Sjoerd Vreugenhil was
born in Kisenge, Zaire, in 1971. He later moved to the Netherlands where he studied
classical ballet at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and at the Rotterdam
Dance Academy, graduating In 1988. He began his professional dance career with Introdans
in Arnhem and later joined Scapino Ballet In Rotterdam. As a soloist he danced with Zurich
Ballet, and for six years with Ballett Frankfurt.
He entered the Netherlands' choreographic scene with
two short pieces he created for Ballett Frankfurt - Fat Peggy's Sober Property and The Sisters You - both shown at the Cadance Festival in 2002.
His talent for combining dance, theatre, and design
was immediately recognised and Fat
Peggy's Sober Property was selected for the Nederlandse Dansdagen as one of the highlights of 2002/2003. It was also chosen by the Vereninging van Vlakke VloerTtheaters to
join the Danspassies tour - a program
to promote talented new choreographers.
Vreugdenhil's second Korzo production Ferocious Felicity (2004) was also selected for the Nederlands Dansdagen with the
festival's selection committee writing: "…With
Ferocious Felicity, Vreugdenhil convincingly demonstrates that he is
steadfastly developing his own signature and movement vocabulary…". The piece was also presented at the Springdance
Festival in Utrecht and toured throughout Germany.
Aside from his choreographic work, Vreugdenhil
completed a two year architecture course at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam
which greatly influenced his concept of stage image.
In 2004 Vreugdenhil was appointed House Choreographer
of Danshuis Limburg where he created Heerlijk
Heerlen, and made a second version of Dismantling Sivak - a duet originally made for the Dance for
Life Gala in Brussels. 2004 also
saw the creation of Volle Melk Disneyfied for
Dansgroep Krisztina de Chatel.
In 2005 Vreugdenhil created a new piece for the
Staatsoper unter den Linden, Berlin - Seven
Attempted Escapes from Silence, written by Jonathan Safran Foer, and
later that year made his third Korzo production Ironing Madonna which created a huge stir in the Netherlands' dance scene.
In 2006 Scapino Ballet presented Vreugdenhil's duet Dismantling Sivak and his
dance installation Purple
Silence premiered with
the Berliner Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Other creations that year Included 10 Gedachten van Denkprocessen
for Fonty's Academy, Tilburg, and the choreography for Croesus at the Staatstheater
Wiesbaden Germany. 2006 also saw Fat Peggy's Sober Property touring Israel.
In 2007 Vreugdenhil premiered The Honest Poverty of Past and he also made the choreography
for the musical HAIR which went on to tour over 160 dates in
the Netherlands and Belgium.
In 2008 a production based on Allen Ginsberg's HOWL with choreography by
Vreugdenhil premiered at the Theaterschool Amsterdam. Vreugdenhil also co-direct HIRST with Mauricio de Oliveira in San Paulo,
Brazil, and his work Tuin premiered at the Cadance/ Crossing Border
Dance Works Rotterdam, where Vreugdenhil has worked
as both a choreographer and a teacher, has commissioned a new creation for
2008/09, and other future commissions could include co-directing Miss
Julie from Strindberg at The Royal Theatre, Den Haag in 2009/2010, We should be
dead premiered in 2010 at korzo5HOOG
in May. The second part of We should be
dead premiered in September '10 for Dansgroep Amsterdam. And at Oct 2010 his installation Darlings, We should be dead was shown at the Nederlandse Dansdagen.
Korzo is situated in the middle of the Hofkwartier; one of eight charismatic districts in the city center of The Hague. This place that oozes cultural history, with cozy nooks and crannies around every corner offers more than enough opportunities for an intimate dance project. CaDance invited five choreographers to make a performance suited to one of the hidden gems in this area. With no more than 24 other spectators, you will go visit all the performances and look the dance straight in the eye.
5 x 5 is a CaDance productie and is financially supported by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Zuid Holland, Fonds1818, Ministry of OCW and The City of The Hague.
The performance of Cora Bos-Kroese is created in cooperation with C-Scope.
At the 2008 festival edition, the CaDance Festival started a joint venture with the Crossing Border Festival. It was a long-cherished wish of both organizations that was finally being realized. Authors of words and authors of movement meet in the Terrie(S)tories project. Sjoerd Vreugdenhil created - together with the Dutch writer Robbert Welagen - the work Tuin.
Three teams consisting of choreographic talent and writing talent have been invited to go to work with the subject Dance Territories.
Concept Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | tekst Robbert Welagen | choreografie Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | dans Sylvain Meret | performance Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | decor Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | lichtontwerp Roland van Ulden en Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | vertaling tekst Tiny Mulder.
Ironing Madonna is telling us about beauty – as an ideal, as a support, as a façade, and as a means to purification. Vreugdenhil drew his inspiration for this production from the attractiveness of religion, which has been influencing people for centuries through its appearance of beauty.
The “truth” though which lies behind this appearance, only emerges at the moment the façade starts to crumble. Similar to religion, theatre creates a feigned world, captivating and seductive. However, contemporary theatre allows more and more to see through the illusion.
Choreography and light design Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | performers Chuckie Dennis, Laura Graham | dance Adam Ster, Sara Wiktorowicz, Cheryl Wimperis | music Dirk Haubrich | costumes Asalia Khadjé | set Femke Kramer in co-operation with Eddy van der Laan.
Ferocious Felicity was premiered in March at Korzo theatre in The Hague, The Netherlands. In the same season, Ferocious Felicity was also presented at the Springdance festival in Utrecht and at Mousonturm, Frankfurt. The piece had been selected as one of the hightlights of season 2003-2004 by the jury of the Dutch Dance Festival.
Ferocious Felicity is a dance and theatre performance in which two main characters are struggling to deal with their desire to retreat into isolation.
Concept, text, choreography, stage and set design Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | actors & dancers Timothy Couchman, Kate Strong | musical composition Dirk Haubrich | costumes Asalia Khadjé | light design Sjoerd Vreugdenhil and Josanne Buiting | production manager Johanna Korgel (Korzo producties)
Ferocious Felicity is a Korzo production and is financially supported by the Fund for Amateur art and Stage art and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
‘Vreugdenhil developed a whole new perspective on dance. Ferocious Felicity is a heated, intense production which demands much from dancers and audience alike. It is also a very courageous piece which breaks barriers in both form and content.’ (Haagsche Courant, March 2004)
‘With Ferocious Felicity, Sjoerd Vreugdenhil convincingly demonstrates that he is steadfastly developing his own signature and movement vocabulary.’ (selection committee Dutch Dance Festival).
Who wouldn’t want to live longer? The average life expectancy in the western world has doubled in the last 150 years, but we want more. Choreographer Sjoerd Vreugdenhil created an evocative and physical theatre performance about the price we pay for the extra time we win. How do we deal with the ageing process and the physical frailty that goes with it?
concept design & choreography Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | text Dunya Khayame, inspired by Sjoerd Vreugdenhil, interpreted by Kate Strong | dance Eytan Sivak, Sara Wiktorowicz | performance Kate Strong | costume design Asalia Khadje | set design Ontwerpbureau Savooyen icw Kalkman Timmerwerken and Interieurbouw | music composition Dirk Haubrich | sound design decor Pieter Jongelie | light design Loes Schakenbos | many thanks to Jesus Vega for his dramaturgical advice