Exchange with Canada’s National Ballet School during Holland Dance Festival

'Remembrance', Junior Company Dutch National Ballet. Photo: Michel Schnater

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During the nineteenth Holland Dance Festival, which is still continuing until 17 February, there has been an exchange between Canada’s National Ballet School and the Dutch National Ballet Academy. On 24 January, our AD2 students attended the opening gala of the festival, which was dedicated to Mavis Staines – the figurehead of dance education in Canada for over thirty years now – and in which students from ‘her’ school took part, dancing various works. The day after the gala, the Canadian students, along with some of the dancers from Ballethnic, visited our new school premises, where they participated alongside our students and teachers from both academies in an intergenerational dance workshop given by teacher Amy Raymond, who specialises in Forsythe Technologies.

The Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, also appeared at the Holland Dance Festival. At the opening gala at the Amare, in The Hague, the dancers of the Junior Company danced George Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie, while a mixed cast of current and former Junior Company dancers performed Joshua Junker’s successful ballet Remembrance. On Saturday 27 January, the Junior Company presented their own anniversary performance, a one-off event compiled exclusively for the festival. Besides the two aforementioned works, the evening’s programme included Ernst Meisner’s Embers, the avant-première of Joseph Toonga’s Echoes of Memories and Out in the Heartland by the Portuguese choreographers’ duo Beatriz Mira and Tiago Barreiros. In 2022, Mira and Barreiros won the Dutch National Ballet’s Partner Award, during RIDCC (Rotterdam International Duet Choreographic Competition). This resulted in their participation in the company’s Choreographic Academy, in which they created Out in the Heartland.

In the press
“(..) the great potential of the Junior Company dancers is indisputable. It’s brimming over in the young dancers who’ve just left the ballet academy and can develop further in Dutch National Ballet’s satellite company (..) Their enthusiasm more than makes up for the occasional uncertain arm movement. The ballet puppies are just dying to get on that stage and wind the audience round their little finger.”

Het Parool, 5 February 2024

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dance workshop with Amy Raymond

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