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[PRESS RELEASE] Six new members for the Academy of Arts


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The Academy of Arts gets six new members. They are leading artists from a variety of arts disciplines, including visual arts, theatre, dance and literature. On 23 March 2023, they will be officially installed as members during a festive meeting at the Trippenhuis of the KNAW in Amsterdam. The new members are choreographer Roni Haver and director Guy Weizman, visual artist Iris Kensmil, writer Marcel Möring, visual artist and director Felix de Rooy and actor Romana Vrede.

Roni Haver (1972) - Choreographer

As artistic director of international dance company Club Guy & Roni, Roni Haver stands out with idiosyncratic and explosive dance theatre that is on the heels of current events. Haver started her career as a dancer in the Bat Sheva Ensemble in Tel Aviv and then danced in various companies with Wim Vandekeybus and Itzik Galili, among others. In 2002, Haver co-founded the international dance company Club Guy & Roni in Groningen with Guy Weizman, of which she is artistic director. Tightly executed, meticulous choreographies are typical of her work. She demands extreme precision, high energy and deep concentration from her dancers. This makes her largely responsible for the characteristic explosive energy of Club Guy & Roni's dancers.

Guy Weizman (1973) - Director, choreographer

Guy Weizman is artistic director of NITE (the Noord Nederlands Toneel and Club Guy & Roni). Weizman grew up in a Jewish-Moroccan family and began his career as a dancer with, among others, the Bat Sheva Ensemble in Tel Aviv. Now, from Theater de Machinefabriek in Groningen, he directs both the Noord Nederlands Toneel and the international dance company Club Guy & Roni, which he co-founded in 2002 with Roni Haver. Weizman distinguishes himself with very physical performances in which he combines dance, fashion, music, text, video, form and content into a total experience in which all disciplines are equal. This unique approach is appreciated: his debut performance with the Noord Nederlands Toneel, Carrousel, was nominated for the Mimeprijs and for Salam he received the Direction Prize of the Dutch Theatre Jury in 2018.

Iris Kensmil (1970) - Visual artist

Visual artist Iris Kensmil depicts the power of Black people from a feminist perspective. In her paintings, drawings and installations, she depicts important Black writers, musicians and activists, offering her own and underexposed perspective on the history of Black voices and experiences in the pursuit of emancipation and progress. The extraordinary way she depicts these themes in a clear directly confrontational style has established her status as an important and innovative artist. Her work is a testament to the power of art to challenge dominant narratives and elevate marginalised perspectives. Kensmil represented the Netherlands at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Marcel Möring (1957) - Writer

Marcel Möring made his debut in 1990 with Mendels Erfenis. His literary qualities were immediately recognised: he was awarded the Lubberhuizen Prize for his debut. His breakthrough to the general public came in 1994 with the novel The Great Desire, for which he received the AKO Prize. More literary prizes followed: two Golden Owls for In Babylon and the Bordewijk Prize for DIS, a kaleidoscopic novel about the life of a Jewish shopkeeper in Assen, which forms a trilogy with the subsequent novels Louteringsberg and Eden. It was followed by Amen and Family Walk. Möring's work has appeared in more than 18 countries.

Felix de Rooy (1952) - Director and visual artist

Felix de Rooy is a multifaceted artist. In Curaçao, New York and Amsterdam, he was active in theatre, film, visual arts and as an exhibition maker. He received the Curaçao Cola Debrot Prize for culture and made dozens of theatre productions and feature films, of which Almacita di Desolato and Ava & Gabriel received international awards. He also received a Golden Calf for Ava & Gabriel. De Rooy questions the position of colonised man and its impact on social relations. He played an important role in shaping images on this subject, including as guest curator of the exhibitions White on Black and The Legacy of Slavery. In his visual work, De Rooy incorporates symbols, cultural traditions and stories into paintings, works on paper, wall hangings and collages. This year, a retrospective of his work is on show at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Romana Vrede (1972) - Actor

Romana Vrede has been on stage for more than 20 years. She has performed with several theatre companies and has been part of Het Nationale Theater since 2017, where she was recently seen in the performances We are here for Robbie, Love Declaration and OustFaust. She won several awards for her stage acting, including the Theo d'Or for her role in Race and was nominated for a Columbina for her role in The Nation. Peace has also appeared in films and TV series. Two years ago, she was nominated for a Golden Calf for her lead role in the film I Don't Wanna Dance. This year, Vrede will make her directorial debut at Theatre Rotterdam with the show The Story of Travis.

About the Academy of Arts

Founded in 2014 as part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts, the Akademie van Kunsten stands for the power of art in society. The new members of the Akademie van Kunsten join a society consisting of 78 members from a variety of arts disciplines. Members of the Akademie van Kunsten have proven themselves in their profession: the main reason for choosing members is their artistic achievement.

The Academy of Arts interprets the voice of the arts towards society and politics, promoting interaction between the arts themselves, art and science and art and society. From the perspective of the arts, the Academy of Arts addresses current and urgent issues in art and society, such as climate, war and social inequality.

Photo credits: From left to right Roni Haver (photo: Martijn Halie), Guy Weizman (photo: Martijn Halie), Iris Kensmil (photo: Geert Jan van Rooij), Marcel Möring (photo: Harry Cock), Felix de Rooy (photo: Cliff San a Jong) and Romana Vrede (photo: Favor Talents).

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