Saturday February 9th, the CaDance festival closed with a rave dance music performance in a filled-to-capacity Theater aan het Spui. It was a fitting and characteristic conclusion to this edition of the festival with such a great diversity of performances. This edition’s theme was New Stories and yet again there was ample proof that dancers and dance makers manage to find exciting new forms for what they wish to share with the public.
In her opening speech, Minister Van Engelshoven called the festival ‘a gift’ for a wide audience that, because of the festival can to get to know modern dance, and hopefully, get as excited as she is after seeing it. She also called the festival a gift for and audience of connoisseurs and professionals who find enough new developments to surprise them again and again. ‘Giving space to young creatives’, an important part of CaDance’s mission, ‘forms precisely the heart of my policy’.
For the nineteenth time, CaDance showed current developments in the rich landscape of Dutch dance with a program including no less than 12 world premieres and two Dutch premieres. This edition of the festival was characterized by an enormous diversity in how stories can be told through the body. It reflects the fact that talent development knows many inspiring forms in the Netherlands. CaDance laid great emphasis on the personal urgency of the creatives; this resulted in performances with a pronounced personal signature and social relevance.
Special attention was focussed on new developments in urban dance that found a more than ample forum with premieres by Sarada Sarita, Xclusiv Company, Junadry Leocaria, Simon Bus and the European partnership project Mind Ur Step. With this urban focus in the program, CaDance managed to get the attention of a new, young audience, drawing them into the theatre.
A notable feature in this edition was that creatives often used the space to explore the other or the relationship with the other and to identify it explicitly. Various choreographers such as Amos Ben-Tal, Astrid Boons, Shailesh Bahoran, Charlotte Edmonds, Roberto Zappalà, Hilde Elbers, and Heather Ware and the aforementioned urban dance makers Sarada Sarita, Xclusiv Artistry, Junadry Leocaria made tangible in how far this relationship defines our present condition. It was also the subject of the duet They/Them by the newcomers, choreographers Christian de Donder and Sedrig Verwoert who were the first to be awarded The new Leo Spreksel Award for promising talent.