Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Meet Bart Engelen of the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company

Photo Robin DePuy
(c) Dutch National Ballet 2014
Reproduced with kind permission of the Dutch
National Ballet

Bart comes from Houten in the Netherlands.  He took up ballet because he loves dancing. He was already taking one class a week but wanted to do more. He made enquiries and found out about the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam. He spent 2 years at the Academy and then studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatory) in The Hague.

Bart didn’t really have a particular dancer or choreographer who had inspired him. He explained:
“Every dancer and choreographer has his or her own ways and that’s what I like to see.” 
As for inspiring teachers, he replied: “
I’ve had class from many inspiring dancers and former dancers but one dancer whom I will always remember is Katarina Wester.” 
He added: 
“The last two years of my study in The Hague she was my teacher. Next to the beautiful dancer she is, she is also a greatly inspiring woman with so much love for dance and a very positive vibe.”
When I asked him what was his greatest achievement to date, he replied: “Being with the Junior Company!!!” Notice the triple exclamation marks. At school he had danced the Sleeping Beauty pas de deux, the pas de trois in Swan Lake, the pas de six in Napoli as well as a lot of modern pieces such as Said and Done and Sad Case by Paul Lightfood and works by Jorma Elo and Martha Graham.

I asked Bart which ballets and roles he wished to dance. He said he would love to dance Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. He also hoped to dance in Swan Lake. He also loves the works of Hans van Manen and Balanchine who are among his favourite choreographers together with Paul Lightfoot and Rudolf Nureyev. His favourite dancers are Marcelo Gomes, Diana Vishneva, Anna Tsygankova, Vito Mazzeo and David Hallberg,

When I asked about his immediate ambitions he replied “dancing and going out with his friends.” As for the longer term he was not really sure: “Hopefully I will have enough time to think about this. He would like to work with the Dutch National Ballet participating in the shows behind the scenes. Also he would love to become a ballet master and rehearse with the other dancers.

As for his interests outside ballet, he likes shopping, eating and drinking with friends, going out and being lazy on the couch in front of the TV.

I look forward to seeing Bart on stage and wish him well in everything he does.

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