Stay at home challenge: Dance student Samuel van der Veer

Who: Samuel van der Veer (20)
Education: bachelor Dance (3B); before that, the Havo/vwo for Music and Dance
Lives in: Rotterdam

What makes your dance heart beat faster at the moment?
‘Contemporary work. Basically, everything the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is doing. I’m very much looking forward to my internship with them! I especially like Edward Clug’ work. He has a knack for leaving out superfluous elements and that’s what makes his work so pure. But what appeals to me most as a dancer is the musicality, playfulness, and complexity of the movement material.’

What do your school days look like now?
‘The online dance classes are shorter than the regular ones in the studio. Now, we have two hours of class each day. Normally, in the studio, that would be almost eight hours. The focus now lies elsewhere. I pay much more attention to how to distribute my weight and to my alignment. I’m exploring how I can make the biggest movements within my own space. There is a lot to discover there. The emphasis is much more on movement science: being aware of parts of your body. This also comes in very useful in dance improvisation.’

How do you spend your free time?
‘With my room- and classmate I share an interest in electronic music. Together with a third student we founded Octagon Blues, an interdisciplinary art collective. Our whiteboard is practically covered in ideas. Soon we’ll release our first album! To stay physically fit I go out on my racing bike, cycling to Delft and back again. Of course, I want to be in top shape when my internship starts. And I’m experimenting with Indonesian cooking. I finally have the time to make real rendang.’

How do you see the near future of the dance world?
‘I think that as a world population we are experiencing a group catharsis. As makers we have to anticipate, exploit this time and keep inspiring each other. Dance has always been a kind of mirror. And fortunately, there’s a lot happening online already. For instance, the project “Monuments in Solitude” by Conny Janssen Danst, in which the dancers create solos. That is something we must keep on doing. I think that it’s very important to maintain rhythm. Continuing what we were doing before this crisis as best we can. That we take it upon ourselves to provide some relief for all the bad news. Now more than ever.’

Check out the playlist of Samuel at Codarts Spotify: