Public interest in dance remains strong in economic downturn

The thirteenth edition of the Holland Dance Festival, ´Source of Inspiration´, which took place in dance city The Hague from 26 January to 26 February, ended with a successful final weekend of sold-out performances by Conny Janssen Danst and Emio Greco. Over the past month, Holland Dance Festival has presented a sample sheet of international and Dutch dance, ranging from top ‘acts’ like Sylvie Guillem and Streb Extreme Action Company to exciting newcomers from Brazil and Cuba. The fact that the demand for dance has stayed relatively stable despite the economic downturn is proved by the 19,000 visitors who made their way to the theatres. Houses were filled to an average capacity of 74% for 56 performances, and the 20 sold-out performances had long waiting lists for returned tickets. The absolute smash hit of the festival was undoubtedly the performance by Jacoby&Pronk, in which former Dutch National Ballet dancer Rubinald Pronk returned to his hometown, The Hague.

Twice as long – and enjoying dance in the winterFor the first time in its history, the festival lasted twice as long. The performances were spread over more than four weeks, with the emphasis on weekends, in order to cater to audience wishes. The festival opened in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, with a festive gala focused on the future of dance. Many audience favourites appeared in the programme, and the young talents of Codarts Rotterdam (4th-year Havo students) created a wonderful atmosphere in the auditorium with their rhythmic movements. The gala was also the occasion of the fourth presentation of the Kylián ring, which went to Ingrid Wolff for the many years of work she has devoted to the very youngest members of the dance audience.
Education highlight: Dance Date It was also the first time that the traditional Dance Parade was held in the run-up to the festival, rather than during it. The participants from dance schools in the region drew 18,000 visitors to the centre of The Hague. During the festival, a national project for amateur dancers was launched: Dance Date. In the project, ambitious amateur dancers worked with eleven choreographers, including Ed Wubbe, Marco Gerris and Jiří Kylián. The auditions in five regions of the Netherlands attracted 700 applicants, of whom 100 were selected for the national tour that will run until June.
Holland Dance Festival and the metropolitan regionIt goes without saying that public interest in dance is high in the metropolitan region of The Hague and Rotterdam. This was proved by the 19 sold-out performances during the Holland Dance Festival. In the rest of the region, Scapino Ballet also had success in the same period, with sold-out performances in Rotterdam. As the biggest international dance festival of the Netherlands, Holland Dance acts as a promoter of dance. The organisation is looking forward to inspiring their audiences again in February 2014, with a selection of dance from all over the world.