Ballet Choreographer: Wubkje Kuindersma
My name is Wubkje Kuindersma.
2. Where are you from?
I am from The Netherlands, born in Cameroon.
3. Where are you based?
I currently live in The Hague, The Netherlands.
I am a Choreographer.
5. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in a small village in Cameroon and came to The Netherlands at 3 years old. My very first memories are in Africa and this remains special to me. As dancer I danced with Ballet Gulbenkian, Danish Dance Theatre, Nurnberg Ballet, Djazzex, Random Dance. I love many genres in dance and as a choreographer I love to create both modern and neoclassical works. The body speaks louder than words, something so beautiful and powerful. As dancer it has been my aim to touch people, as choreographer I want to touch the audience.
6. Do you find that there are a lot of cultural differences between the US and the Netherlands?
In both countries there are incredible artists! Everybody needs art in their life, in my opinion. In the Netherlands art is for a big part state funded. In the US art is mostly supported by sponsors.
7. At what age did you know you’d become a dancer/choreographer?
It was love at first sight in my first ballet class at seven years old. Already as kid, I was creating dances at home.
8. Congratulations on your many awards! Which has been your biggest achievement?
-I am incredibly honored to be nominated in Dance magazine’s Top25 to watch 2019. This is their annual list of dancers, choreographers and companies that are on the verge of sky- rocketing.
-It was a beautiful experience to see that my duet “Two and Only” for Dutch National Ballet’s top-dancers Marijn Rademaker and Timothy van Poucke touched many people and was well received. Marijn got nominated for the prestigous Benois de la Danse for his role in this ballet and danced it together with Timothy at the Bolshoi stage last June.
9. Who or what inspires you when choreographing? What do you love most about it?
Life inspires me. Anyone or anything that touches me deeply, inspires me. I want to touch people with my choreography. Dance for me is about being human, about the experience of being alive in this (mad) world. Dance gives me hope and joy. I love that choreography is human art, it is real people on stage. I love working with dancers and how their personalities resonate in their dancing. I love that choreography is an interdisciplinary art-form by nature; it involves dance, light-design, music, costumes, set-design, theatre, film and text if you like. That makes it a very creative and enriching profession.
10. What obstacles have you had to face?
As a teenager I was travelling 24 hours a week to combine high-school with my dance- education. Yet it did not feel as an obstacle, I felt lucky that I could pursue my passion and become a professional dancer.
11. I see you’ve done lots of traveling for dance. What are some of your favorite things about being abroad?
I love to meet new people and discover new cultures. I love that dance is universal and connects people from everywhere.
12. What projects are you currently working on?
My next projects will be new choreographies for Hessisches Staatsballett and Ballet Dortmund.
13. What is your motto in life?
Chase your dreams, listen to your heart, be curious, never give up, and give all you can.
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Interview by Alison Hernon, Editor-In-Chief, PhotoBook Magazine.