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New paths within NDT

Column | Prince Credell

Prince Credell will soon be dancing his last performance as an NDT 1 dancer. Together with Lydia Bustinduy he worked on a new creation by choreographer Dimo Milev. Prince has been associated with the company since 2013. He does say goodbye as a dancer, but not from NDT itself: since September, Prince has been working as Policy Advisor Diversity & Inclusion and as Project Coordinator Talent Development for professionals in the Talent Development & Education department. We asked him some questions about quitting as a dancer.

Photo of Prince in The Hole by Ohad Naharin: Rahi Rezvani

What are you going to miss most about dancing? Or what will you enjoy most when you do not have to dance every day?

“The thing that I will miss most about dancing is, of course, the rewarding experience of performing. However, I will miss all that goes into the performance process, like collaborating with other dancers and working and researching a project through body awareness. It is very intimate to share in a creative process with others. As I have begun dancing less, it accents how special the collaborative nature of creating is and how unique the relationship an artist cultivates with their own body is. I will miss this daily awareness and experience with myself and others most of all!

When I stop dancing, or as I continue to perform less frequently, I enjoy having the time to focus on other things! Dance is an obsessive kind of art form for artists who welcome engaging endeavors during their career course. At this stage, I feel happy that there is more room to explore my talents and interests behind the scenes.

Any dancer will reveal how ‘wear and tear’ on the body can weigh-on artists’ careers, abilities, or desires to continue dancing into the late stages of their career. In this sense, I feel prepared to tailor-off extensive training and performing to embark on a new relationship with my body and mind!”

Prince in 'Safe As Houses' (2001) by Sol León & Paul Lightfoot. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

What is your next step?

“My next step will be to continue work behind the scenes in several capacities at NDT and small projects at her partners, such as the Korzo Theater. My interests lie in providing support to global teams on social safety in the culture sector at large, but specifically in the dance community. Moreover, this intersects with diversity, equity, and inclusion which has been a large part of my research interest at the UVA. On the one hand, I imagine working in dance education via advising and interacting with the youth. On the other hand, I also like understand and advising what is happening in the professional sphere.

In this sense, I see myself working to liaise globally with dance communities to understand social safety trends and lessons learned. I have also become very interested in advising on the boards of arts councils, and committees. It has become my clear idea that grassroots engagement and activism is often lacking at large dance houses like NDT.

In this way I feel inspired to understand how we (NDT) maintain eclectic Neo-liberal minded audiences while simultaneously reconnecting with local communities and welcoming them to our theaters! In this sense, I think the opening of Amare will provide new endeavors and initiatives on how NDT can accomplish this task.”

What was your favorite choreographer/choreography, and why?

“That is a difficult question that I cannot answer directly. One of my favorite experiences during my short eight-year dance career in NDT 1 was working on Ohad Naharin’s The Hole. As I said before, because I enjoy the process of re-staging, The Hole provided the dancers time and space to explore, reshape and sculpt the work onto the casts. It was also lovely to work on one thing together as an entire company (which doesn’t always happen at a big house such as NDT, where many creations occur per year). Another thing that made this production special was the set which provided a kind of enclosed and intimate experience for both the dancers and the public.”

You will soon be dancing your last performance as an NDT 1 dancer: Dimo Milev’s work As the dust clears will premiere during the Nederlands Balletgala 2021, organized by Dansersfonds ’79, on 15 November, and then you and Lydia Bustinduy will dance it during the Open Festival in Amare from November 19-21. Can you tell us something about this work?

“Working on As the dust clears with Dimo has explored accessing a place inside our own deep inner consciousness. The new channels that we find describe Dimo’s physicality and the location from which he works. This process has made this final work, for Lydia and me, incredibly special and intimate. The experience is sensory below the exterior layers of the body; exploring, searching, and discovering via this domain has been the perfect way to live through this final experience at NDT.”

Prince together with Lydia in 'Situation (1970) by Hans van Manen. Photo (2019): Rahi Rezvani


Watch more photos of Prince in the gallery