Young Talent Project 2023

This year Young Talent Project, a unique collaboration between Royal Conservatoire Dance (KC) and Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), experienced its eleventh edition.

Young Talent Project is a twofold talent development project. On the one hand, the project gives young dance students the chance to come into contact with NDT’s working methods and to develop their talent as a versatile dancer during the project. On the other hand, the project offers (former) NDT dancers the opportunity to gain experience as teachers, rehearsal directors or choreographers within a professional dance school.

Young Talent Project goes beyond just learning NDT repertoire; for three months, students are taken through the process of creating choreography at NDT every day.

You can read more about the participants’ experiences in this story.


– All photos by Sacha Grootjans


Fay van Baar

NDT 1 dancer Fay van Baar worked with the students of HBO 4 and the Royal Conservatoire Dance Ensemble on an entirely new creation:

One Way or Another

Fay herself studied at the Royal Conservatoire and also participated in Young Talent Project at the time. In the video below, she talks more about what that is like for her and what she has to offer to students through that experience. Students Alessia Vogelzang and Noah Prins also share their experience.

Students rehearsing 'One Way or Another' by Fay van Baar.

Students' experiences

Young Talent Project (YTP) means a lot to me because it is a very educational process and you learn to expand your dance vocabulary.

This is my fourth time participating. I dance in Todayful, Aya Misaki’s new creation. This is my second time participating in a new creation but because the communication between me and the choreographer was so good, it became a better experience than the last time. Also, we as a group were very involved in the process of creation which made for a very nice experience that we can take a lot from in our further professional dance career.

In addition, I dance in an excerpt from Frontier, a piece by Crystal Pite where I was able to develop my partnering skills through the coaching of César Faria Fernandes. Finally I would like to thank Aya Misaki for the good communication that made the whole process a good experience, César Faria Fernandes for developing my partnering skills and NDT for making the Young Talent Project possible.

Max de Graaf

I have been lucky enough to be part of Young Talent Project for the past two months thanks to the Royal Conservatoire. The opportunity to participate has introduced me to the professional dance world.

I have learned about the process of creating a piece and the requirements for a good result. It was an amazing experience to have former NDT dancers as choreographers and mentors as we dove into their repertoire and I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of this. I learned so much about body awareness and being able to express myself on stage. Thank you!

Iria Diaz Muñoz

Young Talent Project (YTP) gave me the opportunity to gain new and different experiences. In addition, I have gained new insights into the opportunities the dance world can offer me. Also, thanks to the people involved from NDT and the Royal Conservatoire, who are supervising this project, I am gaining more awareness of the different ways of dancing.

For me, YTP is mostly about the learning process. From the day we started until the last performance, I learn things that I will never forget and that can play an important role in my future dance career. For example, this year YTP helped me to broaden my own vision of dance considerably and to use my body more consciously as a dancer. Therefore, I am very grateful for the realization of this collaboration between my school and NDT.

Aaron de Lamotte

Aya Misaki

Students rehearsing 'Todayful' by Aya Misaki.

I very clearly remember all the dance pieces I danced when was in my teens. Not only a piece itself, also the process and people who were around. I realize more and more that everything had such a big impact on me, artistically, physically, mentally and emotionally. Those experiences I had through dance made my personality and the life I have now.

I’m aware that I’m now involved in an important part of all the student’s future.
My main goal was to make this process as joyful as possible, as intimate as possible. Because that’s what I enjoyed the most and what makes me feel grateful even after many years. I’m hoping that they can carry this memory and experience to their future in many different ways.

Aya Misaki

Yvan Dubreuil about working on Dissolve in This

This years Young Talent Project has been an opportunity to dive into the journey of sharing an artistic adventure with the youngest group participating in the project.

As all adventures there have been surprises and unforeseen challenges, there have been confrontations and questions, as well facing limits and unknowns but fresh qualities emerged from these promising dancers such as courage, daring, determination and hopefully discoveries!

Let’s wish them to use and enjoy the resonances of this adventure through this work of Johan Inger that asked of them to meet high physicality, speed and precision, improvisation and collaboration! Quite an adventure it has been!!!

Yvan Dubreuil

César Faria Fernandes about working on Frontier

Frontier is a beautiful piece that reflects how the unknown border between the visible and invisible affect us, where dancers can delve in Crystal Pite’s intricate language.

It was beautiful to share this work with Young Talent Project, as the work has 5 visible dancers with very different qualities it was a perfect opportunity to share this work and see the dancers find these qualities within themselves.

I would like to leave a question: How are we aware of what’s not seen but is as much part of us as what is seen ?

César Faria Fernandes

Want to know more about this year's performances?

View the digital programme book and read more about the performances, ballet credits and texts from choreographers and students.

The performances took place Nov. 23, 24 and 25.

View here

Photography by Sacha Grootjans

During Young Talent Project, photographer Sacha Grootjans took beautiful photos of the participants.

View several photos in our gallery (see right in image)


Are you interested in purchasing a photograph or have you become curious about Sacha Grootjans’ work? Click here.