The annual demonstration performances by the Dutch National Ballet Academy took place on 6 and 7 December, at the Dance Theatre of the Academy of Theatre and Dance, at Jodenbreestraat, in Amsterdam. Class by class, all the pupils and students presented the lesson material they had been working on in recent months. Classical variations and modern solos were performed by several Bachelor’s students, and on the second day there was a presentation of seven works from the previously held Choreographic Project.
The three performances were a big success – not only with the audience, but also for the participating dancers. Artistic director Ernst Meisner says, “It’s very important for the students to demonstrate the lesson material they’ve worked on so hard in recent months on stage, with their own class. Not only does it help them realise why they do all these exercises and steps day in, day out, but it’s also great for the pupils and students to see each other at work. Several of the new Bachelor’s students told me how wonderful it was to see the whole school together, and it’s very inspiring for the youngest pupils to see what they’ll be working towards in the coming years”.
“The demonstration performances are also a good ‘measuring point’ for us as the teaching team, to see where the school stands at the moment, from an artistic and a technical viewpoint. It’s fantastic to see how some pupils and students have made huge strides in a short time, and also to see them in ‘a very different light’ to that of the rehearsal studios. Some dancers turn out to be real ‘stage animals’. And I was very pleased with the virtuoso finale choreographed by Rinat Gizatulin for all the Bachelor’s students, and with the modern solos created by Amy Raymond in interaction with some of the students, which the students can also use later when they audition for companies”.
The second performance day also included six short pieces choreographed by Bachelor’s students and one work by a choreographer from outside the academy, which were created during the Dutch National Ballet Academy’s recent Choreographic Project. Meisner says, “We had a big luxury problem, as the project generated 21 interesting and valuable pieces, but unfortunately we could only present seven of them at the demonstration performances. The Choreographic Project kicked off this year as a pilot, but we already know that we absolutely want to continue it next year. And all the students who created a piece thought it was such a wonderful experience that they want to take part again next year too”.