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First International Ballet Conference at Dutch National Ballet


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Ilona Landgraf reports on a two-day conference sponsored by Dutch National Ballet recently.



After welcoming words by Kajsa Ollongren (an Alderperson and the Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam), Wiebke Hüster (Dance Critic and Writer from Germany), gave the keynote speech: Heritage. She mentioned many issues but was often off-topic, long winded and unstructured. She held forth about the work overload faced by choreographers, the little time they have to read and research, and the huge pressure on them to produce something new. One the one hand, Hüster saw no need for a steady stream of fresh work; on the other, she lamented the lack of new narrative ballets and choreographers’ disinterest in up-to-date topics: “Where is the choreographer doing a ballet on a Jonathan Franzen novel? Where are they? What are they doing when going home after rehearsal?”


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