Circus collective Sinking Sideways, consisting of Xenia Bannuscher, Dries Vanwalle and Raf Pringuet, and singer Guus Bok – all former students of university of the arts Codarts and living in Rotterdam – received a Henri Winkelman Award on Monday 13 September.
The awards, € 10,000 for Sinking Sideways and € 5,000 for Guus Bok, were presented during the festive opening of the 2021-2022 academic year of Codarts in Theater Rotterdam by Katinka van Enkhuizen, programmer at Theater Rotterdam, and Jeroen van Breugel, business manager of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and director of Stichting Ondernemersbelangen Rotterdam (SOR). SOR wants to give young enterprising artists a boost through the award. The namesake of the award, Henri Winkelman (1937-2010), was a board member of SOR for many years. The award unites his ideas in two areas: art and entrepreneurship.
SOR has been awarding the HWA annually to alumni of the Willem de Kooning Academy since 2013. This year, for the first time, former Codarts students (graduated in or after 2012) were able to compete for the award. Candidates were required to submit a comprehensive project plan. A committee formed by Jeroen van Breugel, Katinka van Enkhuizen, Aafke Romeijn (writer and musician), Rosa Boon (director of TENT Circustheater Productions) and Wilma Franchimon (chairman of the Executive Board of Codarts) selected six entries for an online pitch and then chose the two award winners.
“Circus collective Sinking Sideways distinguishes itself by working at the interface of circus, dance and mime,” the committee writes in its jury report. “The minimalist approach to acrobatic movement shows guts.”
Sinking Sideways uses the prize for the further development of René, an experimental circus performance with two dancing acrobats. The show premiered on 11 and 12 September at Circusstad Festival in Rotterdam.
“Singer Guus Bok convinces with an enthusiastic plan,” according to the committee. “With a line-up of various guest artists, he shows himself to be a connector of Rotterdam’s top talent.”
Guus Bok will use his prize to realize De Euromast Live Sessions, the Rotterdam answer to the television programme De Beste Zangers. Eight episodes will appear on YouTube, Spotify, Facebook and Instagram.
Xenia Bannuscher (1995; Bayreuth, Germany) and Dries Vanwalle (1997; Ghent, Belgium) completed the circus training of Codarts in 2020, Raf Pringuet (1998; Mortsel, Belgium) did so this summer. Guus Bok (1987; Ridderkerk, the Netherlands) followed the music theater programme of Codarts; in 2012 he obtained his diploma.
Stichting Ondernemersbelangen Rotterdam (SOR), founded in 1949, supports projects that can make a difference in and around Rotterdam. These include social and cultural initiatives of social importance that improve the business climate.
Codarts Rotterdam offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in music, music theatre, dance, circus, music and dance education and music and dance therapy. The art college has more than 1,000 students, of approximately 65 nationalities, and approximately 420 employees.