While JBA’s upward spiral continues at a satisfying rate – overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles while enjoying well-deserved successes – the upcoming 5th anniversary of its initiation leads us to pauze and reflect: what have we recently achieved? Is it what we expected?

Our most recent creation JAMES, as its choreographer Mauro de Candia openly admitted, was one of the most complex he, and JBA as a whole had undertaken. A hybrid production of this kind will of course present numerous difficulties but had we known just how many unforeseen problems had to be resolved, would we have embarked on the project in the first place? A resounding “yes!” Is the answer; its two leaders have shown that the way forward is to use adversity to progress and to diversify.

The success of JAMES was unequivocal and the experience for our dancers was priceless. To see them on stage, youthful as they were, giving performances of such maturity was a joy. 

Now the production goes on tour and its initial stop was the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp where the worlds largest collection of Ensor works is displayed.

In between touring, the troupe takes another new and very significant step: its first international appearance which will be in Geneva, Switzerland!

JBA has been invited to perform together with other junior companies in a collective showing on  21,22 March during the International Junior Ballet Festival. It is no small compliment that we will appear together with such well-established names as Dutch National Ballet Junior Company, London’s Rambert School, VERVE from Leeds, northern Britain and AREA Jeune Ballet Suisse. Here JBA will perform two works out of its contemporary ballet repertoire: YU, with choreography by Altea Nuñez and JOURNEY, a creation by Ilja Louwen based on the repertoire of choreographer Leo Mujic.

So yes, on the way there have been twists and turns, lows and highs – we continue determined in our fight for better official recognition of our artistic achievements – but the public success has turned out to be way beyond all expectations, our dancers continue to be accepted into prestigious companies in Europe and we are branching out internationally.

Feet on the ground as usual, our artistic future is looking brighter than ever!

© Filip Van Roe