Award of Merit of the Dansersfonds
The Award of Merit 2021 of the Dansersfonds ’79 was won by choreographer Krisztina de Châtel, because of her ‘quirky, daring, always stunningly clever and intriguing choreographies’.
Educated at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen (at that time the only dance academy for modern dance), she came to the Netherlands in 1968, inspired and fascinated by the abstract and avant-garde dance visions of Koert Stuyf. She settled in Amsterdam and danced in Stuyf’s highly controversial, acclaimed and controversial productions. Eight years later she decided to go her own way by forming a small company for which she provided the choreographies. These were not works with graceful air spirits and imperial entourages, but compositions directed with a velvet-covered iron hand in a deceptively austere, minimalist movement language with barely noticeable shifting spatial patterns. Works that demand enormous concentration and precision from the performers, in which they are also often confronted by limiting obstacles such as powerful wind machines, almost flattening transparent walls, narrow shafts, greasy black earth or – very recently – a high rotating staircase. Creations that were not only shown on a theater stage, but also in locations that are very unusual for dance: in a dune landscape, a rose greenhouse, on a field or an unfinished building.
What is extra remarkable is that the Hungarian Krisztina de Châtel has been showing a new work almost every year for more than fifty years. She is therefore the only one of the long line of young, experimenting and innovative dance creators working in the Netherlands who have managed to maintain their position despite financial difficulties and who can now also successfully re-perform old work. That is why the Award of Merit 2021 of the Dansersfonds ’79 is for her!
The Dansersfonds Prizes are the oldest Dutch dance prizes and were established on the initiative of the founders of the Dansersfonds Alexandra Radius and Han Ebbelaar. For more than forty years, the Dansersfonds has been supporting Dutch dancers with grants and awards, among other things. The jury consisted of Marian Sarstädt, Alexandra Radius, Ine Rietstap, Karin Schnabel and Han Ebbelaar.
The other awards were awarded to Remy Tilburg (Incentive Award) and Ernst Meisner (Special Award).