The SNDO provides an educational platform for artists who want to develop their professional practice and work in the field of choreography, dance and performance making. The programme fosters experimentation and critical reflection and guides students to develop their own artistic practice as well as to contribute to the development of the dance field at large. The SNDO offers a full time four-year professional education course leading to a Bachelor's degree in Art – Choreography.

SNDO’s international reputation, carefully curated programme and rich pool of students and alumni continue to contribute to the development, renewal, challenges and expansion of the established ways of thinking choreography and making (dance)performances.

Over and above its core curriculum, the SNDO does this through active dialogue with contemporary themes and politics within the profession, education and society at large; stimulating and initiating new developments and research in the area of dance and performance; by offering intensive courses and symposia, or occasionally by producing articles that can contribute to further development in the field. 

The SNDO has organized a number of conferences and workshops: Conversations on Choreography (March 1999), Bodies of Influence (June 1996), The Connected Body (August 1994), The Absent Body (2008), The Diva Body (2009), Body & Spirit (2010), Social Choreography (2011), On Consent in Dance and Performance (2018) and Activism, Art And Education – A Week With Angela Davis (2018). In addition, the SNDO regularly invites in lecturers as part of the Artist in Residence programmes at the ATD.

SNDO has built an international position and has students from different parts of the world coming from more than forty different countries. The staff and (guest-) artists and teachers are both Dutch and international and the courses are taught in English. 

The SNDO collaborates with number of local and international organizations from the fields of dance, performance, visual arts and education. 

Like any educational structure SNDO is further recognized and enriched through the work of their alumni. The forty-year long trajectory has brought many choreographers, performance makers, dancers and teachers into the international field. 

The SNDO is part of the Academy of Theatre and Dance (ATD) at the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) and accredited by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

In the words of others

Due to the raise of interdisciplinary choreography, the validation of the body after a long period of its dismissal, dance regaining momentum after its facultative exhaustion as a mode of resistance to commoditization, the notions of movement inspiring activist philosophy, the emergence of neo-materialistic choreographic approaches that reject dualisms between nature and culture, subject and object, for these and many other tendencies too many to here innumerate, one can no longer rely on a consensus regarding what choreography can either include or exclude. 

To direct a school of choreography within such an ocean of possibilities and desires (immanent to the market pressures that so many artists understandably wish to resist), asks for the ability to apprehend and discern from today’s diversity what needs to be elected to be included in a study programme that substantiates and precipitates the future of this discipline, so this can perform in all its significance.

At SNDO today this is done in a dialogical and analytical manner operating at the interstice between the reality of the school and the one outside as a single continuum. 

The programme is crafted in a sensitive and fazed manner informed by the visions of the teachers, students, alumni and the transformations in the field. The curriculum constitutive of SNDO is being placed on the table and debated upon. Connections between different pedagogical approaches are traced and alterations are gradually implemented in the programme. The notions of embodiment, movement, race, and gender between others are being discussed in relation to the overall programme. 

Focusing pragmatically in what needs to be prolonged or restructured resisting the path of homogenization, the school is directed as a multichannel composition that expands in diverse directions and speeds. 


Esther Arribas, SNDO administrative assistant
tel: +31 20 527 7644
fax: +31 20 527 7642