the 1970’s, and most have never or hardly ever been performed since. In these choreographies, Childs eliminated props, objects, spoken word, symbolic movement – all characteristics of the famous Judson Dance Theater era – and instead chose to purely focus on the movement of the body through space. Starting off from what, to her, is the basis of movement – walking – and going from walking to changing direction, to skipping, to jumping. In other words, according to her vision, the illustration of the evolution of movement through dance.
Vulnerability and humanity The pieces express vulnerability and humanity, quietly performed by the extraordinary dancers of the Dance On Ensemble who each illustrate the considerable value of experience with their own rich history, background and knowledge. Childs: “By crossing out any artificiality and theatricality, the beauty and truth of wisdom is confronted, shared, and exposed.”
“Dance On offers a new look on the still fresh avant-garde of yesteryear” – Het Parool
Special Dutch-French edition Dance students from Codarts Rotterdam dancers share the stage with students from the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. A wonderful opportunity for the young dancers from both cities to broaden their horizons.
Passing on dance heritage The joint performances during the festival – and those in May 2022 in the Centre National de la Danse in Paris – are the highlight of a larger exchange project to encourage the transmission of our European dance heritage. During the entire academic year of 2021/2022, the young dance talents of Codarts and the Parisian Conservatoire are working on creations by various top choreographers, who each have a connection with either the Netherlands or France.
Female solo, multiplied The French students present ‘Suite for five’ by Merce Cunningham. Furthermore, the French will dance Hearts and Arrows by their countryman Benjamin Millepied, known for his creations for – among others – the New York City Ballet, the Ballet de l’Opera National de Paris and the Hollywood film Black Swan.
The Codarts dancers can be seen in Bravo Charlie by Marco Goecke, in an excerpt from Wings of Wax by Jiři Kylián and in Femme by the Belgian choreographer Jens van Daele, who unexpectedly passed away in 2020. Dancers from both cities will also present a jointly executed choreography from Kylián’s Whereabouts Unknown and will be performed by all the female students from both programmes.
Dance is made by and for everyone. Holland Dance Festival has conveyed that opinion for years. We organize lessons and activities for older people and produce performances that touch, move, surprise, and entertain their audiences. One of those performances is the biannual Good [old] Times production, in which we invite a different professional choreographer (or choreographers) to work with a group of seniors – selected through an audition – to offer the audience a unique experience.
Wistfulness This time, the Good [old] Times production is created by choreographers Thom Stuart and Rinus Sprong from De Dutch Don’t Dance Division (The Hague). The duo has a rich, very successful track record and is very experienced in working with highly diverse groups of dancers. In their new production, titled Tableau de la Troupe, we follow a number of older dancers in a backstage setting. In the dressing room, where the group is getting ready for a new show, their lived experience as well as their dreams for the future come up. Some can look back at illustrious careers, others wistfully think of missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. But things can change! Stuart and Sprong: “Think of Lotti Huber, who started her illustrious acting career when she was already 80 years old and 87 when she published her writing debut, Diese Zitrone hat noch viel Saft!“
The ‘Song of life’ as a guiding principle The expressive and energetic movement idiom of Stuart and Sprong is used to its full advantage in this vibrant new production. Music is the guiding principle in Tableau de la Troupe, and the ‘Song of life’ in particular. Through classic compositions and songs by, among others, Nina Hagen, Bette Midler, and Hildegard Knef, the dancers relive their past and their dreams come into being.
Dance has an essential role to play in positive health, more than ever in this era of chronic physical and mental health challenges. Dance for health activities are supported by evidence-based research. The Holland Dance Festival and the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation present ‘A Roadmap for Dance in Healthcare’ – a 3 hour deep dive into the necessary conditions for making a sustainable, valuable and community based dance proposition. A proposition that covers the requirements of diverse publics, dancers, teachers, teaching artists, health care practitioners and policy makers. A proposition for delivering effective, functional dance-based approaches to enhance health and wellbeing.
Focus Day Content
10” Introduction Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation with Eldridge Labinjo
20” Dance in Community-Creative Health and Policy. Speaker: Ulco Mes, Gemeente Tilburg and Andrew Greenwood
20” Dance in a Health Care Context-Psychological benefits of dance. Speaker: Robin van den Kieboom + Andrew Greenwood. Moderator Eldridge Labinjo.
15” Towards an International Benchmarking for Dance for Health Programmes, IADMS. Presenter: Clare Guss-West, MA.
10” minute break
20” Good old Times; Anouk Sergo (dance teacher 55+ dance) and dancer from GOT class and/or production, incl. energizer
15” Introduction on Blijvend in Beweging. Presenter Yolanda van der Heijden
10” Q & A and discussion about GOT and BIB. Moderator EL
15-20” Breakout rooms. Meeting and sharing.
15” Plenary and Wrap Up Moderator Eldridge Labinjo and Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation.