Students Khayla Fitzpatrick and Timothy van Poucke talk about Dancers of Tomorrow

David Dawson rehearsing '5', photo: Olivier Wecxsteen

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Two NBA students dancing prominent roles in Dancers of Tomorrow are Khayla Fitzpatrick from Canada and Timothy van Poucke from the Netherlands. They are both 18 and will be joining Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company in August. Timothy: “I’m really happy. I’ve been following Dutch National Ballet all my life”. Khayla: “I came to the Netherlands because of the Junior Company, and I cried when I heard I had gotten a contract”.

Two NBA students dancing prominent roles in Dancers of Tomorrow are Khayla Fitzpatrick from Canada and Timothy van Poucke from the Netherlands. They are both 18 and will be joining Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company in August. Timothy: “I’m really happy. I’ve been following Dutch National Ballet all my life”. Khayla: “I came to the Netherlands because of the Junior Company, and I cried when I heard I had gotten a contract”.

Before the two dancers join the Junior Company, however, you can see them in Dancers of Tomorrow. They are both dancing in August Bournonville’s Le Conservatoire, in Till Then by Gioconda Barbuto and in John Neumeier’s Yondering. Khayla is also cast for David Dawson’s 5 and Timothy is one of the dancers in the new Gottschalk Demo.

They are both very enthusiastic about Barbuto’s Till Then. Timothy: “Last year I had an injury, but luckily I can now take part. Gioconda’s choreography gives us a lot of freedom, but that doesn’t make it easier for us. On the contrary, it’s very difficult to dance freely without losing control – which would make it look ridiculous”. Khayla: “I’ve only been studying at the National Ballet Academy for a year and I really enjoyed seeing last year’s cast on video. But the good thing about Gioconda is that she really works with the dancers she has at the moment, so I can fully express my personality in this work”.

Timothy’s heart is most taken by Yondering, and Khayla is also impressed by Neumeier’s choreography. Khayla: “Some sections are really lyrical, while others are very energetic, but throughout the ballet you feel the extent to which this piece is created on young students and how well it portrays our youth”. Timothy: “This ballet gives me the chance to make the most of myself – helped along enormously by Neumeier’s choice of folk songs by Stephen Foster. For me, this music really makes the ballet”.

August Bournonville’s Conservatoire is a big challenge for Khayla. “Not just because of the little jumps, but also because of the delicate style of the ballet. I’ve never danced Bournonville before”. It’s different for Timothy, yet the ballet still isn’t his favourite. “It’s very classical and very stylised. Fortunately, our classes were adapted to it while we were learning the ballet”.

The biggest challenge in Dancers of Tomorrow for Timothy is probably the Gottschalk Demo, while Khayla is really looking forward to the exhausting race in David Dawson’s 5. Timothy: “The Gottschalk Demo is an allegro full of turns and jumps. We’re really pushed to show what we can do. That will never come naturally to me. It always takes me a long time to make technical things look good”. Khayla: “The main thing in 5 is that you’ve got to find the stamina to get through the eight-minute ballet. But that’s not all there is to it. You’ve also got to find the right quality of movement; something that David Dawson is extremely precise about. And on top of that, there’s the presentation. The ballet may be an incredibly difficult firecracker, but you’ve still got to command the stage and make it look as if you’re just dashing it off”.

Read also:

Dancers of Tomorrow – end-of-year performances
Over thirty contracts in the Netherlands and abroad
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Yondering in Hamburg
International Summer School
Photographer Antoinette Mooy is photographing Dancers of Tomorrow again this year
Choreographer Nils Christe visits the National Ballet Academy
National Ballet Academy pupils perform at Jump Dance Day

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