Apprentice with NDT 2

Apprentice with NDT 2

Five questions for Demi Bawon

Demi Bawon is an apprentice with NDT 2 in the 2020-2021 season. In this story, we ask her five questions about her time with the company.

Photo of Demi during Young Talent Project in 2019: Sacha Grootjans

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself: where are you from and how did you end up with NDT 2?
I started dancing at the age of 7 at Noes Fiolet Studios, after a while my ballet teacher noticed my potential and encouraged me to audition for the Royal Conservatoire. I did and got accepted at the age of ten. I finished my primary school there, did 6 years of college and studied in the HBO Bachelor Program. Here I got the privilege to take classes from former dancers of Dutch National Ballet and NDT.

In the last five years of my education I got the opportunity to work with many dancers, repetitors and choreographers connected to NDT such as Medhi Walerski and Dimo Milev in the collaborative project with NDT called Young Talent Project, where I performed a wide range of NDT repertoire. When it was time for me to audition I took a chance and auditioned for the NDT 2 internship and lucky enough they gave me the opportunity to continue my journey by dancing as an apprentice with NDT 2.

What is your best/most beautiful/favorite experience with NDT so far?
My most precious memory so far is my first official performance with NDT 2. It was a live stream for the programme Dare to Say and I was lucky enough to dance in both pieces. Since it was a live stream, all my friends and family were able to watch. I remember feeling quite nervous, but so excited and grateful. The night itself went by so quick and the rush I felt on stage felt amazing. After the performance I received so many wonderful messages from my friends and family. And even hours after the performance, when I went home I still felt this excitement and was buzzing of adrenaline. The whole experience felt so surreal, but I knew at that moment that this is what I love doing the most.

Demi (in the center at the back) in rehearsal for '27'52''' by Jiří Kylián. Photo: Mikaela Kelly

What do you hope to learn at NDT?
It has almost been 8 months dancing as an apprentice and I have already learned so many valuable lessons about company life, the repertoire of NDT, dancing and creating in general, but most of all I learned a lot about myself as a dancer and as a human being. That is one of the things I wanted to learn here. This year for me has been a huge shift with changes in every aspect of my life. From being in my comfort zone at the Royal Conservatoire for ten years, to now finding myself in a complete new environment, where I had to completely reinvent and rediscover myself. I am blessed to be able to do that in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.

And even hours after the performance, when I went home I still felt this excitement and was buzzing of adrenaline. The whole experience felt so surreal, but I knew at that moment that this is what I love doing the most.

Demi Bawon

Do you have any dreams you would like to achieve in the future?
A life as a dancer has always been unpredictable, but now on top of that we also live in a very uncertain period with the pandemic and everything surrounding that. I can definitely feel and see the effects, especially during the audition season now. So right now all I can think about and hope for is finding a solid place in a company and from there we will see what the future brings.

What do you do to relax, so when you’re not at NDT?
Of course because of our hectic and busy schedules, there is not much free time. But in the free time that we get I try to relax as much as possible and try to get my mind off of work for a while. I love downtime by myself and do things like journaling, to write out my thoughts and experiences, reading, listening to music etc. Besides that I treasure the time I get to spend with my family and friends. I’m lucky enough to have my family and some friends living relatively close by, so often I try to meet on the weekends.