About the Junior Company

Currently, there are fourteen dancers in the Junior Company, led by artistic coordinator Ernst Meisner. They follow a daily programme that reflects that of a major ballet company. Each season, the Junior Company usually presents two of their own programmes. One programme is a full-length contemporary production and the other is a mixed bill showing a cross section of the ballet repertoire, including classical pas de deux and extracts from the classical and neoclassical repertoire, alongside new works created especially for the company by established choreographers and young upcoming creatives. The Junior Company’s full-length productions are often presented in collaboration with urban dance company ISH Dance Collective; for example, Narnia: The lion, the witch and the wardrobe (2015) and GRIMM (2018), which showcase a spectacular encounter between ballet and hiphop. In May 2023, a new joint production will follow: Dorian, after Oscar Wilde’s famous novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

If only I knew the right way (Zoë Greten) | Junior Company dancers during tour Shooting Stars
Photo: Altin Kaftira
If only I knew the right way (Zoë Greten) | Shooting Stars tour (2022)

The dancers

2nd year: Lily Carbone, Victoria Glazunova, Nicola Jones, Polina Loshchylina, Kate Myklukha, Louisella Vogt, Luca Abdel-Nour, Gabriel Rajah, Sven de Wilde
1st year: Poppi Eccleston, Skya Powney, Carolina Ribaldone, Bo-Ann Zehl, Robin Park, Soshi Suzuki, Francesco Venturi

Bloom (Milena Sidorova) | Junior Company dancers during Shooting Stars tour (2022)
Bloom (Milena Sidorova) | Shooting Stars tour (2022) | Photo: Altin Kaftira

‘I’m extremely proud of what the Junior Company has achieved in this relatively short time’


TED BRANDSEN

Besides working on their own programmes, the Junior Company dancers also regularly perform in productions by Dutch National Ballet, especially in the big classics like Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. More than thirty former Junior Company dancers have now made the transition to the main company. At present, they include two principal dancers and five soloists. The company has really made its mark with successful tours of the Netherlands and abroad. For example, just before the first lockdown in 2020, they gave three hugely successful performances in Jakarta and Semarang, in Indonesia.

In the Future (Hans van Manen) | Junior Company dancers during Shooting Stars tour (2022)
In the Future (Hans van Manen) | Shooting Stars tour (2022) | Photo: Altin Kaftira

Ted Brandsen, artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, says, “I’m extremely proud of what the Junior Company has achieved in this relatively short time. All those talented youngsters give a tremendous boost to the company as a whole. And there’s a great working atmosphere among the juniors. They’re used to working as a group and have performed together all over the Netherlands and in other countries too. That’s something you can still feel, even when they’ve moved on to Dutch National Ballet”.

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