Dance for everyone, with or without a disability
Dance is for everyone. To look at, but – as we believe at Holland Dance Festival – certainly also to do yourself. That’s why we organize classes, workshops and other special dance projects for various target groups. An important focus is on inclusive dance: dance that makes no distinction between people with or without physical or mental disabilities.
Under the umbrella term DanceAble, Holland Dance Festival wants to put inclusion dance firmly on the map in the Netherlands, lower thresholds and remove prejudices. This is very much needed, because the Netherlands still lags far behind in the field of inclusion dance compared to our neighbouring countries.
As Holland Dance Festival we not only want to give everyone the chance to dance, but also to refute the idea that beauty in dance is related to motoric perfection and perfect bodies. After all, dancers with a disability can touch, move, amaze and entertain their audience as much as professional dancers can, and they can excel as well.
“As ballet dancers, we are so trained in the pursuit of perfection that we always try to comply with that one perfect picture. But what is perfection and does perfection actually exist? And aren’t it just our imperfections that make us unique and beautiful? Personally, I am always fascinated by dancers who are different, who stand out, precisely because they do not meet that so-called ideal picture”.
Choreographer Peter Leung – created the duet Touch for DanceAble#2
With our many activities we bring the message that dance is for everyone – even for those who think that they are not allowed to dance themselves – to the attention in many ways. Since 2014, for example, we have been organising weekly DanceAble lessons for people with and without disabilities, in which we explicitly work on the basis of the possibilities of the participants and therefore deliberately not on the basis of the limitations that people may or may not be facing. The reactions to the lessons are unanimously enthusiastic. The space to be able to express oneself physically in a safe setting gives participants, as we notice, a free and happy feeling. Moreover, you get to know your own body better and you build up a close, friendly bond with other participants, with a lot of mutual pleasure.
In order to increase the number of specialised teachers in the Netherlands who are used to working with this inclusive target group, we also organise Teacher Training Courses and symposia. In addition, we have initiated the biennial, multi-day DanceAble Event, a festival entirely dedicated to dance for people with and without disabilities. We also work closely with international companies and institutions specialising in inclusive dance and are part of the Europe Beyond Access project.
In 2015 the first DanceAble Event of Holland Dance Festival took place. A three-day festival that focuses on inclusive dance in various ways, with a festive opening production, other performances, an international symposium, workshops, lessons and lectures. This first edition was such a success that the DanceAble Event has now been declared a biennial festival that took place for the third time in November 2019.Read more
Holland Dance Festival has been organising the DanceAble course series for several years now. These dance classes are suitable for everyone with and without (physical) limitations and are given by our professional dance teachers. During the weekly lessons the participants get acquainted with modern dance through various dance exercises and choreographies.Read more