Er komen steeds meer componisten die voorstellingen met choreografen willen maken- Martijn Padding

Composer Martijn Padding is joining forces with choreographer Jan Linkens to organise the first International Dans Intensive & ChoreoComp at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in August 2022. Padding is head of the Composition department at the Royal Conservatoire and, as a pianist and composer, he has worked with many dancers and choreographers.


"The profile of the music artist is constantly changing," says Martijn Padding. "Today’s composer can also be a director, a video artist and many other things. A steadily growing number of composers also want to create productions with choreographers and dancers. The problem is: how do you learn to do that?"

A revelation - "After graduating, I myself followed a workshop with choreographers and composers in Dartington. That experience changed my life, it was truly a revelation. It was enormously exciting to be immersed in music and movement."

"In the morning you would be given an assignment and then, in the evening, you gave a short performance. It was fantastic. You not only learned all about collaborating with others, but also discovered what worked and what didn’t, and how to make decisions quickly. The course also opened the participants’ eyes to their own creativity: I came to realise that it was also possible to compose a work in one or two days and that the result was not necessarily worse than a composition I worked on for six months."

Mentally flexible - "In consultation with Jan Linkens, the director of the Royal Conservatoire’s Dance department, I have chosen the very same format for this course. It is an arrangement that you might almost call ‘instant composing’ for the composer and the choreographer."

"For this first edition I selected three composers and three musicians from my own group of Bachelor’s and Master’s students. They are all eager to work with dance artists. During the course, the pairs of composers and choreographers will all be in separate studios, so I selected three percussionists who are instrumentally agile, are able to collaborate well with composers, and possess a flexible spirit."

Contrasting combinations - "The idea is that the participants must be adventurous: everyone must be willing to take unexpected combinations in their stride. Both partners must be analytical and willing to leave room for the other. And understand that contrasts create effects, as John Cage and Merce Cunningham have taught us. Music and dance can exist independently and separately within the same performance, simply sharing a common space and time. In my view, realising that is very important."

"A good example is Igor Stravinsky, who collaborated a lot in the theatre with the choreographer George Balanchine. Stravinsky’s music, including the compositions that he didn’t create specifically for dance, was greatly influenced by that insight. The short lines, the variation form, the dexterity and the characteristic motifs – they all emerged from his collaboration with dancers. That’s a fantastic source of inspiration."

"Naturally, I’m not immedately dreaming of discovering a successful new duo like William Forsythe and Thom Willems, who also studied in The Hague. But I do hope that when the participants in this first edition have completed the course, they will be even more eager to seek this type of collaboration."

Deadline for registration is 15 May 2022.
For more information and to enrol for Summer Dance Intensive & ChoreoComp click here

Martijn Padding


MARTIJN PADDING studied composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and musicology at the University of Utrecht. He has worked as a pianist and composer with numerous choreographers including Krisztina de Châtel, music-theatre director Paul Koek, musicians from Ensemble LOOS and the writer P.F. Thomése. He has also made programmes for radio and taught in Ghana. His oeuvre embraces works for solo instrument and ensemble, orchestra and opera, many of which were written in close collaboration with musicians.