Jasey and Eva talk about the Dance End-of-Year Performances

6 July 2023

Rehearsals for the End-of-Year Performances of Royal Conservatoire Dance are in full swing. Between rehearsals, Jasey and Eva find a small moment to have a chat about how rehearsals are going. Jasey is in hbo 3 and Eva in Ballet Group 6 (4th grade secondary school). Both dancers have been walking around the Conservatoire for a long time and have made many final performances. Still, they look forward to it immensely every year.

Jasey: 'The run-up to the End-of-Year Performances is always super hard work. The days are full of rehearsals, and because you dance in many different choreographies, you switch from Classical, to Modern and back to Classical again. This is incredibly intensive but also great fun. In fact, the atmosphere is fantastic during these weeks!

You should think of us as a big family. We are a smaller school than the average school, so we know each other much better. And we are so intensely involved with each other day-in-day-out that we become very attached to each other. You also get to know each other better through partner work, of course.'

Eva: 'We have a lot of pieces in which different people dance along each time. So in between rehearsals you sometimes have 2 hours of absolutely nothing to do, but then you don't just take out your phone. You're always in a conversation, and of course, we use this time as well for stretching or toe warm up.'

Full rehearsal days

Eva is doing 4HAS: a special school route in which you take a year longer to finish the HAVO. That way, it is easier to combine dance education with 'normal' school subjects.

'It's nice at the Royal Conservatoire that the school subjects and dance subjects are linked. I just had my exam week last week, so these two weeks I don't have any school subjects left and can fully concentrate on rehearsals. That takes some time to get used to for my body, because normally we have 3 hours of dance in a day, but now we really dance all day long.'

Preparations for the End-of-Year Performances have been going on for months:
Jasey: 'Before the May holidays, we were told which pieces we would dance and from then on we started rehearsing in the studios. This week, the last week before the performances, everything is coming together. We rehearse on stage for the first time, the technique is adjusted, we dance with the proper costumes and make-up for the first time. This week we do a run-through of the whole performance almost every day.'

Eva: 'For every dance, there is different a choreographer/repetitor who rehearses it with us. I think that's really cool because every teacher works in their own way. So you learn to deal with all different people and their working methods. That is a nice challenge.
But for me, the biggest challenge is in conveying the different atmospheres of the dance. For example, Jasey and I both dance in Don Quichot, where you have to convey a tough and Spanish feeling. But in the flamenco dance I do after that, I suddenly have to switch to a very serious, almost painful atmosphere, and in the parade, that we dance together with all the students, I have to be completely happy again.'

Jasey: 'For me, the partner work is the biggest challenge. In Don Quichot, we dance pas de deux, and in that, I have to lift and control a girl in her dance. I have to make sure she stays neatly on her leg and doesn't fall.
In this End-of-Year Performance, I dance the most of all the performances I've done so far. I think that's really cool. I think I'm going to have a lot of great memories from this.'

Special memories

Eva: 'Thinking back on all the End-of-Year Performances, there are two performances that really stand out and will always stay with me. In group 7 I had a leading role in Swan Lake, together with two boys who played my princes. It was quite special to be in the middle of the stage. We even ended up dancing that piece for Princess Beatrix. Last year I got to do a pas de deux and I thought that was really cool too. There are two of you on stage and all the attention goes to you. It feels special to be the only one in your class who gets to do that. Of course, there is a lot of jealousy then too, but that is part of it. '

Jasey: 'For me, the moment you stand in coulisse is the best there is. Right before you have to go on you get a kind of nerve boost and I really love that feeling. There's no turning back at a moment like that. As soon as you run onto the stage, you know you just have to do it, and then the nerves disappear.'

Eva recognizes the feeling: 'For me, it's exactly the same, but then when you go off stage again you immediately want to do it again. Then you think "I just want to do it 10 more times".'

The End-of-Year Performances will take place on 7, 8 and 9 July. More information and tickets are available via this link.