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Toer van Schayk

(b. 1936)


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(b Amsterdam, 28 Sept. 1936)

Dutch dancer, choreographer, and stage designer. He studied with Gaskell and danced with her company (1955–9) before working as a painter and sculptor. He returned to dance in 1965 to perform the lead in van Dantzig's Monument for a Dead Boy for Dutch National Ballet, a role created to exploit his unusually direct, expressive talent. He also designed the set and costumes for the ballet and went on to design and dance in many other van Dantzig works. He choreographed his own first work for DNB in 1971, Past Imperfect, set to music by Ligeti and this led to his appointment as the company's resident choreographer. His subsequent works tended to deal with political and moral issues though with a vein of ironic humour, while his movement language had a distinctively angular sculptural quality as seen in Still Life with White Square (mus. Schoenberg, 1992). He also re-worked two Nijinsky ballets, Jeux (1977) and Faun (1978). Several of his works were mounted on other companies, including Seventh Symphony (1986, revived Royal Winnipeg Ballet, 1997). He left DNB in 1991, and while continuing to create work for the company his commitment to ballet waned. Since 2001 he has focused exclusively on painting and sculpture.

Subjects: Dance.


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