BEHIND THE SCENES - Dansers van Morgen - Zoë Greten - ‘Making decisions as a young person is an enormous quest’

Scene from 'If only I knew the right way', photography: Altin Kaftira

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NBA student Zoë Greten (20) about her choreography If only I knew the right way

Dutch National Ballet Academy student Zoë Greten (20) is not only a good dancer, but is also very talented in choreography. During Dansers van Morgen, the Dutch National Ballet's Junior Company will be dancing her choreography If only I knew the right way. ‘My father inspires me.’

What is your choreography about?
If only I knew the right way can be summed up in one key word: choices. For this piece, I asked myself the question: how did I end up here? That is by making certain choices.’

Is making choices difficult?
‘Yes, making decisions as a young person can sometimes be an enormous quest. In the end, it is reassuring to remember that there is no such thing as one right choice. One single decision can steer your life in such a different direction that it is almost inconceivable that there is only one path for you. Choices are also influenced by so many factors, such as self-confidence and your environment.’

Your father Ton Greten is also a choreographer. Like father, like daughter?
‘Certainly. For every choreography I make, I am inspired by my father. For this piece as well. Recently, my father’s book GEM, Dance from a different perspective was published, a method that allows you to look at dance from a different perspective. In this book, he talks about choices, among other things. He taught me a lot about this and I found it very inspiring for my own choreography.’

Exciting, your work will soon be performed on the big stage of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. What was the biggest challenge for you?
‘The biggest challenge for me was working efficiently with short rehearsal times. In this world, it is normal not to get much time for your creations, so you have to learn to deal with this. I am learning more and more about this myself.’

You created this choreography for Shooting Stars, the programme with which the Junior Company tours around the Netherlands. What is your role during this tour?
‘Once the performances start, there is not much I can do except sit back and watch. When the dancers are on stage, the piece is in their hands and I enjoy watching them make it theirs. Furthermore, the choreography will never be finished for me; there is always growth in it.'

Finally, why should the audience not miss your choreography?
‘I think it is a little different from other pieces. I still use classical techniques, but it is a more modern piece. I also hope that many people recognise themselves in the idea of my choreography. The concept of "choices" makes you think: how do I make my own choices and what do they mean? Who knows, maybe after seeing If only I knew the right way you will think differently about this theme!’

Dansers van Morgen can be seen on 5 & 6 July in the Dutch National Opera & Ballet.
Click here voor tickets and more information.

Text and interview: Petra Boers - Buro Vonkstof


Zoë Greten