New covenant concerning the partnership with Dutch National Ballet

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[Translate to English:] Photo: Marta Syrko - Ballet Bubbles, Junior Company

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At a festive event, Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet Academy will shortly be signing a new covenant, in which their close relationship will be confirmed and updated. Ted Brandsen, artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, refers to the connection between his company and the academy as ‘extremely significant for the development of ballet in our country’. “We’ve been working with the Dutch National Ballet Academy for many years now, and since Ernst Meisner was appointed artistic director of the academy in 2018, this partnership has become even closer and more productive.”

“It’s important that we’ve taken a fresh look at the content of the covenant”, says Ernst Meisner, artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy and artistic coordinator of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. “The first official covenant dates back to 2013, when the Junior Company (a joint initiative – ed.) was founded. A lot has happened and changed since then. Our academy has grown in quality and become more international, we’ve started an Associate Degree programme and many dancers have now moved up from the Junior Company to join Dutch National Ballet.”

Continuous learning pathway
From an international viewpoint, both Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet Academy are relatively young institutes, which Meisner says makes the partnership even more important. “By drawing up this new covenant, we’re taking the next step in the areas of exchanging knowledge, jointly creating a logical and continuous learning pathway from talented youngster to principal dancer, and providing opportunities to students from the Netherlands and abroad. Young dancers who train at the Dutch National Ballet Academy not only get a regular look at Dutch National Ballet, but they actually get the chance to dance in the company’s productions, so they can develop their talents even further.”

Exclusive partnership
Artistic director of Dutch National Ballet Ted Brandsen says, “Since 2013, we’ve had an exclusive partnership in the Netherlands with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. With the arrival of Ernst Meisner, this partnership has intensified and we are developing it further in a new covenant. Both organisations benefit greatly from this partnership. The standard of the course and the students has risen even further in recent years, The Junior Company – founded in 2013 – has gained an international reputation and Dutch National Ballet already has more than thirty ex-Junior Company dancers in its ranks, including two principals and five soloists.”

A single goal and mission
Now more than ever before, pupils and students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy are performing in the full-length productions by Dutch National Ballet. The students also get the opportunity to train with the company. And the other way round, many dancers from Dutch National Ballet give classes at the academy. Brandsen says, “We work together on a single goal and mission: firmly anchoring a classical ballet style that prioritises clarity and purity, with no unnecessary frills and decoration. As a company and school, we also place high value on a broad orientation for our dance students. They need to be open to experiment and prepared to prove themselves in every possible genre. I’m very grateful for the fact that we pursue a single vision in this respect, and that the staff and the whole teaching team of the Dutch National Ballet Academy contribute to it so intensively.”