Retrospect of the symposium 30 Years of Health & Performance

Past, Present, Future past Friday, Sept. 8.


The day was opened by Deputy Director Anthony Heidweiller with a beautiful speech about the importance of the Health & Performance (H&P) department.Quote: “The H&P department, which has been part of this school for more than 30 years, must become much more visible, audible and tangible. The performing arts and the ATD courses should actually start with H&P, i.e. getting to know and understand your body and your emotions through education. Because H&P also introduces us to what makes us live, namely the breath. Everything begins from birth to our last moment on this earth, with The Breath.”

 The chairman of the day, Anandi van Loon-Felter, managed to connect the parts in a natural, spontaneous way. Erzi Hoogveld (coordinator H&P 2012-2022) gave an introduction about past and present, with a hint to the future.

On Kaltura  you can (re)see images of the symposium on Kaltura.

Foto’s Sjoerd Derine: Anthony Heidweiller, Anandi van Loon-Felter, Erzi Hoogveld

A film entitled " 30 Years of Health & Performance: Important reflections and crucial issues," by filmmaker Flip Kwakkel was shown. Herein Erzi interviewed several colleagues from the past and present with questions such as: What does fit to dance/fit to perform mean to you? What have been the most important developments within H&P? What are the biggest challenges for healthy performance in dance and theater education for the future? What do you wish Health & Performance under new coordinator Sofia Ornellas Pinto?).

Especially the presentation " Fascinating Fascia," was enthusiastically received by the audience. This interactive presentation brought back to life the role of fascia (connective tissue) in movement, perception, body image and motor learning.                                  

Foto’s Sjoerd Derine: Liane Simmel, Gert-Jan de Haas, oefening met publiek, Lobke Mienis.

In the afternoon, we got an insight into the workings of the Living Lab “Training for Excellence”, presented by Raoul Oudejans and Annemarie Hulst-Waal. Herein the ATD works together with the Amsterdam colleges (HvA and UvA) on (practical) projects with a common goal. The title raised the question of whether “excellence” is an appropriate designation. This is a question that needs further discussion.


Foto’s Sjoerd Derine: Annemarie Hulst-Waal, Raoul Oudejans

This was followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the ATD Berthe Spoelstra (artistic director of Theatre Direction), Eva Bakker (NBA student) Tiana Hemlock (choreographer, teacher, SNDO alumni) and as a special guest Andrew Greenwood (Founder of Switch2move, Dance 4 Health). Moderator Sofia Ornellas Pinto, present coordinator H&P, solicited opinions on topics such as: - language associated with health and wellness within the arts, - concepts of health and wellness and its role in the development of creative practices, - education and stigma and - the role of H&P in theater.


Next, the health teams from ATD and ArtEZ presented the Syllabus with the working title "Perform Wijzer". This syllabus, with the intention of publishing as a book in 2024, was created through a unique collaboration of these programs. In this book you can read all about the anatomical structures of the body, what can help you in terms of physical training, what to do in case of (dance) accidents, how to be supported mentally and what nutrition can do for your body and mind.  Initiators are Erzi Hoogveld (ATD) and Inge van Amerongen (ArtEZ). The authors of this book are inspired members of both these health teams, all with a dance background.

Finally, the audience could enjoy different performances danced by 3rd year students of the Expanded Contemporary Dance program.

The closing by Anandi together with Anthony and Sofia, included a summary of the events of the day and some of the wishes from the "wishing tree". This tree, made by Erzi, is standing in the hall of the ATD awaiting your wish for the health and well-being of the ATD in the future.

Photos Erzi Hoogveld, Sjoerd Derine