Dutch National Ballet presents

Dancing diversity 2020 Black Achievement Month

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5 year BAM: Heroes

Unfortunately, due to the newly tightened corona measures, Dancing Diversity 2020 cannot be performed for an audience anymore, but we would love to welcome you to watch the performance online with us. The livestream will appear below and on our YoutTube channel on Sunday 25 October at 20:00.Tune in! After the livestream, the registration will be available until 22 November.

Watch Dancing Diversity live on Sunday 25 October at 20:00

Watch the performance Dancing Diversity 2020 live on Sunday 25 October at 20:00. With this special edition, we celebrate five years of Black Achievement Month. In this way, we hope to still have a beautiful evening together with you, at a distance. After the livestream, the registration will be available until 22 November. 



The world premiere of Embers took place at midnight on 2 November 2013 in the Hermitage, Amsterdam. Choreographer Ernst Meisner created the duet for Museumnacht Amsterdam, for two dancers of the Junior Company to music by Max Richter. It has since grown into one of his most successful works. Embers (embers) are stones that glow red when heated.

Choreographer Juanjo Arqués, Young Creative Associate with Dutch National Ballet, presens a preview from his work MANOEUVRE, which will have its full world premiere as part of our Back to Ballet Contemporary program. Arqués sets the work to Shaker Loops by John Adams (winner of the Erasmus Prize 2019), in which the movements of waves have been transformed into sound. MANOEUVRE is an exploration of male sensitivity.

To the music of Georg Friedrich Händle, Ernst Meisner, artistic coordinator of the Junior Company, created Largo for the young talents in this group. A new generation of young dancers cannot wait to further develop themselves. Just like everybody else, they were temporarily put 'on hold', but now they are ready to show themselves. Meet the dancers of the Junior Company!

Live portraits of Sebia Plantefève and Daniel Robert Silva
How does it feel to be a role model? And do you choose to become a role model or do you become one without realising it? Question like these are central during the short interviews with dancers Sebia Plantefève and Daniel Robert Silva that are a part of Dancing Diversity 2020

On the program is the acclaimed Solo to Bach's 'Partita for Violin' by Hans van Manen: a 'solo' for three consecutive dancers, since, as Van Manen stated at the time, Bach's Violin Partita cannot be performed by just one person because of its murderous tempo. Immediately after the premiere, the ballet was labelled 'a masterpiece in six minutes'.

L'autre côté
From the present – in which the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice have set a rare stage evoking loneliness, longing and grief – Sedrig Verwoert seeks a future based on connectivity and conversation. The ten dancers in L'autre côté represent the current state of society. They are challenged to step outside of traditional structures, moving together with mutual trust. The central question is: Where will you be?

Screening of the dance film'Absence'
This summer, choreographer Robin van Zutphen and dancer Daniel Robert Silva created the dance film 'Absence'. This collaboration is their answer to the unusual situation in which we find ourselves right now. 


Daniel Robert Silva - Foto: Michel Schnater


This October marks the fith anniversary of Black Achievement Month (BAM), with 'heroes' as this year's theme. Because of this, on 25 October, Dutch National Opera & Ballet organizes Dancing Diversity, an evening that is entirely devoted to diversity. 


During Dancing Diversity, the theme 'role model' is central. What makes someone a role model? Is it a conscious choice or do you already have this role as a black dancer? What does it do to you when you are a role model in the eyes of others? The programme consists of a number of choreographies danced live, featuring dancers who are seen as role models.

IN THE auditorium

Experience this special edition in our main hall! In this programme we celebrate our many years of cooperation. Dancing Diversity is directed by two young makers, Carmen Lamptey and Gabriela Acosta Camacho, who work together for a diverse and inclusive society through, in and with the arts.


L’Autre Côté - Sedrig Verwoert Foto: Michel Schnater
L’Autre Côté - Sedrig Verwoert Foto: Michel Schnater
Solo - Hans van Manen - studio
Largo - Ernst Meisner Foto: Hans Gerritsen
Embers - Ernst Meisner Foto: Michel Schnater

Daniel Robert Silva

One of the dancers who will perform during this night is our talented coryphée Daniel Robert Silva, who is also an ambassador for BAM 2020. Hij will dance in Solo by Hans van Manen with Timothy van Poucke and Edo Wijnen, during the opening of the Black Achievement Month on 1 October in ITA. He will also appear on our stage during Dancing Diversity.

Daniel is 23 years old and grew up in Brazil. He started dancing ballet when he was 10 years old. Five years ago, his talent brought him to Dutch National Ballet, where his career began at the Junior Company. Since 2018, Daniel dances as coryphée with Dutch National Ballet.



Carmen Lamptey and Gabriela Acosta Camacho
Together, project partners and fellow students Carmen Lamptey and Gabriela Acosta Camacho set up the project Insight Out. For this, they created a short film together with ten young people in custody, in cooperation with Young in Prison. They are also, for their empirical research, working for a more diverse student population in art teaching education programs at the HBO. For this purpose, they have designed an inclusive curriculum concept, based on multiple cultural perspectives from literature and in-depth interviews with experts in the fields of education and art.

For the next six months

In the context of more diversity and openness, Dutch National Ballet has drawn up the following action points for the next six months:

  • Over the next six months renowned diversity specialist Theresa Ruth Howard will lead a series of working sessions with the dancers and the artistic staff of HNB, during which the focus will be on important subjects like implicit and explicit (racist) prejudices in the ballet culture, and hierarchy and leadership. We start conversations and do not shy away from the uncomfortable. Dancers who need support to share their questions and experiences receive individual guidance from Theresa Ruth Howard.
  • Over the next couple of months, HNB will deepen the discussion about the classical ballet repertoire and exotic stereotypes within this repertoire. The Bayadere is the first to be looked at and discussed. Led by Kalpana Raghuraman, choreographer and cultural anthropologist, we look at this choreography with various people from the Indian community. What do they experience? What can we learn from this? What consequences does this have for the performance practice?
  • The teachers in the education department of Dutch National Opera and Ballet receive additional training to be more open to the additional stories and experiences that are embodied by the children and young people in Amsterdam and abroad. Not every child immediately recognizes the fairy tale Cinderella, but children often carry different fairy tales inside them. We bring up these stories more actively and they are more integrated in the lessons and projects.
  • External experts are involved in the artistic creation process of future productions. For example, Priya Srinivasan, choreographer and scientist, who has a great knowledge of hidden cultural exchange and cultural appropriation in dance history, is one of the experts that is consulted in the re-interpretation of the ballet classic Raybonda.

Black Achievement Month

The Black Achievement Month introduces the Netherlands to the ‘black’ history of the Netherlands, through exhibitions, debates, theatre, film and dance. Stories are told about slavery and its legacy, while also looking to the future. The Black Achievement Month thus provides a platform for black role models and their special achievements, such as star ballerina Michaela DePrince. NiNsee (Nationaal Instituut Nederlands Slavernijverleden en Erfenis) is the initiator of the project Black Achievement Month (BAM), which is based on the Black History Month. Through BAM, NiNsee aims not only to look at the past, but also to focus on the present and the future.


In short