6 March 2018

- NDT, UNWomen & The Graphic Story

1/1: Transitions

Investigative dance portraits

Final portrait

About the project

A collaboration and group show in which eight different artists created a portrait of eight different female dancers from NDT. The portraits investigated the women's personal stories behind being a dancer as a part of the UNWomen's "HeforShe art week" surrounding international women's day on March 8th.

My contribution was a double portrait of Sarah Reynolds, based on a day of interviews and participant observations with her in the last days of rehearsal for the impressive show "The Hole" by Ohad Naharin.

The portraits were made into limited edition signed glicee prints by Ruijgrok Piƫzografie and sold through Griffioen Grafiek. The collection was on show and for sale in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam (outside the stage where The Hole was being performed) and De Kring. All proceeds during that week went to UNWomen.

Dance portrait exposition Stadsschouwburg
Dance portrait exposition Stadsschouwburg
Dance portrait exposition Stadsschouwburg
Portrait exposition at the Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam

Collecting a personal story

Sarah kindly invited me to spend a day with her at work, talking, observing and even participating in her final rehearsals for The Hole. To my surprise, I was invited to partake in the warming up session of the group that morning. This involved the Gaga movement language, which is a big part of The Hole. As an anthropologist and artist, I really loved learning about her and the performance in such a direct way, by briefly being a part of it.

As she was getting ready to leave NDT this year, Sarah wanted the portrait to be about "transitions". Reflecting on dance and what it meant to her, she noted how she always enjoyed dancing together with someone else the most. But dancing with another, you can only ever be 1/2 of the whole. That's how the idea of this double portrait came to be, in which she's portrayed dancing with her future self. Her personal transition from performing dancer to whatever may come next is at the core of this movement.

Transitions signing and sarah
Left: signing the limited edition prints at Ruijgrok Piƫzografie. Right: Sarah Reynolds posing with her portrait

Thanks to Sarah and NDT for their great hospitality and Stijn Schenk for the initiative and coordination.