Why Move?

Discover Dance. Uncover Ideas.

International Interview Tour To Learn What Moves a City (2016-2017)

The Why Move Project culminated in 2017 with a collection of 10 interviews. This page serves as an archive only.

October 2016: What do you do when you hit 30, your life turns upside down and you get the chance to start something new? I am taking that chance and this is where I’m starting. It’s starting off on a dramatic note, don’t worry – it won’t be all drama.

After living and working in the Netherlands for almost a decade, mostly in the contemporary dance sector – as a dancer, producer, manager and everything in between, I decided to move to Toronto, Canada (where I grew up).

The past few years I have been going to countless contemporary dance platform events, festivals, performances and networking events in Europe. When I tell people I come from Canada, usually their eyes light up and this is followed by a comment that goes a bit like “Oh, I’ve been to Montreal, oh, and also Vancouver – I love Canada, it’s great!” I have to say, I was always proud to hear that they love the Canada. But, I was also a bit disappointed to learn that they hadn’t been to Toronto, or even really heard about many dance-related projects from Toronto. How could this be?!

The Toronto I remember was diverse, had lots of opportunities to study dance, there were a bunch of performance spaces, people were constantly creating collectives. When I lived there I got to see shows from companies from all over the globe. Why didn’t the dance world that I was coming in contact with in Europe not know so much about the Toronto that I remember?

That got me thinking

What does the Toronto dance scene look like now? What do other dance scenes look like? What can I learn from the movers and shakers around the world who connect their work with an international network? How can I share my passion for dance with a larger group? And most importantly, how can Toronto become a recognised player in the field of international contemporary dance?

These questions stuck with me for some time. They led to even more questions, which led to some other answers, which led to new questions… You get the idea. To find out the answers and to learn new things I decided I needed to talk with people. People who make things happen, create work, support the work created by others, create opportunities. People with ideas, a vision, experience, opinions and insights.


Photo: G. Jongenelen

In all the places I visited, I had interviews with some pretty rad people who all have some kind of connection with the international scene. This site is a place where I will share some of their best practices, points of views, and insights. Naturally, they represent their own ideas, and sometimes those of the organisations they work for. They are not meant to be taken as blanket statements about the scene or city they come from. However, their insights and opinions get me thinking, so injected in the interviews are my own thoughts and perspectives.

What’s the point?

I want to connect Toronto with other international contemporary dance hubs. Through these interviews I am hoping to make the challenge of connecting across the world a bit easier and a whole lot more personal. I also hope to shed light on the international contemporary dance scene in a way that is interesting to both the players in the field (that’s you dancers, choreographers, programmers and others!) and also those who don’t know so much about the field but are feeling curious. Like my grandma. She’s 90 and is a wiz on her iPad – I’ll send her the link 🙂

This is a self-initiated project running from December 2016-December 2017, meaning it’s squeezed between my work and the rest of my life. While I travelled 25 478 km by plane, train and automobile to meet these great people, I hope these interviews can spare you the travel tickets and give you a little peek into their worlds from the comfort of your couch.

Shout Outs

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support from a lot of amazing people. Along side the fabulous interviewees, these fine folks helped me with everything from reviewing texts, giving me a cozy bed to rest my head, helping me with nit-picky tech stuff and everything in between. From the bottom of my heart I’d like to thank:

Daniel Disselkoen, Maddie Reed, Liene Kokina, Ieva Rozentale, Lody Meijer, Kristin de Groot, Sabine Brice, Arina Lannoo, Patricia Carvalho, Johanna Ringkvist, Orlando Castro, Oskar Maan, Matthias Egger, Maria Mangott, Marc Maris, Jenni Vogel, Wayne Robson, Blair Tookey, Sabina Perry, Frank Nagel, Tanya Giannelia, Yves Plourde, Francis Plourde, C. Mead, my folks and of course, my Oma.