26th edition of the Nederlandse Dansdagen more than 15,000 visits

The 26th edition of the Nederlandse Dansdagen concluded very successfully last week. This special edition of the festival celebrated Dutch dance in a big way. The performances, workshops, debates and films attracted more than 15,000 visitors in total.

12 October 2023

Dance for and by everyone, in and from Maastricht

This year, the festival once again offered a stage to leading choreographers and companies from the Netherlands, and more than ever to dance lovers and amateur dancers. Nederlandse Dansdagen presented almost 100 activities: from performances by major companies to new makers, from classical ballet to hip-hop battles, from workshops to dance films. In theatres, at special locations in the city of Maastricht, in care homes and online.

For the second year in a row, the Danstent was back on the Vrijthof. The city stage was the place for workshops, battles and dance and club nights and was visited almost 6,500 times.

A whole week of dancing

The festival opened on Friday 29 September with the 
Debate of Dutch Dance in the Sint Janskerk church. More than 250 dance professionals attended, followed by the Diner D'Honneur in the Danstent where the nominees of the dance awards were honoured. During the Dutch Dance Days Gala in a sold-out Theater aan het Vrijthof, the most important dance awards were presented. State Secretary Gunay Uslu attended the Gala and presented the Jonge Zwaan most impressive Youth Dance Production to Als het anders loopt by Elien van den Hoek, Andreas Denk and Adam Peterson. Nita Liem also received the Dansspeld for her role as a pioneer within the development of hip-hop dance from the streets to the theatre in the Netherlands.

At the end, there was dancing late into the night at Club TWEAK, where all kinds of unexpected encounters between artists and clubgoers took place.

Saturday was a true dance explosion throughout the city. From early in the morning until deep into the night, audiences immersed themselves in a rich and diverse dance programme. In the Dance Tent in the afternoon, people battled during
Open Your Mind X The Notorious IBE and in the evening, more than 1,500 salsa lovers took to the floor. Meesterwerken, featuring the top companies Nederlands Dans Theater, Introdans, Het Nationale Ballet, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and ISH Dance Collective, was exuberantly received by a very enthusiastic audience in a once again sold-out Theater aan het Vrijthof. At the Bonnefantenmuseum, Simon Bus, the winner of the Innovation Award 2022, showed performances by kindred dancers amidst centuries-old paintings, while at Theater aan het Vrijthof the video installation Woman's Work by Annemijn de Rijk, a visionary lecture by Joris Weijdom, a series of round-table discussions, and the Virtual Reality performance Transcendance by Ruben Chi could be visited. The Dutch Dance Days also brought premieres of, among others, Danslokaal by Conny Janssen Danst, the 25th edition of the groundbreaking young maker tour DansClick, and Club INC by Connor Schumacher and Theater Babel.

Sunday 2 October included an Open Stage in the Danstent for as many as 179 amateur dancers, but also included performances by Swan nominees Liam McCall and Cherish Menzo and a breakthrough performance by Roberta Maimone. One-off and exclusive, Nederlandse Dansdagen presented two internationally successful performances by ex-NDT dancers Imre and Marne van Opstal, who hail from Limburg. The Dutch premiere of their performances The little man by Nationaltheater Mannheim and I'm afraid to forget your smile by Hessisches Staatsballett (freshly nominated for the Faust, Germany's highest theatre award) were absolute highlights of the festival programme.

Until Thursday 5 October, Nederlandse Dansdagen kept the city moving, including a series of school performances for primary and special education, including BonteHond's SUPERSLOW, which was nominated for a Jonge Zwaan award, and the unsurpassed EXIT by Circumstances/Piet van Dycke, which welcomed almost 700 schoolchildren. Finally, there were dance evenings in a number of Maastricht cafés and the sold-out festival finale CONTROLE by 155, also nominated for a Zwaan.

The Dutch Dance Days on TV and radio

The daily festival news Op pad met Redo was broadcast by L1 and RTV Maastricht this year and reached almost 150,000 people. Cultuurcafé, a radio and TV programme by L1, was entirely dedicated to the Dance Days on 30 September. NTR and the Dutch Dance Days joined forces again this year, offering online audiences an exclusive selection of dance programmes, including a tribute to photographer Erwin Olaf.

Save the date - In 2024, Nederlandse Dansdagen will take place Friday 4 October to Thursday 10 October.