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Rudi van Dantzig (1933-2012)

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This is very upsetting, Rudi was the very first choreographer I had the good fortune to work with on a ballet. On my second day in the company, he chose me to be the white girl in Monument for a dead boy, later his Moments and then in Washington DC, a piece called Jungle. His use of electronic music and his movement vocabulary were at first very difficult to understand. He could be demanding but in the end he loved his dancers. I last saw him many years ago in DC, saying goodbye to us, as he was leaving to go back to Holland. He considered us his children. Rudi, may you rest in peace.

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I did not see this elsewhere so am posting here. The great choreographer Rudi van Dantzig passed away this morning. R.I.P.


Thank you for posting this sad news.

I saw Mr.van Dantzig's work as a dancer and choreographer and witnessed the success he had on his first visit to London all those years ago.

Mr van Dantzig was more than talented, he had a gentle but somewhat intense charm when speaking to you that was almost overwhelming. As I write, I think of him not just at Sadlers Wells, but greeting Rudolf Nureyev at the Royal Opera House stage door and the pair of them walking away laughing and gesticulating together in a completely free manner as only close friends can.

Mr van Dantzig's works from "Monument..." onwards shook the London dance scene and it gives me such a warm feeling thinking how lucky I was to have been around at the time.


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An obituary by Judith Cruickshank in The Guardian. RIP.

Van Dantzig was born in Amsterdam to strongly leftwing parents. He was six when Germany invaded the Netherlands and grew up under the occupation. He was separated from his parents and sent to the countryside where conditions were safer. There, after the liberation, he encountered a Canadian soldier with whom he formed a relationship. This provided the inspiration for his prizewinning novel For a Lost Soldier, published in the Netherlands in 1986, and later filmed and translated into English.

Returning to school in Amsterdam, Van Dantzig proved a poor scholar, uninterested in most of his schoolwork. When he wandered into a cinema showing Michael Powell's The Red Shoes, his future path was decided. He took lessons with Anna Sybranda and then with Sonia Gaskell, a former Ballets Russes dancer who ran a school and a small classical company.

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