Awards Season: Dance

On Friday, 1 October at the opening night of the Nederlandse Dansdagen, the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD) presented the Swans, the annual awards for Most Impressive Dance Production and Most Impressive Dance Performance. Also presented were the Prize of the Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht and the Prize of the Nederlandse Dansdagen for Young Audiences. 

A special Golden Swan, for their lifetime contribution to Dutch dance, was awarded to Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, the artistic directors of ICK Amsterdam. The jury praised the international scope of their work and their rebellion against the idea that the body is subservient to the mind. “Our thinking truly needs the body”, the jury wrote, “as an inexhaustible source of experience and knowledge”, praising the duo’s contribution to a new dance vocabulary and the intensity of their artistry. “To them, the dancer’s body signifies a tabula rasa, plotting a course around the question what it means to be human with each new show.” 

This year’s Swan nominations covered two seasons: 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, because of COVID-19 and its impact on the performing arts. The Swan for Most Impressive Dance Production went to Dunja Jocic for De Panter, which premiered as a livestream. The jury praised it: “Even as a livestream, the show’s energy exudes from the stage, which is also due to the excellent camera work. De Panter is a precisely constructed work whose different theatrical elements and media reinforce each other. It makes for a mature and thrilling show.”

The Swan for Most Impressive Dance Performance went to Chloé Albaret (Nederlands Dans Theater) for her performance in Edward Clug’s Aperture. Albaret was praised for mastering different choreographers’ dance vocabularies to the minutest detail and adding a layer of mystery and theatricality. “In ‘Aperture’ she showcases a phenomenal ability to shift between pent-up emotions and expressive desire. Her mastery of Edward Clug’s dance vocabulary is convincing and sensitive in sharp, angular movements with a soft human touch.”

A new award, a jewellery pin called the Dansspeld, was awarded to Toer van Schayk, the choreographer, visual artist and designer for the Dutch National Ballet who turned 85 in September. Van Schayk received the pin (designed by Trudi van Schaik) in recognition of his knowledge, wisdom and original thinking which have enriched the dance field for many decades. 

Dalton Jansen won the Prize of the Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht, which represents a cheque worth EUR 10,000 to help a dance maker without structural funding create a new work. Jansen, who will be researching rastafari culture, announced he intended to split the award with two other dance makers, upon which the Maastricht municipality raised the amount to EUR 15,000.

Self-styled ‘hip hop head’ Honey Eavis won the Prize of the Nederlandse Dansdagen for Young Audiences for her potential as a woman in hip hop, for her drive and her clear concept for presenting hip hop dance to young audiences in three tiers from pre-school age to teenagers. She won a cheque worth EUR 10,000.

Info Swans VSCD (Dutch)

Info Dance Awards Dutch Dance Days

Toer van Schayk | photo: Sjoerd Derine
DALTON X3_konrad Saschadel
Dalton Jansen | photo: Konrad Saschadel
Honey_Eavis_portret2 - ©D. Heeringa
Honey Eavis | photo: D. Heeringa