The evening was presented by the charismatic Gavin-Viano. While he described Codarts as a "dope, highly urgent place", a large white ball featuring circus students Malte Gerhardt and Benedikt Löffler provided a striking preview of their later performance. Gavin-Viano encouraged the audience to connect and step outside their comfort zone, setting the tone for the evening.
The first performance was by Music Therapy student Sietske Oosterhuis, who illustrated the transition from artist to music therapist with her work 'In Time'. Her performance highlighted the therapeutic value of music and improvisation to express emotions and create connection.
Message of art and expression
Next, Renate Eringa, the president of the Executive Board, took the stage. With Nina Simone's vision mentioned above in mind, she invited the audience to imagine what it would have been like if they had had a passion for circus, dance or music at another time. And what the world looked like back then. She also talked about the value of nudity as an integral part of artistic expression and its changing perception. Renate encouraged openness and exploring the depth of the arts in the present day. Students danced across the stage during her speech, bringing the message of art and expression to life.
The dancers returned in the performance THEY, by Silke Kloostermann, a Bachelor of Dance in Education programme graduate. Her performance combined dance and spoken word and touched on profound themes such as diversity, acceptance and societal change.
Energetic circus act
The duo Benedikt and Malte, Hand2Globe, then returned to entertain the audience with an energetic circus act that focused on their friendship and the challenges that come with it. They brought humour and dynamism to their show, which was much appreciated by the audience.
Maciej Kuźmiński, choreographer, teacher and producer, surprised the audience with his dance piece 'Requiem', performed by five dancers. The choreography enchanted the audience for nine minutes.
Transdisciplinary approach to art education
Next, it was director Arlon Luijten's turn. The preview of his documentary offered insight into the creation of RASL, the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab, a partnership between Codarts, the Willem de Kooning Academy and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The film reflected the innovative nature of RASL and highlighted its transdisciplinary approach to arts education.
The evening ended with a festive performance by the World Music Orchestra, consisting of 40 students from diverse musical backgrounds. Led by conductor Jasper Staps, they travelled through 55 different musical genres, resulting in an explosive finale.
Afterwards, Gavin-Viano invited all attendees for drinks and dancing in the foyer. It was a fantastic opening of the academic year, promising for what is to come!