Dancing in the streets of Amsterdam

Famous kandmarks across the city were turned into a ballet stage

Photo: One of the members of Dutch National Ballet, participating in the project ANP

Those who walk or cycle through the empty streets of Amsterdam these days can meet a dancing member of Dutch National Ballet. Six of the marvelous dancers, independently of each other and in completely different public places in the city, will perform out in the open their parts in a piece of choreography inspired by the coronavirus lockdown.

Footage of each piece will be then edited together into choreographer Peter Leung and cameraman Altin Kaftir's film titled “Gently Quiet” that will be streamed online by early May, the National Ballet said.

“I like this project as we can show what we want to do and what we are waiting for to do again,” said 25-year old dancer Yvonne Slingerland, who performed her piece beside the Amstel river on Friday.

“Even if we are in this weird situation we are still moving and we are still trying to get to the audience. I think art right now is really important for everyone,” she said.

All bars, restaurants, museums and other public places have been shut in the Netherlands since 15 March in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.  The National Ballet has also cancelled all its performances until 1 June and stopped its dancers from rehearsing together. Many have resorted to practicing at home.

“This is our way of bringing a poetic production, despite not being able to work together in our studio or to perform in front of an audience”, National Ballet spokesman Richard Heideman said.

Meanwhile, the crisis also produces something else, as outlined by Peter Leung. 

"Many dancers have been continuously engaged in dance from the age of eleven, so now there is also time for reflection." Leung says, adding that dancers emerge "like butterflies from their cocoons."

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