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28 April 2020 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (2): Sara de Greef

Until 1 June theatremakers, actors, artists and dancers are forced to sit at home. As part of the official measures aimed at keeping the spread of the coronavirus under control, exhibitions are off and performances have been cancelled. What do these measures mean for Piket Art Prizes’ young artists? Part 2: Sara de Greef.

Impact of the measures

Until very recenlty, Sara de Greef, winner in the Dance category in 2019, was in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia rehearsing with the Aterballetto dance company. “I could have been stuck in Italy, but fortunately that’s not the case,” says Sara. Rehearsals went on until the company headquarters was closed down. “The building is closed. You’ll be fined when you’re out on the street without a good reason. People are happy to have a dog they can take out! I’m not complaining. I’m home now, in Amersfoort, and the company has paid my fee.” When she heard about the Italian lockdown measures, she decided to return to the Netherlands. “I’d rather be with my family, than wait and see on my own.”.”

Improvisation Sara de Greef just before the lockdown in Italy.

So what now?

“I’m studying for my driving licence theory test. I do a lot of cooking and I’m knitting! I’m trying to accept that I’m unable to do things for the time being, that there’s no need to be productive all the time. On the other hand, I feel the pressure to do something meaningful, but I try to find a certain balance.” Sara stays at home as much as possible. “I’ve got a bit of a cold, a sore throat. I don’t know if it’s corona, but I’d rather not run any risks.” Dancing is somewhat on the back burner now. “My room is rather small, but fortunately in the Netherlands you’re allowed to go out. And my parents have a garden. I don’t dance a lot, but I do a work-out every day to stay fit. I don’t like doing a real ballet class in a small space, but sometimes I do a barre holding on to the cupboard,” she says with a smile. Sara thinks that for dancers who are full company members it must be much harder not to be able to dance every day. “These people train six days a week. As for me, I’m now aiming to strengthen my body doing cardio and power training.”

Plans for the future

Sara hopes to go back to Italy in May for the rehearsals for Don Juan, which is scheduled to open on June 21st. “Johan Inger is doing this production.” Aterballetto’s March performances were cancelled. “It’s not nearly June yet, so I hope these performances, three in all, will take place.” After the summer Sara will join the dance company of the Gärtnerplatz Theatre in München. “I’m very happy to have a job to look forward to,” she says. “If I hadn’t had that, I would have been really worried.”

Foto: Janneke van Beek