Rudi van Dantzig is no longer with us. Defeated in a battle he couldn’t win. The newspapers were full of it and there was a lot of TV coverage of the death of one of the greatest artists of our time. And rightly so.
As I usually write about a current topic here, it would therefore seem logical that my blog this week should be about Rudi van Dantzig. Even more so when you consider his huge impact on the Dutch National Ballet and on so many generations of dancers in person. And even more importantly on a whole art form. Rudi van Dantzig was a Monument.
Maybe that accounts for my writer’s block now. This man is simply too great for my weekly column about my adventures.
And in all honesty, I must confess I didn’t know him well personally. Of course I knew who he was and what he stood for. But in the four years I’ve now been with ‘his’ company, I’ve only met him a couple of times. If he was here, then he was in the studio, as the offices were never really his domain. So I can add hardly any personal experiences to the beautiful words Ted has written about him on our website. In that case, it’s better to stop talking and just listen.
So – no blog about Rudi.
In this week’s blog, I was going to write about the press conference last Monday, when we announced the merger between De Nederlandse Opera, The Amsterdam Music Theatre and the Dutch National Ballet. A press conference is anyway an occasion that lends itself well to a blog, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Because it’s a historic moment: the ending to a story started years ago with the decision to house the opera and ballet companies together under one roof. The cohabitation contract was signed in the days of Rudi van Dantzig, setting in motion developments that have now led, 25 years later, to the announcement of the marriage between the companies. That can justifiably be called historic. In my blog, I could have described how the Opera and Ballet directors performed in unison for their press audience, and how good that felt. Or how at the lunch afterwards Ted and I explained to the journalists that this step is in the best interests of our company and our art form. My blog would underline our belief that we are doing justice to the heritage handed down to us by Rudi.
That could have been a nice blog.
But strangely enough, it doesn’t feel quite right to write about the merger of our National Ballet when the man who gave that company such individuality and autonomy has just passed away. What would Rudi himself have thought about the merger? Would he have rebelled against the commercialisation and expansion that necessarily accompany such a merger? Or would he have considered it wise to combine forces in the light of a new era, just as he understood the need to move to The Amsterdam Music Theatre at the time – however much he dreaded it?
All in all, it was an eventful week. And a week that marked the close of a period in more than one respect. It has hushed me. I would rather remain silent about it.
So – owing to circumstances, no blog this week.< blog archive