Long affiliated with the city because of her exciting choreographies for Productiehuis Rotterdam, and with many years’ experience as a maker and artistic manager of Solid Ground Movement, in 2020 Alida Dors decided it was time to step up her impact and work for change as artistic leader at Theater Rotterdam.
Earlier this year she was promoted to artistic director, putting her fully in charge of pursuing her mission and vision.
“Theater Rotterdam is a performance stage and production company. We invite guests to present their work and complete that programming with our own productions. In my vision, TR should revolve around the artists at the heart of the organization, so they’re visible and have room to continue evolving. Alongside that, there has to be a focus on qualitative mutual relationships: relationships in which people learn from one another. As a company, we also want to be a reflection of the city, of the place we’re a part of.”
“Movement releases pent-up energy and so it’s a kind of outlet. It’s great to just jam at a club, and at home with the kids there’s loads of jumping and dancing. In the performing arts, dance gives me a way to share that energized state with the audience. It’s a tool to express myself.
I want to evoke something in people – thoughts, feelings or empathy with other perspectives on the world. Moving bodies are a good medium for that, because first you feel something, and then if there’s a good story the images stay with you. The themes driving my work tend to be the conflict between the individual and society, or the tensions that come with socioeconomic growth.”
“I strongly believe that culture connects. It brings different sections of society together. During the pandemic, I’ve also observed that culture makes daily stresses easier to bear. Just to take some time out and let yourself be enriched by a story or imagination. For young people or people with those interests, it’s also a tool for expression. It’s important for everyone to have that.”
“I’d love to be part of working out the redesign of Schouwburgplein. Artistic organizations could make a valuable contribution there, I think. The power of the performing arts lies in organizing and orchestrating meetings between different kinds of publics. It would be amazing if we can do that together and I’m looking forward to it.”
“We have to ride this out, but we’re in the process of organizing all kinds of ways to reunite with our audiences. This last year we worked on RIOT (Ready In Order To), a performance we hope to put on early next year. For those who are interested, in May we’re releasing a filmic essay on the same theme with scenes from the show. We haven’t been sitting still and we’re keenly anticipating the moment we can reopen.”
Header photo by Mark Bolk.