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Drastic cuts in Holland

Posted on May 6, 2011

dutch national ballet 4tempb 496 credit angela sterling

dutch national ballet 4tempb_496_credit_angela_sterlingDance companies are facing sharp cuts under recommendations by the Dutch Council for Culture. Under these proposals, Nederlands Dans Theater faces a fierce cut of 40–50 per cent, and would be downgraded from an “international” to a “regional” company.

The company has protested against the proposals, pointing to the company’s worldwide reputation and role in creating and nurturing choreographic stars such as Jirí Kylián, Hans Van Manen and Paul Lightfoot and Sol León. You can support NDT’s protest by signing the petition at

Dutch National Ballet’s subsidy would be reduced by 26 per cent. Ted Brandsen, the company’s artistic director, points out that this means “threatened decline from a big company to a medium-sized one… We run the risk of no longer being able to properly mount the large-scale productions like Swan Lake, Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty... As regards quality, the Dutch National Ballet is currently one of the leading ballet companies in the world. This position will be lost if the recommendation becomes reality.” The Dutch National Ballet petition is at 

Picture: Alexander Zymbrovski and Igone de Jongh of Dutch National Ballet. Photograph: Angela Sterling.

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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