‘When you’re on stage, something happens’

Dancer Lieke van der Linden (20) talks about the Talent On The Move Tour of the Codarts Dance Company.

The third-year students of dance at Codarts Rotterdam have worked hard to perform the choreographies of the Talent On The Move Tour – TOTM, for short. Lieke has a part in Marco Goecke’s Bravo Charlie and also features in Femme by Patricia van Deutekom. She is looking forward to performing these pieces all over the Netherlands. ‘When you haven’t performed before an audience for a long time, you tend to forget why you’re doing it.’

‘You have to be very flexible’, says Lieke, referring to the fact that during the third year she is also doing auditions for internships, in addition to all the preparations for TOTM. And the pandemic makes it all even more complicated. For example, it is customary to have a second cast for a piece, but with TOTM there is now also a third, emergency, cast. There’s a very good chance that a performer is unable to dance at the last minute because of Covid-19. ‘When someone drops out, you have to be able to step in immediately.’ Lieke: ‘As an intern with a dance company you are also third cast. So we are very well prepared and know how to deal with this when the time comes.’

Her Favourite

‘The great thing about Codarts is that you are given lots of opportunities. We’ve been lucky to have performed in pieces of well-known choreographers and to be able to put that on our resumes. Sometimes choreographers provide pieces that they’ve made before and that have already been performed, sometimes they make something new from an older piece, and sometimes they create an entirely new piece.’ Lieke’s favourite in this edition of TOTM is Marco Goecke’s Bravo Charlie – previously performed by Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. ‘It is a piece that favours my good side’, she says, modestly. ‘There’s a lot of upper-body work and that suits me. I also find the theme interesting. It is quite difficult in terms of coordination and there is a certain defining drive behind the movements.’

Stamina

According to Lieke, Femme by Patricia van Deutekom is quite spectacular. ‘It’s a very physical piece, with a high injury risk. After ten minutes we are completely exhausted. We really have to rehearse this as a group and have the mindset to pull each other through: stamina.’ She continues: ‘It is also a special piece as Patricia created it as a rework of Jens van Daele’s choreography. She has worked with him very often, and he died two years ago. We are the first to perform this new version.’

‘We are all good dancers’


Feeling the audience

20-year-old Lieke first studied dance for a year at the Artez Academy in Arnhem, and then switched to Codarts Rotterdam in the second year. She enjoys her group of 26 fellow students. ‘We don’t begrudge each other anything and we openly discuss things. Of course, it happens all the time that someone else is picked for a part. You must have enough self-confidence to deal with that.’ What the group have in common is a passion for dancing before an audience. ‘Performing is the best part of the profession. That’s when things really happen. On stage you can feel the audience. You give them something and you get something in return.’

Talent On The Move is an initiative of Holland Dance Festival and Codarts Rotterdam.
Performances in various theatres all over the Netherlands from February through Juni 2022.
Info & tickets: www.holland-dance.com

Text: Ilse Breget