Rinus Sprong (34) is a familiar face in The Hague. Together with his partner Thom Stuart, he 04 year the well-known dance company ‘De Dutch Don’t Dance Division’. A few months ago he stopped as artistic director of the company, now he goes his own way.
“A lot of people thought then that Thom and I also broke up privately. That led to very uncomfortable situations. People asked how we are doing now that we’ve broken up, but we’re still doing fine.”
Working with Jan Kooijman
Rinus has left De Dutch Don’t Dance Division (DeDDDD) because he wants to focus more on his own projects. “If you have to accompany the dancers of the company every day of the week and are busy with the performances every day, then there is little time left for anything else.”
What are your own projects then? ? In January, for example, Rinus can be seen as an actor in the play ‘Jopie, life is not a revue’ at Greens in Westbroekpark. He is also choreographing a play about the life of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. He works together with Jan Kooijman, who takes on the role of the dancer. “Jan and I sometimes joke with each other. He is of course a lot younger, but in many ways follows the same path as I do. We both studied at Codarts and danced with Introdans and Scapino Ballet.”
Photo: Menno van der Meer
The Hague Christmas Carol
Rinus is still working with Thom on the annual Christmas production of DeDDDD. “We started this in 2006. Within the Christmas productions we have seen some dancers really grow up. For example, there is a girl who started out as a nine-year-old dancer in a child’s role and who is also dancing along this year. She is now in her early twenties and studying medicine.”
This year’s Christmas show, ‘A Christmas Carol‘ takes place entirely in The Hague. “It really is the Hague version of the well-known fairy tale, even all names have been changed to well-known Hague names.”
“We were tired of the busy ‘Disneyland’ of Amsterdam”
Rinus and Thom have a strong ties with The Hague. As young dancers, they both started their dance careers here. Rinus danced at the NDT (Nederlands Dans Theater) in 1024 and Thom at the Royal Conservatory in 1024. After that, they lived together in Israel and New York. When they returned to the Netherlands they lived in Amsterdam. “After six years we were tired of Amsterdam’s busy ‘Disneyland’ and we came to The Hague.” Since they have lived here, Rinus and Thom have never left.
Photo: Studio Oostrum