Concluded professorships

In 2002, Codarts (then still called Rotterdam University of Music and Theatre) introduced its first professorship. The following is a chronological overview of all professorships and a reference to their most important products.

Wereldmuziek  (World Music)

Using knowledge from other musical cultures, the professorship’s aim was to contribute to the discussion on the content of the education offered at Western conservatoires, to provide alternative systems of music education and to familiarise Western music teachers and students with other ways of composing and improvising. With the introduction at the Rotterdam Conservatoire of studies in ‘world music’, there was also a growing need for validated knowledge about these musical traditions, which were then known as non-Western traditions.

Professor: Dr. Joep Bor
Duration of the professorship: 2002-2006
Main programme line: Performance Practice.
Main products:
– education: 6 new modules in the Bachelor of Music
– research: 5 publications

  1. Joep Bor et al., The Raga Guide: A Survey of 74 Hindustani Ragas (with four CDs), Wyastone Leys, Monmouth: Nimbus Records with Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, second imprint, 2003, 196 pp.
  2. Joep Bor and Philippe Bruguière, eds., Gloire des princes, louange des dieux: Patrimoine musical de l’Hindoustan du XIVe au XXe siècle, Paris: RMN and Musée de la Musique, 2003, 240 pp.
  3. Jan Laurens Hartong, Musical Terms Worldwide: A Companion for the Musical Explorer, eds. Simon Mills, Peter van Amstel and Aleksandra Markovic, Rome and The Hague: Semar, 2006, 249 pp. (Codarts Research Series 1).
  4. Joep Bor, Françoise ‘Nalini’ Delvoye, Jane Harvey and Emmie te Nijenhuis, eds., Hindustani Music: Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries, New Delhi: Manohar and Codarts Research, 2007, c. 740 pp.
  5. Henri Tournier, Hariprasad Chaurasia and The Art of Improvisation in Hindustani Music (with two CDs), Paris: Accords Croisés and Codarts Research, 2007, c. 200 pp.

Excellence and well-being in the performing arts

This professorship researched the relationship between excellence and health, in particular at the Rotterdam Dance Academy. The professorship studied the relationship between artistic excellence and the health and well-being of young dancers in training. The results of this research were used in the daily practice of professional dance education at the Rotterdam Dance Academy. The professor was an ardent advocate of attentive movement within dance.

The meaning and perception of pain was central to one of the research projects. This study was prompted by the observation that the majority of dance injuries are the result of overburdening and fatigue. In other words, many dancers do not recognise the signals that their bodies give them or do not respond to these adequately. By means of in-depth interviews with both dance students and professional dancers, it was investigated what meanings dancers give to pain and how they experience it. The research shows what consequences this has for the way in which pain is dealt with within the dance world. This research resulted in the publication of the book Het verhaal van pijn. Wat het lichaam ons vertelt en waarom wij (niet) luisteren. Pijnbeleving bij dansers and an English summary in the form of a brochure The message of pain. On the occasion of the publication of Het verhaal van pijn, the professorship organised a symposium in January 2008, with international speakers.

Professor: Dr. Anna Aalten
Duration of the professorship: 2004-2008
Main programme line: Excellence and well-being.
Main products: Aalten, A. & van Amsterdam, Noortje & van der Linden, M. Het verhaal van pijn: wat het lichaam ons vertelt en waarom wij (niet) luisteren: pijnbeleving bij dansers (2008). Popa, M.R. What, who and where? Health Policies and Practices at the Rotterdam Conservatoire (2008)


Community Arts

The mission of this professorship was to contribute to a new approach to art practice in a metropolitan environment. The traditional ‘high’ arts did not or only rarely reach young and elderly people from backgrounds with limited economic, cultural and social capital. A new approach was called for, but there was a lack of substantiated knowledge. The implementation of the research programme of the professorship followed two lines. A big music theatre production was presented in Rotterdam’s Theater Zuidplein on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the football club Feyenoord under the title Hand in Hand: een theatrale ode aan Feyenoord. In addition, the professorship organised three expert meetings.

Professor: Peter van de Hurk
Duration of the professorship: 2005-2009
Contributions were made to the programme lines Performance Practice and Innovation in Education
Main products: final research report and video.


Sustainable Performance

This professorship used the didactic model designed by Heckman De Reis (The Journey) that was intended to provide participants with the tools (instruments, processes and techniques) they needed to achieve the best possible artistic performance, time and time again. The research results suggest that consciously focusing on flow leads to better artistic performance. Attention to physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of performances has a positive effect on the self-confidence of the performers and on their ability to be active and adaptive, so they can establish an open relationship with themselves and with the environment. The participants in the professorship project reported that they were able to be more ‘present in the moment’ while on stage, significantly improving the quality and sustainability of their performances.

Professor: Frank Heckman
Duration of the professorship: 2009-2013.
Main programme line: Excellence and well-being.
Main products: final research report, De Reis: Nieuwe didactiek in het kunstvakonderwijs, Flow on Stage. The art of sustainable performance.


One of a Kind

The aim of the professorship was to explore the broader context of the dancer and the choreographer, thereby stimulating a cross-border approach to the dance profession. It built on the ballet One of a Kind (1998) in which Kylián presented his vision of dance as a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary art form. The professorship opted for performance research. With thematic projects, the professorship wanted to contribute to the innovation of the curricula of dance programmes in- and outside Codarts. Together with artists and theorists from different disciplines, the professor examined the relationship between dance and the expressiveness of the human body in various stages of life, dance and the voice, dance and music, dance and architecture, dance and costuming, dance and video, and dance and lighting.

Professor: Jiří Kylián
Duration of the professorship: 2010-2014.
The professorship contributed to the programme lines Performance Practice and Innovation in Education.
Main product: book One of A Kind. The Kylián Research Project (Rotterdam, 2014).


Nieuw Muziektheater

The professorship looked into the possibility of developing a Master Nieuw Muziektheater (New Music Theatre), a profile within the Master of Music. This two-year full-time course focused on interdisciplinary working and thinking, with music as its basis. Students could either specialise in the creative or the performance side of music theatre. In various projects and work forms, the student made a vital connection between his or her musical practice and forms of theatre, culminating in interdisciplinary performing arts. This Master Nieuw Muziektheater was intended as a programme for instrumentalists, vocalists and composers who are looking for theatricality in their work, and who have the ambition to become an independent artist in the field of contemporary music theatre. The programme – that is to say, in its first version – has produced only two alumni.

Professor: Micha Hamel
Duration of the professorship: 2010-2012
The professorship contributed to the programme line Performance Practice
Main product: the development and prototyping of a curriculum


Present Practice, Praxis of Presence

The professorship attempted to provide an answer to the notion that the centre of gravity of contemporary Western society – and thus also its artistic expressions – has come to lie more in presence (theatricality, immediacy) than in representation (meanings, references). This impacts the music world due to the declining importance and the reduced attention for classical music, which in great part is based on formality and a certain sacrality. Where many institutions ‘pimp up’ the concert in order to attract audiences, the professorship posed a more fundamental question: can we create and add value to the culture of presence without compromising the artistic content? The professorship held working sessions with students and, by means of five realised test set-ups, proposed concrete solutions, which were broadly substantiated and analysed in a number of essays. As a follow-up to this exercise, the research group worked on a new structure for the Classical Music curriculum, for which teachers and external experts were consulted extensively.

Professor: Micha Hamel
Duration of the professorship: 2012-2016.
The professorship contributed to the programme line Performance Practice.
Main products:
– book: Speelruimte voor klassieke muziek in de 21e eeuw (Codarts, 2016).
– document with a proposal for educational reform in the Bachelor CM: Contexts (2017)


Blended Learning

The professorship researched how students in professional art education make use of digital learning materials and how these learning materials can further improve the artistic learning process. The professorship analysed the effectiveness of a digital feedback tool, researched embodied learning via digital means and developed an educational project combining art and robotics.

Professor: Jaco van den Dool
Duration of the professorship: 2015-2019.
Main programme line: Innovation in Education.
Main products: Motionbank (annotation tool for dance education) and Learning Management System (LMS).