about

As a tap dancer, I am a musician with my feet, a dancing percussion player. I am fascinated by the poetry of steps and their ability to navigate many different worlds. My dancing transforms traditional tap-dance into a contemporary art form; building bridges between different artistic disciplines, traditions and cultures.

I fell in love with tap dance when I made my first rhythms more than 25 years ago and the adventure still continues, taking me to unexpected places, crossing through other areas like classical music, folk traditions, theater, film and literature. Always a visitor, a stranger, negotiating how to dance together, how to work and simply how to be together.

My first love however was music. In 2007 I received the Dutch Jur Naessens prize for innovation in music, which was an major milestone in my early ambition to work as a musician with tap dance. Since then, I have worked in many different kinds of musical environments, including classical orchestras, jazz, improvised music and contemporary ensembles, on concert stages around the world. I am also proud to be part of Splendor, a musician-led concert space in Amsterdam.

Because tap dancing is in itself interdisciplinary, and there are very few other tap dancers here in Europe, I usually work with artists from other disciplines, like film, theater, community art projects, interventions and workshops. In order to explore more deeply the particular creation processes between artists from different disciplines, I co-founded the artistic research lab Radio Kootwijk Live, which centered on classical music and operated from 2009 until 2015 in The Netherlands. This project introduced me to a rich array of different working methods from many disciplines, like light design, location theatre, ensemble music, theatre directing, contemporary dance. The goal was never to learn each others techniques, but to enrich our own understandings and ideas. Also this laid the ground for the work with dialogue forms, and sharing working methods with professionals from outside the arts.

An important moment was the creation of multi-award winning dance documentary One Million Steps together with director Eva Stotz in 2015. The short film places dance as a catalyst in the public space in the midst of the Gezi protests in Istanbul, 2013. The filming was quite raw and adventurous and showed me how close poetry and performance are to social and political issues like citizenship and democracy, and the often violent clash of state control and protest.

Another turning point came in 2017, when I was invited by director Eugenio Barba to become long-term artist in residence at Nordisk Teater Laboratorium in Holstebro, Denmark, to work as performer and project developer of performances, festivals and community projects.

Inspired by the work of Odin Teatret, I started to really work on developing an embodied practice of performance. This led to a deep exploration of artistic practice and its role in knowledge building and exchange between artists. As part of my residency at NTL I then co-founded Cross Pollination together with Adriana La Selva, an international and interdisciplinary network of performers and researchers which focusses on the dialogue in-between practices, new ways of knowledge building and understanding collaboration, connecting theater practice with artistic research. Speaking and writing from practice is central to the international artist platform ‘The Parliament of Practices’ (since 2020) and creating encounters in local communities guided by artistic practices ‘Wunderkammer’ (June and September 2021).

With Cross Pollination, I have been fortunate to publish three collaborative articles in the second half of 2021.

Performance Research : Parliament of Practices, No-topian tactics for praxical dialogue https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13528165.2020.1930765 (August 2021)

Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença : Cross Pollination’s Nomadic Laboratory: a praxis in-between practiceshttps://www.scielo.br/j/rbep/a/mrTzXXYk9b5spFtQpGtnNvm/ (August 2021)

Global Performance Studies and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism : Echolocation and reverberation: ecologies of knowledge sharing in laboratory praxis’
(admitted for publication in the upcoming issues).