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Meet the Dancers: Lydia de Boer and Larissa Shnayder

 

Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series!  Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows?  Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story.  Today, we introduce our leaders, Lydia and Larissa!

Lydia is one of our fearless leaders and we would truly be lost without her foresight, planning, and passion for the success of the team.  In addition to being a whiz with details and a savvy businesswoman, Lydia contributes many creative talents to our project.  Between her gorgeous graphic designs and her unique choreography, it can safely be said that we would be a completely different group without her.  And let’s not forget her dance talents, too!

Project Blank would not exist without Larissa, she is one of the founders! Her vision and commitment to this team and its future propels Project Blank into bigger and bolder adventures every year. Larissa has a great eye for creating and telling a story of human connection through dance. On top of that, she is a very skilled dancer with a beautiful stage presence and plenty of stunts and tricks up her sleeve. We are grateful that she continues to lead Project Blank year after year with clear direction and humor.

We asked them both some questions and here is what they had to say:

Name: Lydia de Boer
Primary style(s): Modern, jazz, a little bit of popping & locking and my own fusion
Day job: graphic designer and adviser in arts & culture education for primary schools
Earliest dance memory: I’ve always been that kid who likes to move. I’ve been making dance rhythms with my legs before I could walk. I used to tip over my baby rocking chair because I liked to move BIG. My parents were afraid I would hurt myself so they installed a coil spring with a baby seat attached to it. That way I could move and jump as much as I wanted. I remember loving that solution and feeling very free to move as much as I wanted.
Fun fact: I’m the designer of the logo, branding and website of Project Blank.
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: Together with the team I’m creating a visually interesting abstract piece. Bringing my graphic design eye to the dancefloor adds new layers in my creation process. I love the translation from abstract concept to movement. The dancers do a fantastic job of bringing their own skills, styles and ideas to this year’s piece.
Name: Larissa Shnayder
Primary style(s): Modern, salsa, cheerleading, and gymnastics
Day job: Academic research in strategic management
Earliest dance memory: My first moment on stage was at the age of 7, dancing to the song “I Feel Pretty,” with my ballet class.  This may have been the only time in my life, when I wore something pink and frilly.  None of us really remembered the choreography, so video evidence shows all of staring into the wings, where our teacher was doing the movement with us.
Fun fact: I’m a US citizen, but my trilingual daughter doesn’t speak English (yet)
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: I’m so proud of all of the new cast members for stepping up and taking on choreography and leadership roles.  We feel grateful for our cast every year and this year is most certainly no exception.  If you want to watch young artists break out of their shells, this is definitely the show for you!
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Meet the Dancers: Lenka Bachoríková

Lenka
Photography by Rick van Woudenberg

Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series!  Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows?  Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story.  Today, we introduce Lenka!

Lenka is a powerhouse on stage and in the studio.  She gives energy to every movement – it doesn’t matter if she is just practicing or performing for a full theater.  She’s sassy and sharp… and then the music stops and she goes back to being quiet, sweet, and thoughtful!  Lenka is driven and intrinsically motivated by her passion for dance.  She knows what she has to do and she does it!  We are grateful to have her on our cast and we are all better dancers for it.  We asked Lenka some questions and here is what she had to say.

Name: Lenka Bachoríková
Primary style(s): Ballroom and Latin
Day job: Student at RUG in mathematics
Earliest dance memory:  I lived in Belgium when I was small. At that time, I was the biggest K3 fan ever. As a child I went to this kindergarten where we used to make a “last day of school” kind of show for our parents. One time, we made a show on the song Feest from K3. I remember that in the music video for that song K3 would turn around on a specific part. So even though we didn’t have it in our choreography, I had to turn around at that note as well. You can imagine that I was living my dream while the teachers couldn’t make me stop turning when I wasn’t supposed to.
Fun fact: I am a little bit of a nerd combined with an artsy soul. I used to be obsessed with Lady Gaga when I was a teenager and thanks to that I got to know many people, who are different from what is considered to be normal. They brought me into their community, which I am so happy for.  So, if you see me lipsyncing in drag one day – that’s the girl that studies mathematics in Groningen. 😉
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: This project is what I have been looking for since I came to The Netherlands. Every rehearsal, I improve as a dancer.  It also gives me the opportunity to teach and create choreographies. I am really looking forward to the final result – it’s gonna be lit! 😉
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Meet the Dancers: Kate Kirillova

Kate
Photography: Rick van Woudenberg

Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series!  Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows?  Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story.  Today, we introduce Kate!

Continuing the trend, Kate is also new to Project Blank this year.  Despite being our youngest dancer, she shows her maturity at every rehearsal with her hard work and creative ideas.  We are always impressed by Kate’s ability to see something once and immediately feel at home in the movement!  We love the positive vibe that her presence at rehearsals brings and are very grateful to have her around.  We asked Kate some questions and here is what she had to say:

Name: Kate Kirillova
Primary style(s): Modern
Day job: Art student
Earliest dance memory: When I was 3 going on to 4 I was practicing my gallops holding on to a table, because I thought it would help me get accepted to a dance class I wanted to attend really badly. Turned out they accepted everyone…
Fun fact: I can speak three languages fluently, but they were my worst subjects in school.
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: Not one piece is made by one person only. Everyone’s smallest note was taken in consideration, and I think that it the real meaning of teamwork. My co-dancers are the best!
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Meet the Dancers: Jaz Chen

Jaz
Photography: Rick van Woudenberg

Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series!  Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows?  Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story.  Today, we introduce Jaz!

This is Jaz’s first year dancing with us and we’re glad she’s here.  It’s been fun watching her develop her choreography chops and step outside of her comfort zone by being upside down!  Jaz brings mental fortitude and a cheerful attitude with her to every rehearsal and we’re grateful to have her around.  We asked Jaz some questions and here is what she had to say:

Name: Jaz Chen
Primary style(s): Modern and contemporary
Day job: Dance teacher
Earliest dance memoryBeing in a dance recital when I was six. The theme of the recital was something I’m still very passionate about: sleeping.
Fun fact: I still can’t do a hand or head stand. But I love all other contemporary floorwork tricks.
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: The show is going to be emotional and beautiful!

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Meet the Dancers: Timothy Valenton

Tim
photography: Rick van Woudenberg

Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series!  Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows?  Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story.  This week, we introduce Tim!

We are incredibly excited to show you what Tim has in store for you this year.  He’s bringing talents to our stage that we don’t normally get to showcase, and we feel very lucky!  Tim is a creative spirit, yet earnest in his desire to always keep learning.  We are proud of him and so glad that he is a part of our show.  We asked Tim some questions and here is what he had to say:

Name: Timothy Nicholas Valenton
Primary style(s): Contemporary with urban influence
Day job: Art student
Earliest dance memory: Performing at school events with schoolmates. One in particular when I was about 6, I’ve even seen the video afterwards. I was rubbing sweat from my forehead, scratching all over my body and fidgeting because I had to stay still in one place for too long at one point in the choreography.
Fun fact: I lived in 3 different countries before I turned 18.
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: What I love the most is the two different ways of storytelling in Acts I and II. The fact that they’re different is what makes this show so wonderfully exciting and complete.
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Meet the Dancers: Annelies van de Craats

Annelies
Photography: Rick van Woudenberg

Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series!  Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows?  Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story.  This week, we introduce Annelies!

This is Annelies’s second year dancing with Project Blank and we are thrilled to have her back.  Her rational and even-tempered personality keeps us on track and brings calm to rehearsals when we need it most.  Her smooth movement is peaceful to watch.  Annelies is as balanced on the dance floor as she is in her character!  We asked her some questions and here is what she had to say:

Name: Annelies van de Craats
Primary style(s): Jazz ballet, classical ballet, and modern jazz
Day job: Ecologist
Earliest dance memory: dancing in the living room to the music of the Nutcracker
Fun fact: I often work when darkness falls, looking for bats
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: It feels natural, organic and a real team product.