The Nederlandse Dansdagen celebrates 50 years of hip-hop – Dance With Me

This year, The Nederlandse Dansdagen will descend on Maastricht for the 26th time. The 'festival of Dutch dance' will again be celebrated in grand style. In theatres, at special locations in the city, from online stages and again from the 'Danstent' on the Vrijthof square.

May 1, 2023

Under the motto Dance with me, audiences, makers, companies, amateurs and professionals will be brought together to celebrate dance in all its forms. From classical ballet to urban, from renowned companies to the next generation of choreographers, from theatre to film and events for young audiences.

Celebrate 50 years of hip-hop at the Dansdagen

On 11 August 1973, hip-hop was born at a legendary party in New York at Cindy and Clive Campbell's flat. Now, 50 years later we celebrate not only hip-hop worldwide, but also 25 years of hip-hop dance theatre in the Netherlands. Reason enough for the Nederlandse Dansdagen to celebrate this anniversary during the festival because it has been embracing the dance style for years and hip-hop is increasingly making its way to the stage.

Especially for this edition, the festival programme will be full of exceptional, renowned and emerging dancers and creators from the hip-hop scene, including ISH Dance Collective, Cherish Menzo, Ruben Chi, Dalton Jansen and Simon Bus. In addition, the artistic directors of two of the most important hip-hop festivals in the Netherlands, Tyrone van der Meer (The Notorious IBE) and Andrey Grekhov (Open Your Mind), will team up again with The Nederlandse Dansdagen for another must-see battle.

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Ambassador of the Dutch Dance 2023: Wennah Wilkers

Wennah Wilkers (1992, born in Tarlac) is a Filipino dancer and choreographer who breaks down the boundaries between contemporary and urban dance. If anyone embodies hip-hop anno 2023 in terms of dance, it is Wennah. She graduated from the the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in 2018 and has been spreading her authentic dance language in theatres and cyphers ever since. She is part of the house dance crew XGEN, with which she is active on an international level.

For Wennah, dance is freedom. It gives a sense of life, timelessness, connection. It puts you in her favourite state of being: alive. "Hip hop to me means family, connection, a home. A place where you can safely be yourself and stand up for each other. Where life is celebrated together. Where each individual's creativity is given space to flourish, grow and be shared with each other. Where together we build a better world, everyone does their bit and everyone is welcome." says Wennah Wilkers.

Choreography of allure: Imre and Marne van Opstal

Dutch dance is highly regarded worldwide. The Nederlandse Dansdagen are therefore happy to make room at the festival for Dutch choreographers who are experiencing an international breakthrough. This year: Imre and Marne van Opstal.

Originally from Limburg, the brother and sister are among today's most exciting and sought-after dance choreographers. They create for dance companies worldwide, are the regular choreographers for fashion house Dior's shows and have collaborated with singer-songwriter Lykke Li. Their work is surreal, with a strong and distinct dance language known for its eclecticism, theatricality and partnering elements. During this edition, two of their international successes will be brought to the Netherlands for their premiere once and exclusively for The Nederlandse Dansdagen. The Dutch premiere of Nationaltheater Mannheim with 'The little man' and the Hessisches Staatsballett with 'I'm afraid to forget your smile' are absolute highlights.

All Masterpieces on one stage

Meesterwerken on Saturday night is the only time in the year when 'our' five top companies can be seen on one stage. This year, Het Nationale Ballet, Scapino Ballet, Introdans, NDT and ISH Dance Collective share the stage together; a unique event.

Campagne foto ND 2023 Wennah Wilkers

About The Nederlandse Dansdagen

The festival opens on Friday evening with the Nederlandse Dansdagen Gala, where the country's most important dance awards will be presented. The Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht Innovatieprijs gives an impulse to the emerging talent of Dutch dance and the prestigious Zwanen celebrates groundbreaking top performances. This festive evening will be framed by special performances by former award winners, leading creators and surprising guests.

The Nederlandse Dansdagen will take place this year from Friday 29 September to Thursday 5 October 2023. Tickets for part of the programme will go on sale on 13 May. The full programme will be announced on 25 August, after which sales for the entire festival programme will start on 2 September.