Ana Luisa Negrão - repetitie Ephemeral (2023)
Photo: Altin Kaftira

Ephemeral: ‘Like patterns that inexorably carve their way through marble’

24 January 2024

Text: Astrid van Leeuwen

Ephemeral – fleeting, elusive – is not only the title of Wubkje Kuindersma’s new creation for the Junior Company, but in fact it also typifies the working process. “Normally, I look for music that fits my ideas and I choreograph with that music in mind. But this time, the music was only available at the last minute. So initially, the creative process was rather elusive and I worked back to front, as it were, trying to choreograph a piece that fitted both the music and that feeling.”

Especially for the tenth anniversary of the Junior Company, an open call was issued to young composers for Kuindersma’s new work. The winner turned out to be Amelia Clarkson, from Northern Ireland. Her composition for harp, clarinet, cello and viola will be performed live on stage by musicians of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra for the first two performances of Ten (the music will be played on tape for the other performances). Kuindersma says, “It’s beautiful, rich music, in which I keep discovering new layers, and which I get to love more and more as I go on. Amelia definitely has her own unique sound.”

Patrik Benák en Poppi Eccleston - repetitie Ephemeral (2023)
Patrik Benák and Poppi Eccleston - rehearsal Ephemeral (2023) | Photo: Altin Kaftira

Whereas ‘inner drive’ formed their original starting point, Kuindersma ended up – through the working process and inspired by Clarkson’s composition – addressing the fleeting, elusive nature of dance or, more generally, the transience of life and the passing of time. “During rehearsals, I thought about the intangibility of haze and mist, for example, but also about the patterns in marble that carve their way inexorably – just like the passage of time – through the stone. At the same time, this new work is also simply a first encounter between Amelia and myself; an exploration, a sketch, in which we celebrate dance and music, sharing an ephemeral moment together.”


dance exists in the moment
and it’s gone once the movement finishes
the memory and resonance linger though
both with performer and observer

it seems almost a contradiction:
something so physical
not being permanent
but just passing by
almost like life itself
we come and go

there is something tragically beautiful
in this ephemeral state of being
dance teaches us
to let go and not to hold on
to be in the moment
experience and simply be present

Wubkje Kuindersma