by Bert de Boer, coordinator medical staff
photo: erwin olaf
“The relationship between our physiotherapy practice, De Nieuwe Keizers, and Nederlands Dans Theater dates back nearly 25 years. For several decades now, we’ve been working with so many different and wonderful natural movers of NDT. The dancer’s incredibly high level of skill can sometimes be hard to convey to outsiders. My son, Jurre, explaining it to his friends, said it best when he was 10 years old: “Nederlands Dans Theater is like the FC Barcelona of dance. They’ve got the best dancers in the world and the best trainers are their technical directors!” Other links existed between NDT and soccer. Back in the 1990s we used to compete in an annual indoor soccer tournament with a team made up of NDT staff playing against other dance and theatre companies. We won the final tournament with among others the pianist Jan Schouten playing as a striker and book keeper Simon Bronsteijn as our goalie. One of the dancers wanted to join, but we turned him down saying we wanted to play with the strongest possible team… That was nonsense, of course – we simply wanted to avoid injuries.
Training methods of dancers and professional athletes have influenced each other over the years. For example, the Royal Dutch Rowing Federation (KNRB) began facilitating Pilates classes for the Olympic rowers. NDT’s paramedical team took its cue from the KNRB and the Dutch Olympic Committee and hired a power trainer for dancers. They are, after all, real performing athletes. They make it look so effortless on stage, but they can only achieve that through rigorous training in addition to their classes and rehearsals. It’s a privilege to be able to work with NDT, which employs some of the best dancers in the world. All their dancers are beautiful, classically trained natural movers who are also creative, musical and highly motivated. That sort of intrinsic motivation is crucial when you’re recovering from injuries.
NDT’s dancers have been setting the trend on stage now for decades; superhuman and down-to-earth at the same time – much like the players of FC Barcelona, you might say.”