Every year since 1999 the Scapino Ballet has ended its season with TWOOLS, a non-stop dance festival with only one restriction…

Apart from a time restriction, there are no other constraints on the choreographers. You might think that a unifying theme would work better, but that’s not the case. The autonomy of each piece is part of the success. The context of the pieces is crucial, and we are very careful about that. The sequence creates structure and rhythm in the evening. This means that the order is often only decided a couple of hours before the première.
The entire process is exciting and keeps us all on our toes.

When I sat down to think about the evening and compared my notes with the printed program sheet, I discovered that just as Ed Wubbe says, they had indeed changed the order and I couldn’t with complete certainty match my notes to pieces listed on the program. Never mind.

One of the most important points of TWOOLS is to showcase new choreographers and the program on June 7 did just that with work by Scapino dancers and freelance choreographers, in addition to the three-part piece Say cheese to the mob by Ed Wubbe, the artistic director of the Scapino Ballet. TWOOLS 14 also featured a guest dancer, the drop-dead gorgeous Juvat Westendorp, a specialist in the new dancestyle Breakdance Lyrical. (Check him out in a homage to Lionel Messi on Youtube.) Here, Westendorp appears with Scapino dancer Sherida Lie in a video that was projected on stage to form part of All the things we don’t know, a piece created by Jan Kooijman.

The background music on the video is an acoustic piano version of the song All the things we don’t know by King Jack, an Amsterdam-based rock group of four 20-something blokes who raised the expectations of the audience to the rafters when they launched the evening’s performance with a few mighty chords on the bass. There was a wonderful and energetic freshness about their music, and I thought the lead singer very impressive. How a kid raised in Den Haag acquired such a voice, I am not sure! Listen to this studio recording from some years ago, or you can also sample their album in the iTunes store (maybe, unless copyright restrictions apply in your area…).

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