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29 maart 2021 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (52): Alice Godfrey

Theatre makers, actors, visual artists, and dancers are much affected by government measures to keep the corona virus under control. What is the impact of these measures on the young (former) nominees and winners of the Piket Art Prizes? Part 52: Alice Godfrey, 2016 winner in the Dance category.

The value of friendship

When the first Covid-19 lockdown happened, Alice was in Madrid, on tour with the Israeli dance company L-E-V. “We were just ready to give our first performance of Love Chapter 2 there,” Alice says. “But, like everywhere, performances were cancelled and we all had to evacuate to our respective homes immediately, before the borders closed. I didn’t have a respective home at that moment so I returned to Holland, where some of the best friends a girl could ask for put me up for a while. I understood the value of friendship and wholesome relationships in this first moment of Covid-19. When all we took for granted is put on hold, your home becomes either a sanctuary or a prison.”

There won’t be a ‘back to normal’

Alice finds that, for the most part, she had a really great time during 2020. “I was dancing every day outside. I found a lot of inspiration and joy in my own imagination, that could leave me feeling totally fulfilled at the end of each day.” But after a few months of waiting for things to go back to normal, she got itchy. “I realised there won’t be a ‘back to normal’. This was a slippery slope because suddenly all this fun I was having wasn’t an in-between thing any more – it was also the future, and I had to re-evaluate what it was I wanted to nurture and how. I began to miss dancing with my colleagues, sharing dance, sharing ourselves through dance, together.” With a smile she adds: “I also missed the intensity of work, I missed being exhausted. And all the time I was asking myself, how can I offer myself these things?”

Dance is for sharing

Alice is now back to work and recently collaborated with choreographer Cora Bos-Kroese to digitally create a new work for Sadamatsu Hamada Ballet Company in Kobe, Japan. She also did a project in Paris with choreographer Sharon Eyal and some L-E-V dancers for the Dior Autumn – Winter collection / online show.  

In addition, she has been teaching improvisation classes at Henny Jurriens Foundation in Amsterdam, and is currently busy with a residency at CLOUD/Danslab in The Hague. More importantly perhaps, Alice seems to have discovered what is essential to her in order to move towards the future. “The truth is, dance is for sharing. We need the other to stimulate new qualities in us, and to be humbled by a different perspective. We need to collaborate.” Fellow artists’ creativity surprised and delighted her. “I think that some very creative and impressive adaptivity has grown out of this period. Really beautiful solutions for online performances and dance for film that reach far and wide audiences. But I do not think that these things are equal substitutes for live performance. Nothing can substitute live performance.”


Text: Anna Beerens
Photo: Love Chapter 2 (Alice Godfrey)