CREATING WITH NDGC
Hi! I am Sara Mitola from Italy! I will write about my journey with NIKKI DE GRAAF COMPANY (NDGC), from when I got to know the company, to what my “expectations” are and what my day looks like.
At the time of the audition, I just moved to Amsterdam with the desire of starting my life here. I was looking for opportunities to dance and grow but I didn’t really have anything, except a bed where to sleep. I found out about the audition online. Watching the videos of the company I was immediately impressed by the work. It looked powerful and interesting and quite different from my way of moving. I remember being very, very excited about the audition. Unfortunately, I injured myself that same week but luckily Nikki gave me a second chance to join the company rehearsals for a private audition. After that day I remember being very impressed by the people already working there. Everyone had such a strong personality and way of moving; concrete and determined with something really unique and different from each other. I felt it would be a great challenge for me, and still it is! I remember I could not even do the easiest combination or handstand, and the first week I was so sore I could not go up the stairs.
During the creation process, I have to think twice as much to figure out what my body can do, and how to get outside of my comfort zone without looking weird. Sometimes I do not like what my movement proposals are, and I get frustrated, but this is what pushes me to research even deeper. Sometimes as a dancer you have to accept that whatever you make does not work all the time and you have to let it go and try a new way of doing it. It helps once you understand what the choreographer"s language is and this takes time and practice. I think that this is what a research process is about.
Nikki is being really patient with me and I feel I am growing each day more and more. Even my body is stronger now! It is also really cool and interesting how she combines this physical strength and power with softness, flowing from one movement into the other and I want to explore more this side of myself during the training. I always look forward to the Friday company class, it is so cool to go over the movement phrases over and over again and push myself doing things I never did, I believe it helps me starting the day in a whole different perspective. I am really happy with the group of people I am working with, and I do feel that every day each one of them is giving me new inspiration.
Nikki is a really organised person, and this helps a lot with the collection of the material we are creating, and it is really nice the fact that she is in a research process as well as we are, reason why she is really open to our proposals, finding out what could work and what not together with us.
If you are wondering what a usual day looks like for me, I have to warn you: it is a really crazy day.
I have to bike 30 minutes in the morning just to get to central station, then I have to be in the train 50 minutes with a folding bike that takes me every time 10 minutes to be folded and a lot of hilarious falling-around-into-pieces. Then I have to bike again for 10 minutes to reach the studio and after around 5 hours of rehearsals, I have to bike back to the station, same folding-the-bike-pretending-to-know-what-I-am-doing situation, and, as soon as I arrive in Amsterdam, go straight to work until 23, to then bike other 30 minutes to get home.
I came from a quite warm country and everything is quite unusual and new for me, from the climate to riding (and folding) a bike. But when I am in the studio, dancing surrounded by these creative and strong women, I know it is all worth it.
Thanks for reading my first Blog! Let us know what you think of it or if you have questions about the whole process, do not hesitate to ask them!