l‘bA'l'U Kl: LIST
LEAPS AND BOUNDS
Above, photographic highlights of Focus on Dance; see Focus on Dance listings for full details. Below. also on the dance-stage this month. Nederlands Dans Theater 2 make a rare Scottish appearance. Alice Bain meets
Arlette van B()ven.
Top: Dansgroep Krisztina De Chatel. five-person all-male group from Amsterdam. present ‘Staunch‘. See Sun 10th. Left: Phoenix Dance Co. who are giving workshops and performances throughout. See Mon 4th and Sat 9th. Right: The Edinburgh company. Khoros Dance Theatre. See Wed 6th.
Arlette Van Boven had a busy schedule. A day trip from Amsterdam to Glasgow on a warm day might be a pleasant enough experience. but Arlette‘s hours were booked solid for talk and promotion
Cool in black. she was ready for questions on her specialist subject — Netherlands Dance Theatre 2. The 2 indicates just that — it is the second team. the junior division ofthe Netherlands Dance Theatre proper. But under her directorship. it is a company which now performs 50 times a year in Holland and 40 times a year abroad - the kind of
programme possible only at top professional level. Despite the youth of its members ND'I‘Z has a reputation it can call its own.
It was not always the case. Before Arlette took up her present job. the fledgling junior company had problems of identity. The aim has always been to prepare young dancers for their performing career. but in the early days that struck a note ofsecond-best. Under the weight of that image. NDTZ did not easily attract dancers with talent. But it has become clear since Arlette took over in 1981 that ND'I'2 offers the kind oftraining not possible as a junior in a large company — solo work for every dancer. one teacher to every three dancers. immediate exposure to international audiences. Success is reﬂected in the fact that out on9 dancers. the main company has 17 ex-NDTZ members.
Dancers entering ND'I‘Z come from all over the world. Of the
current company of 14. only three are from Holland. the others coming from Italy. Spain. Canada. Australia. Belgium. No one is older than 21 and no one is younger than 18. It‘s a young. talented. cosmopolitan blend which Arlette enjoys. Her interest in languages entends to several. ﬂuently. and despite many years as a performer. eleven of them with Netherlands Dance Theatre. she adores teaching. ‘I loved dancing but I like this even more. The best thing is that I see the result of my work. As a dancer you don't see it. you only feel it. People can tell you how you‘ve been but it‘s not the same thing.‘
Arlette’s position as coach and rehearsal director is not without its frustrations. With a maximum stay ofonly two years. dancers move to the main company or go elsewhere just when she has got to know their style. But on the whole. that lends a sharp edge to her job. ‘It is a very
exciting time in a dancer’s life. You see the talent but it can go in all directions — it can go nowhere. it can go fantastic. Nothing is predictable which is what keeps me going.‘ What also fuels her coaching abilities are her great reserves of experience as a dancer. ller beginnings in the sixties were ambitious — she moved from Bejart Ballet ofthe 20th (‘entury to the Royal Ballet 'l‘ouring ( ‘ompany and before starting on her career with Netherlands Dance 'l'heatre. spent a short stay with Western 'l‘heatre Ballet. now Scottish Ballet. Despite that connection Glasgow is not now familiar ground and the visit here will allow opportunities to compare life and dance notes with old friends. 'I‘hat morning Arlette had already made time to speak to Elaine MacDonald. Scottish Ballet‘s best-known and loved principal ballerina. 'l'he parallels between the two women cannot go unnoticed.
6The List 24 June — 7 July T688