GUEST BLOG - How Stopgap inspired Joop

Guest blog from Joop who worked with Stopgap during the creation process of Artificial Things and how it inspired her…


During my studies in the UK I got in contact with Stopgap Dance Company. After a last minute telephone call, I got the opportunity to join them during their creative process towards Artificial Things. During the creation process I worked with Chris one to one, which was amazing. We both learned so much from each other and I learned a lot in general for myself.
Being with the company for such an intensive period of time made me think about my future and what I was missing in the dance scene back home in The Netherlands. The patience and subtle way of working, but at the same time the inner strength and the determination to succeed what is possible, is what I love.
Unfortunately I could not stay and work with Stopgap for a longer period of time. It was my duty to go back home and fight the same fight Stopgap had already started years before. However, luckily a new collaboration with Stopgap’s emerging artists, Sg2, started at the end of last year (2013), which meant I could again join the team. This collaboration is part of a EU-project called Integrance, which involves four different integrated dance companies meeting together across the EU to develop skills and performances. To join in with this project allows me to dance and educate myself at the same time. Being with four integrated dance companies gives me a good insight of what is needed in the dance scene and how learning and a creative process is different to everyone.
Back in the Netherlands I have started teaching dance classes and workshops in several institutions and in a special needs school in Delft. At the moment I am in negotiation and collaboration with the SKVR in Rotterdam. I hope to create structural dance creation classes for dancers with and without disabilities. The aim is to work half a day and create a performance in the end. Hopefully this will start in September 2014.
All the work I do that involves integrated dance is now captured under the name Misiconi Dance Company. The company, built on creative learning concepts, premiered a short piece Zee on the 9th of February 2014 with the help of Stopgap, CLOUD (Den Hague) and Mathilde Dirkzwager playing with ideas behind different movement games.

The strength I have now to continue and develop this pathway is because of the experience I gained at Stopgap. The company inspired me and gave me an insight into their work. The experience I got goes beyond work relations. I can always count on this lovely group of people that feels like a family.

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