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Nederlands Dans Theater to remain part of basic cultural infrastructure

11 Jun 2011

State Secretary for Culture Halbe Zijlstra announced in a letter he sent to the Dutch House of Representatives on 10 June (‘Beyond Quality: a New View of Cultural Policy’) that Nederlands Dans Theater will continue to be  included in the Dutch government’s ‘basic cultural infrastructure’.

Nederlands Dans Theater’s Managing Director Edwin van Huis, commenting on the State Secretary’s decision: ‘We are extremely pleased that our arguments and the overwhelming, broad support for our dance company from the cultural community in the Netherlands and abroad have been taken to heart, and that Nederlands Dans Theater will now remain part of the basic cultural infrastructure. This will enable us to maintain our position both domestically and internationally. The generic 5% discount will permit us to continue performing our duties, in The Hague, the Netherlands and across the world. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported us in recent weeks.’

Zijlstra’s decision runs counter to the recommendation of the Dutch Council for Culture dated 29 April (‘Necessary Choices’), in which the Council proposes that funding for Nederlands Dans Theater be cut by 40 to 50%. As part of its recommendation, the Council also classified Nederlands Dans Theater as a ‘regional amenity’ for the Greater The Hague Area. The management of Nederlands Dans Theater was stunned by this recommendation of the Council for Culture. The petitions organised by the dance company in the Netherlands and abroad to protest the recommendation were signed by more than 10,000 people, including members of the public, luminaries from the world of dance, and Dutch celebrities.

For many decades, Nederlands Dans Theater has been one of the world’s leading modern dance companies, producing great masters of dance such as Ji??í Kylián, Hans van Manen and Lightfoot & Sol León, along with many other celebrated choreographers and dancers. The company is the national and international figurehead of Dutch modern dance.

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