Roshanak Morrowatian and Anne-Beth Schuurmans win prizes at Dutch Dance Festival 2020

On Thursday 1 October, the online opening night of the Dutch Dance Festival, dancer and choreographer Roshanak Morrowatian won the Prize of the Dutch Dance Days Maastricht 2020. Dancer, choreographer and curator Anne-Beth Schuurmans won the Prize of the Dutch Dance Days Young Public 2020. Each received a cheque worth € 10,000 to create a new work that will premiere at the festival in 2021.

Roshanak Morrowatian won the Prize of the Dutch Dance Days Maastricht 2020 for her plans for Kites, a work that deals with the struggles of refugees. Previous winners of the prize include Loïc Perela, Katja Heitmann, Shailesh Bahoran and Connor Schumacher. Morrowatian (1989) views art as a means to present wide audiences with socially relevant themes. With her shows, which she presents both in theatre venues and elsewhere, she intends to turn around our ways of thinking.

The committee wrote: “The committee is impressed with the honesty of feeling – the poetic truthfulness – with which Roshanak infuses her work. If there is anyone who can tell this story, it is her. The urgent topic, combined with this maker’s poetic approach, make Kites absolutely deserving of a place on the Dutch stages.”

The aim of the Prize of the Dutch Dance Days Young Public 2020, whose previous winners include Cecilia Moisio, 155 and Gaia Gonelli, is to promote contributions to innovative dance for young audiences (under 18) in the Netherlands. Anne-Beth Schuurmans creates interdisciplinary performances for toddlers and their entourage of grownups. Drawing on the landscape for inspiration, she sets out from improvisation and always enters into a dialogue with her audience and her fellow performers. She will be creating Stuk is een nieuwe situatie, an interactive piece about manmade changes to the landscape.

The committee wrote: “The committee highly appreciates this approach and admires the drive with which the choreographer has persistently focused on her very young target group. Because of her conviction and her many years of expertise, Anne-Beth’s value to dance for young audiences stretches beyond the Dutch field.
The committee praises the way Anne-Beth creates a miniature universe in every show and makes the children active participants. She sticks with her own ‘artistically hardcore’ way of working, while connecting with the environment in which these very children grow up.”