Nicole Berndt-Caccivio & Dance On Lab

Photos: Yan Revazov




After their last piece “Tideland”, the amateur performers of the Dance On Lab are now exploring emotional memories of ‘love’ for this new production, including everything that we associate with the word: falling in love, breaking up, jealousy… Fragments come together to create images that are expressed through dance, the body and the voice. A feeling of “butterflies in my stomach” can develop into an improvised solo, while a feeling state of “hurt and abandoned” may result in a group choreography.

The piece was developed by the group in collaboration with Nicole Berndt-Caccivio, a Swiss dancer, choreographer and lecturer in contemporary dance. She is the artistic director of the Age Company in Vienna, founded in 2009, which deals with art for and with older people. With the project „Collective Spheres“, which she founded in 2020, she connects with younger dancers and choreographers on different artistic, pedagogical and performative levels.

Dance On Participation Workshops & Showing of Tideland by Dance On Lab

Photos: Jubal Battisti

Miki Orihara and Marco Volta of the Dance On Ensemble and Laura Böttinger, the artistic director of Dance On Participation, offer three dance workshops at Studio EDEN in Berlin Pankow. No prior experience necessary.

The workshops will be followed by a public showing of Tideland by the Dance On Lab, a group of amateur performers aged 60+ who meet regularly to explore dance and choreographic practice.

Tideland premiered earlier this year at the Elixir Extracts Festival at Sadler’s Wells in London.

3 December:

10-11.30 Graham work | Workshop with Miki Orihara

12-1.30 Invisible threads | Workshop with Marco Volta

4 December:

3.30-5.00 Choreographic Lab 50+ | Workshop with Laura Böttinger

6-6.45 Tideland | Performance with dancers of the Dance On Lab

Open Sketchbook by Đorđe Balmazović/Škart
at Cofestival

Drawings: Đorđe Balmazović

The Open Sketchbook exhibition consists of drawings made during the observation process of the Silver Gold project development, executed by an intergenerational dance and choreographic collective. The materials are part of a procedural work and are a visual response to the kinetic situations of contemporary dance practice.

Dragana Alfirević, the initiator of the Silver Gold project, invited visual artist Đorđe Balmazović to follow the process as an outside observer, but his role soon turned into that of a documentarist and co-creator. With a gaze that intersects the visible with the sensual, the artist has thus begun to transform dance into kinetic figures, bringing them into a field beyond their fleeting immediacy. In this way, images of dance in dance itself were created, as the hand that is drawing itself moves and at the same time folds, curiously searching, exploring, deciding, and last but not least, with its presence, supporting the bodies in movement. This exhibition is a kind of homage to dance, and at the same time it is dance itself.

Đorđe Balmazović is a member of Škart group, founded in 1990 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In the 1990s, the collective produced poetry fanzines and distributed them in street actions. In 2000, Škart founded two groups – the Horkeškart Choir and Orchestra and the Women’s Embroidery Group. Since 2012, the collective has been running workshops for children, migrants and the elderly.

Curator: Bojana Piškur


Tideland by Dance On Lab &
Relive by Sadler’s Wells Company of Elders

Photo: Foteini Christofilopoulou

This afternoon performance celebrates the joy that dancing has on people’s lives, whatever age you may be. The show features performances by a range of non-professional groups from the UK and beyond, including Sadler’s Wells’ Company of EldersDance On Lab from Berlin, and Three Score Dance Company.

Sadler’s Wells’ Company of Elders presents Relive on stage, and in its original form – a short dance film created during lockdown in early 2021. Created by Eleesha Drennan, both the film and performance poignantly look at human connection and isolation. Relive unpacks the theme of memory through stories about what matters most in life: the people we share it with.

Dance On Lab, a group of mature non-professional dancers based in Berlin, presents Tideland. Working together since 2016, they are part of the DANCE ON initiative that values age in dance. This performance reminds us that only very special images remain in us, our bodies and our memories. In Tideland, they search the common and individual understanding of things.

Linked to the work of psychoanalyst Jessica BenjaminAlone Together by the Three Score Dance Company looks at the motivations of human action; the need for different types of attention and the reaction to the attention we receive. The work utilises Harry Escott’s score to create a haunting atmosphere that evokes the human experience.


Elixir Extracts Festival
Performances, Workshops, Talks

Photos: Foteini Christofilopoulou

This year’s mini festival celebrates creative ageing and presents a range of workshops, films, artist talks and performances by mature performers.

The festival includes performances by acclaimed professional artists along with the opportunity for non-professional dancers to showcase their work.


Seppe Baeyens | Ultima Vez

Photo: Danny Willems

“There is an entire universe that exists outside the walls of the theatre that has been denied access to dance and theatre,” says Seppe Baeyens. With Birds he ventures outside the theatre walls to organise the public space as a dramatic space. How do participants, onlookers and passers-by relate in this generous, social choreography?

Following the success of Tornar (2015) and INVITED (2018), dancer and choreographer Seppe Baeyens builds upon his exploration of shaping a temporary community in Birds. For this new creation, he steps outside the theatre walls and ventures into the public space with a group of performers and musicians. There the normal course of events is interrupted – sometimes invisibly and sometimes plainly. Time and time again, unexpected compositions arise from playful interactions between onlookers, participants and coincidental passers-by, in which everyone appears to influence the outcome. Birds is a generous, social choreography that seeks out connection and imagination.

In Birds Seppe Baeyens also wanted to broaden and diversify the creation process itself. He invited Martha Balthazar and Yassin Mrabtifi to create and accompany the performance with him.


Good (old) Times: Tableau de la Troupe

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.  

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. 


Focus Day: A Roadmap for Dance in Healthcare

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.