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Dancing in times of Corona: all you need is yourself and a chair and a closet.

We are now a good month after the start of the intelligent lockdown. Slowly, a new normal is beginning to emerge, where we are no longer exclusively fanatically following all the tweets about corona. The concerns are still there and certainly where the cultural sector is concerned. The entire sector, nationally and internationally, is engaged in the titanic task of keeping the public engaged. And to remain visible itself.

Societies, theatres and film houses are on the web with an unlikely amount of high-quality content. I am deeply impressed by the quick adaptations, ingenuity and professionalism. Hours and hours I have spent glued to my screen, afraid of missing something, of not supporting the sector where my heart is.

After endless binge watching, eating Easter eggs and choice stress due to the overwhelming supply of art on the internet, I am clammed up and wrecked. The best way to parry that is to do something myself. To tear myself away from the screen and the news and move. There is plenty of inspiration online for that too. My one chance to dance with the greats has suddenly come now. The companies of Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and Akram Kahn to name a few are now giving their dance classes and training online. See here a top five of my favourite dance opportunities.

1: Rosas dances Rosas

One of the people who were formative in my love of dance is Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Her Rosas danst Rosas made an indelible impression on me the first time I saw it. And the second time. And the third. Growing up with classical ballet and the lyrical work of people like Jiri Kylian, this was the dance language that tantalised: the precision of movement, combined with a lightness and a refreshing lack of story and lyricism.
De Keersmaeker has now dissected the second part of Rosas dances Rosas for us so that we can dance along ourselves. We can change music and sequence if we wish, and also the number of dancers. I have been thinking along. On my own because there are limits to how much I want to make a fool of myself. It is highly recommended because you feel how the piece works.It is spicy to forge simple movements into a coherent and aesthetic whole.

2: Merce Cunningham Trust

Another great of modern dance is Merce Cunningham. His Trust wants to keep his legacy intact by preserving his work and technique. They normally offer classes in New York, but now they are doing it on Instagram Live. Patricia Lent lets us dance along with 50 Looks, a work Cunningham danced as a solo in 1979. Now from Lent's living room, with the cat in attendance. You are cordially invited to dance along, record and tag the Trust. Click here For more info on Cunningham and his trust and here to dance with

3: Martha Graham

At number 3 is one of the legends of contemporary dance. Martha Graham. Of course, she is no longer there to coach us herself, but her company lets us train with her dancers. Lloyd Knight, from his living room, lets us work up quite a sweat. For non-trained dancers, yogi or athletes, this produces solid muscle pain. I used muscles I had forgotten about and can smile a little again after 2 days without hurting. Recommended for those like me who have eaten too many Easter eggs.

4: Akram Kahn Company

Festival favourite Akram Kahn Company comes to the Netherlands -unfortunately- on average once a year. Kahn's pieces are fierce and committed. I always come out of the auditorium with an elevated heartbeat. I was curious what they offer for home lessons and was surprised by the classical barre class. Repetitor Mavin Khoo stood on his socks in his bedroom, awakening long-lasting memories of fifth positions and pliés. I enjoyed the class, especially since there is no mirror at hand in my living room. For those who don't have a barre in the house: wardrobe or bookcase works wonders, as long as it doesn't fall when you seek support there. Click here to dance with

5: ICK

Amsterdam city dance company Dance takes a different approach. They use Zoom to get 100 people to dance with them at a set time. Those classes are open to everyone, regardless of dance background or age. What can we expect? According to their website, we will explore d sensitivity of the body through 4 basic principles: breathing, jumping, expanding and reducing. The method they use in the lessons is the same one that underpins their performances, developed by Emio Greco and Pieter G. Scholten. I am curious!
On their website you can copy the zoom link

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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