1. TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE JUNIOR COMPANY
The Junior Company, Dutch National Ballet’s talent development programme, will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2024. To commemorate this occasion, it invites audiences throughout the Netherlands to join in the festivities. There is definitely cause for celebration: over the past decade, the Junior Company has evolved into a sought-after ensemble in both Dutch and international theatres. Every year, dance students from all over the world are vying for a spot on the Junior Company. Of the lucky ones who got in before, more than 40 have now transitioned to the main company.
2. THREE WORLD PREMIERES
In this special celebratory performance, the 17 dancers of the Junior Company will be showcasing their talent in five works, no fewer than three of which are world premieres. Echoes of Memories is British-Cameroonian choreographer Joseph Toonga’s first collaboration with the Junior Company. Young Creative Associate Wubkje Kuindersma, on the other hand, has choreographed the ensemble before. This time, she has teamed up with promising young composer Amelia Clarkson. Canadian dancer and choreographer Kirsten Wicklund has also chosen to go with a musical crossover: in her latest work, the dancers of the Junior Company perform to music sung by young talents of Dutch National Opera Studio, which – for its part – is celebrating its fifth anniversary this season.
3. THE DAZZLING TOCCATA
The fourth work is not a world premiere, but it is being performed by the Junior Company for the first time. Krzysztof Pastor, who used to be a dancer at Dutch National Ballet and formerly served as its resident choreographer, crafted this work in 2019 for dancers of the Polish National Ballet, of which he has been the director since 2009. In Toccata, legs are tossed in the air at staggering speed; it is a highly athletic performance showcasing the versatility of the young dancers.
4. CLASSICAL MASTERPIECE BY BALANCHINE
No Junior Company performance should go without a beautiful classical piece that allows the dancers to show off their exceptional ballet skills to the world. Valse Fantaisie is not just any choreography; this jewel in the crown of master choreographer George Balanchine is extremely graceful and exceedingly romantic. But make no mistake. This is the very reason why it is so demanding and why it is the perfect challenge for our young talents.
5. ON TOUR AROUND THE NETHERLANDS
And there is more good news: you can join the Junior Company for their anniversary celebration. They are coming to a theatre near you! Its nation-wide tour will hit a total of 14 Dutch cities – from north to south and from east to west. After all, you only turn ten once, right?
- The Junior Company will tour the Netherlands with its celebratory performance Ten from 3 February through 17 March 2024.