JBA’s 4th year of existence is coming to a close and we’re ready for a summer break! With satisfaction we can look back on a super-productive time during which our second generation of dancers was able to stretch their wings and grow into the artists they have become today. Shining in no less than 6 different productions in- and around Antwerp since the start of their 2-year JBA journey in 2021, they are ready to tackle professional life with offered contracts in France, Spain, Estonia & Czech Republic.

It’s of interest to reflect in retrospect as well on the choreographers- and coaches- whose work played such a definitive part not only in encouraging an enthusiastic ballet-going public but just as importantly, in the artistic formation and technical development of our dancers.

METAMORPHOSIS Junior Ballet Antwerp

Bringing with them their depth of knowledge, passion and motivation, two wonderful teachers have returned to JBA this year again to fine-tune ballet technique and to coach repertoire: Monique Loudières & Christiane Marchant.
Also JesseCallaert – who will be giving his own summer course at the JBA premises this July – returned to JBA providing our dancers the highly valuable experience & insight into the choreographic language of Johan Inger & Edward Clug. 

Closing our 2022 performance program and following fast on the heels of MINIATUREN we were justly proud to present DavidDawson’s masterpiece METAMORPHOSIS in the majestic Antwerp Handelsbeurs alongside a special creation for JBA – ALONE/TOGETHER from the hand of NicoloFonte – which returned to hetpaleis as part of our freshly premiered 2023 MINIATUREN ll program.

Adding to the 2022/23 list of choreographers and coaches we welcomed;
Ihsan Rustem & Laura Fernandez (BOLERO), Thierry Malandain & Maï Vanhout (DANSES QU’ON CROISE), Ilja Louwen (Leo Mujic-based repertoire: JOURNEY) – all with their own unique styles and each contributing differing aspects of dance, musicality and characterization – elements which are invaluable to the formation of an emerging artist.  
Andrew McNicol (SIGNATURES) and Shane Urton (DEVOTION) both delivered some lovely pieces for us, using and stretching the boundaries of the classical idiom.

And finally our beautiful three-act ballet CINDERELLA! A huge learning process for the young dancers who had to immerse themselves deeply in the intricacies of a full-length production and for the first time, dance to a live orchestra!

An intense two-year period on all levels!

While questions recently arose as to whether JBA’s program could not be scaled down to a single year, we must acknowledge it takes time learning to shift mentally from being a student to becoming a self-assured professional. Unlike the driven pace at which society is propelled itself today, an enormous amount of time and patience is required before the art of ballet can be mastered.

In addition, there is far more to be assimilated than mere technical prowess. As Altea Nuñez remarked in a former FLASH edition:
‘Learning to be part of a group & taking own responsibility is, aside of the technical and artistic growth, essential training for a young dancer and does much to ease the transition into a professional company’.

To end with, a note from one of JBA’s first generation of dancers Cecilia Dosio, who spent two years with JBA before joining the Hungarian National Ballet;
‘When I’m struggling or a certain piece is harder than usual, I think back on my time with JBA and how Altea and Alain helped me to grow and taught me how to handle difficult situations’.

This, and so much more lies at the heart of the JBA experience.

© Alain Honorez & Nicha Rodboon