Kim van der Put

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1991 Zierikzee (the Netherlands)

Royal Conservatoire, The Hague

Introdans (since August 2012)


Encouragement prize Dansersfonds '79 (2017)

The dancer Kim van der Put can give a lyrical account of making soup. Cooking = therapy, that’s her motto. Which is no surprise when you have a Javanese mother. So talking about food, cooking food and eating in the company of others are pretty constant themes. And she likes doing it herself, too: both cooking and eating. “Eating is my hobby. I just love warm food. My mouth waters when I think of the hamburgers that Nienke (Wind, ed.) and I always have after a premiere.”

And there’s one thing more we should add: she has a convincing explanation why fast food is not automatically unhealthy. “Feeling happy is good for people. And we always feel so happy during one of those visits to a burger bar after a premiere. That we treat ourselves to this, I mean. And don’t feel guilty. That’s very healthy!”

Close-knit family

Kim comes from a very close-knit family in Zierikzee, a town in the outlying Dutch province of Zeeland. She has three brothers which whom she keeps in regular contact, and together they form a little community. “Rafael, Roel, Richard and I share everything. We understand and support each other in a way I experience nowhere else. By the way, I would have been called Ruben if I’d been a boy.” The family moved to a more central area of the Netherlands when commuting began to take up too much time. “But once us kids had all left home, my parents returned to Zeeland. My father still works as a pianist, conductor and arranger and my mother started a B&B close to the Old Harbour.”

Auditions for fun

After Kim got her swimming diploma at the age of four, her parents said she could then take up something else. She chose ballet, liked it and kept on taking lessons. Four years later and just for fun – together with the rest of her dance class – she did an audition for the preparatory training programme in Amsterdam. She was accepted and for the next two years took lessons there every Saturday. Then at the age of ten she moved to the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. “I just carried out and did it, without really thinking about it. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I realized how important dance really was to me.” From that moment on her attitude changed. She started going to bed early and working relentlessly on her technique. “I had always been quite precise but now I became so serious that my teacher pointed out something else to me as well. We no longer see you enjoying what you do, she said. So I really took that to heart!”

Becoming a different dancer at Introdans

“I felt totally at home at the Royal Conservatoire. I learned so much there and I matured a lot. “When Introdans announced they were looking for an understudy she auditioned and was given a one-year internship. “And after that I got a contract – luckily, because I think it’s great here! I feel that I’ve become a different dancer to the one I was when I arrived. I also really enjoy working in the studio. On stage I’m more of a striking presence, while in the studio I feel that we’re really creating something. I get satisfaction from working with others and making our movements more attractive and flowing.”

“I like to dance duets, and the pieces that Jorge (Pérez Martínez, ed.) makes suit me well. I’m very much on the same wavelength as him, his style, his musical choices, his coordination. As a dancer you’re very sensitive to where precisely a movement comes from, so as to execute it properly. We’re really in alignment there.”

Enjoying the theatrical life

The ‘eager beaver’ Kim – that’s a self-description – still aims to take part in, discover and experience a whole lot more. She enjoys the theatrical life, which is fairly familiar to her thanks to her father’s activities. But she also has her mother’s genes: she has a strong interest in other cultures, in people and in food. “I resemble her and I feel inspired by many of the things she says. I’m open to what life will bring and don’t make a problem of most things. I’m just curious to see where it will take me. I don’t like planning – after all, I don’t know how I’ll feel about something until I’m there. I think it’s important to enjoy things and to be there for others. There’s more to life than just your career. But coincidentally – or luckily – work and pleasure are the same thing in my life right now!”