Dutch National Ballet has appointed Young Creative Associates

On 1 January 2017, the young choreographers Juanjo Arqués and Peter Leung will be appointed Young Creative Associates of Dutch National Ballet.

The appointment of Arqués and Leung marks the start of a new initiative by the company in developing young choreographic talent. The Young Creative Associates will be associated with Dutch National Ballet for several years and will receive both artistic and technical support from the company.


Besides the appointment of the Young Creative Associates, Dutch National Ballet’s talent development programme comprises three cornerstones:

* In collaboration with the renowned British dance company Rambert, the Young Choreographer & Composer Exchange Project will be initiated. Dutch National Ballet will be represented in this exchange project by Juanjo Arqués and Peter Leung. Rambert will be represented by Choreography Fellow Julie Cunningham and Music Fellow Anna Appleby. The artists will get the opportunity to meet choreographers who are connected to the companies and watch the creative process, to work with the dancers of both companies and to hold one-to-one discussions with the artistic teams. They will also be able to present new work, to collaborate with other creative artists and to participate in or organise workshops and master classes.

* Another new development is the Choreographic Academy, a laboratory where young choreographers are invited by Dutch National Ballet to spend three weeks doing research with the dancers of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, with a focus on the process rather than the end result. The first Choreographic Academy is scheduled for May/June 2017.

* The choreographic workshop New Moves will be continued. This workshop gives dancers from the company the opportunity to create new ballets and present them to an audience. The next edition of New Moves will take place on 26 June 2017, performed for the first time on the big stage of Dutch National Opera & Ballet. This will give choreographers a chance to present their work at a higher professional level than in the traditional location of a ballet studio.

Ted Brandsen, director of Dutch National Ballet: “In recent years, Dutch National Ballet has focused more on developing talented young dancers, by establishing the Junior Company, and initiating the collaboration with our Artistic Associate, David Dawson. So the logical next step for the company is to formulate a long-term strategy for developing choreographic talent. Besides the annual New Moves, we are adding new trajectories that all make an important contribution to the future of dance and ballet as an art form”.

Juanjo Arqués – short biography
The Spaniard Juanjo Arqués, who is a guest choreographer with Dutch National Ballet and lives in Amsterdam, danced with the company in the rank of soloist. Alongside his career as a dancer, Arqués rapidly developed as a choreographer. On ending his dancing career in 2012, he turned his focus completely to choreography and is now making his international breakthrough. He has worked with companies in the United States, Russia, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. In 2014, Arqués was nominated for the Dutch Dance Festival Award Maastricht and in 2016 he received two nominations for a Golden Mask, the most prestigious Russian award for performing arts, for best choreographic work and best choreographer. In February 2017, Juanjo will be presenting a new work for the Dutch National Ballet’s programme Made in Amsterdam.

Peter Leung – short biography
Peter Leung, originally from Britain but now living in Amsterdam, ended his dancing career with Dutch National Ballet in 2016. He made his choreographic debut with Dutch National Ballet in 2009 and has been developing as a choreographer ever since. Leung regularly creates work for international festivals, television, film and museums, and has made pop videos for Go Back to the Zoo en Armin van Buuren. In August 2016, Leung choreographed the first virtual reality ballet in the world, Night Fall, for Dutch National Ballet. Peter Leung is also one of the artistic directors of the interdisciplinary collective House of Makers, with whom he has created work for the Van Gogh Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, TEDx Women Amsterdam, the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Museum N8 Amsterdam and other cultural events. Leung is creating a new work for the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, which will tour the Netherlands from 18 February 2017, and a new work for the IJ-salon of Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, in Amsterdam.