In recent weeks, twelve students of the National Ballet Academy have secured a contract with a professional dance company. Three of them will be starting in August 2016 with Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company and eight students have got a contract with a company abroad. But probably the biggest surprise is that Toon Lobach – originally from the 5 O’Clock Class – will be dancing as an apprentice with Nederlands Dans Theater 2 in the coming season.
The three young dancers joining Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company in the coming season – which coincides with the final year of their training – are: the Dutchman Tim van Poucke, the Finnish-Canadian Kayla Fitzpatrick and the American Jacob Roter.
Starting in the new season, Dutch dancer Toon Lobach (18) will be an apprentice with Nederlands Dans Theater 2. He trained for four years with the 5 O’Clock Class, the preparatory course in modern dance at de Theaterschool. When he started, he had no definite dance dream, but when he saw Nederlands Dans Theater in School of Thought, by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, in 2013, he was completely sold. ‘I thought it was phenomenal! I thought “that’s where I have to go!” I told my mother on the way home, but to take the edge off my expectations, she said “Yes, but you know they’re very, very good”’.
Nevertheless, the extremely talented Toon went for his goal. Last school year, besides his classes with the 5 O’Clock Class and his regular schooling, he took ballet classes with the National Ballet Academy. This season, he is an official student on the National Ballet Academy’s pre-professional programme, and he is also taking classes with de Theaterschool, in the courses Modern Theatre Dance and Urban Contemporary.
He says the fact that his dream is now coming true ‘still feels very unreal’. ‘In recent years, I’ve looked up to all the NDT dancers so much that I can hardly believe I’ll soon be in amongst my idols every day’.
In the NBA end-of-year performances Dancers of Tomorrow, on 7 and 8 July, Toon will be dancing the new opening solo in Gioconda Barbuto’s Till Then. Tickets can be ordered through: www.operaballet.nl/nl/doublebill/2015-2016/voorstelling/dansers-van-morgen
The eight students and guest students who have been given a contract or apprenticeship with a foreign company are:
• Portia Adams - Béjart Ballet Lausanne
• Lauma Berga - Finnish National Ballet
• Dorian Browne - Béjart Ballet Lausanne
• Brandon Demmers - Junior Company Bayerisches Staatsballett (2nd year)
• Nina Dijkman - Ballett Augsburg
• Gaetano Signorelli - Junior Company Ballett Zürich
• Kayla-Maree Tarantolo - Junior Company Semperoper Ballett Dresden (1st year)
• Koyo Yanagishima - Columbia Classical Ballet, United States