Dutch National Ballet appoints 3 Choreographers as Young Creative Associates

Dutch National Ballet has announced the talented young choreographers Milena Sidorova, Sedrig Verwoert and Wubkje Kuindersma appointed as the new Young Creative Associates.

Dutch National Ballet started this initiative in 2017, where talented young choreographers are given the chance to develop, through a three-year association with the company.

The Young Creative Associates receive artistic and practical support, which includes choreographic commissions and the provision of mentorship in making artistic decisions. They also have access to Dutch National Ballet’s rehearsal studios and dancers.

Ted Brandsen, director of Dutch National Ballet said:
“All three choreographers have previously created work for Dutch National Ballet and/or the Junior Company, and shown a developing style that is personal, specific and inspiring. They represent a new generation of choreographers who are important for the future of our company and of ballet in our country. Their appointment as Young Creative Associates will enable them to develop further as artists, in a more structured way, within the possibilities we offer as a company”.

Milena Sidorova:
“It’s a great honour, partly because it’s the first time in Dutch National Ballet’s history that an active dancer has been given such an appointment. And it’s a recognition of the development I’m undergoing as a choreographer. I’m looking forward to the collaboration and to being inspired as a choreographer by the fantastic ballet masters and phenomenal dancers, also because of their openness to experiment and willingness to always take that extra step. And I hope to learn a lot from collaborating with talented set and costume designers as well”.

Sedrig Verwoert:
“I’m incredibly happy that this has crossed my path and I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the company. As a freelance choreographer, I can now focus on my artistic development within Dutch National Ballet. I’m planning to play with different and maybe neglected narratives within ballet and to take a modern approach to it. Something new and contemporary. I hope that we are heading down a diverse and inclusive pathway, making everyone feel welcome in this art form”.

Wubkje Kuindersma:
“I’m happy and honoured. I love the company’s quality and artistry, and its outstanding dancers, artistic management and team. Being able to continue my artistic journey as a choreographer with Dutch National Ballet is a dream come true! I’m really looking forward to making abstract, modern, poetic and narrative ballets, as well as multidisciplinary creations and films. Through the medium of dance, I hope to move the audience and to contribute as much as possible to the company”.

Sidorova, Verwoert and Kuindersma have been appointed for a period of three years. They succeed Juanjo Arqués and Peter Leung, who were the first to receive the appointment in 2017.

The Young Creative Associates is a key part of Dutch National Ballet’s strategy with regard to talent development for young choreographers. Since 2017, this successful strategy has comprised three cornerstones, each with their own goal and focus: ‘Young Creative Associates’, ‘New Moves’ and the ‘Choreographic Academy’.

Meet the Young Creative Associates:

Milena Sidorova
Milena Sidorova (Ukraine) has been dancing with Dutch National Ballet since 2005, in recent years in the rank of Grand Sujet. At the age of 13, she choreographed The Spider, which met with great success and got over 15 million views on YouTube.

Sidorova has won several awards, and has been creating works nearly every year since 2007 for the choreographic workshop New Moves.

In 2019, her work received a lot of international praise following a performance in the Royal Opera House, London. Last year, she was awarded a prestigious fellowship in New York and was commissioned by Dutch National Opera to make the choreography for the prize-winning production Tickle. Last summer, she worked as an adviser on DUNE, the big Hollywood film to be released in 2021.

Sedrig Verwoert
Sedrig Verwoert was born in Suriname and trained as a dancer at Amsterdam University of the Arts. In 2013, he won first prize at the Eurovision Young Dancers competition. He also won the ‘BNG Bank Dance Award’ and the ‘Leo Spreksel Award’. He danced with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel and ICK Amsterdam (Emio Greco/Pieter C. Scholten), and has also been active as a choreographer in recent years.

As a guest choreographer with Dutch National Ballet, he presented the solo The hard rocks will seem soft to us in 2019 and the group work L’Autre Côté last September.
Recently, he collaborated on Beyoncé’s visual album Black is King and was nominated for a Dutch Swan Award for ‘most impressive dance achievement’, jointly with Christian Yav, for their creation They/Them.

Wubkje Kuindersma
The Dutch choreographer Wubkje Kuindersma, born in Cameroon, made her choreographic debut in 2010 and immediately won a prize in a choreographic competition in Cologne. She danced with amongst others Ballet Gulbenkian, Nurnberg Ballet, Danish Dance Theatre and Random Dance.  In 2016, Wubkje received the ‘BNG Bank Dance Award’ for choreographic talent.

For Dutch National Ballet, Kuindersma has previously created the internationally acclaimed duet Two and Only and two works for the Junior Company.

In December 2018, Wubkje was included in American Dance Magazine’s ‘25 to watch 2019 list, and in 2019 she was nominated for the Dutch Dance Festival Award.
She has choreographed works for amongst others Danish Dance Theater, Korzo in collaboration with Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballet Dortmund, BalletX, Noverre, the National Youth Ballet of John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet, Hessische Staatsballett, Beijing Dance Academy and West Australian Ballet.

Feature image:
Milena Siderova (Photo: Sebastien Galtier), Sedrig Verwoert (Photo: Milagro Elstak),
Wubkje Kuindersma (Photo: de Schaapjesfabriek)