Woest: Balancing Bodies at the Kennedy Center
October 31 – November 2, 2019
Throughout the 2019-2020 season, Kennedy Center Performances for Young Audiences will present five award-winning music, theater, and dance companies from the Netherlands in collaboration with Dutch Performing Arts. This season-long Dutch focus will bring the unique, high-caliber work of Woest, BonteHond, Mass Theater & Dance, Oorkaan, and De Dansers to families and student audiences at the nation’s cultural center in Washington, D.C. Performances kick-off in October and November 2019 and will continue in January and April 2020. For tickets and more information, please visit: https://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/series/PYA.
The brand-new collaboration between the Kennedy Center and Dutch Performing Arts, resulting in 56 performances throughout the year, showcases companies and pieces that have been curated specifically for their boundary-breaking theatricality:
Woest: Balancing Bodies
October 31-November 2, 2019 in the Terrace Gallery
Take a seat in a rolling office chair as an ordinary space transforms into a universe full of surprises and twists. Dance/theater company Woest brings this interactive show balancing foolishness and seriousness. Ages 9+
November 2-3, 2019 in Studio F at the REACH
Three television hosts fight over one microphone in this imaginative production full of silly misunderstandings, a puppet show, and hilarious hide-n-seek. Ages 3+
Maas Theater & Dance: EGG-tion HERO
November 9-10, 2019 in Studio F at the REACH
Will two museum attendants succeed at keeping a special egg safe? Join Dutch theater/dance company Maas for a hysterically egg-cellent time! Ages 3+
January 11-12, 2020 in the Terrace Gallery
Dive into an enchanted world in which music, artists, images, and technology interact with one another. This performance combines music and visual arts in an interactive way, so be prepared to participate! Ages 2–4
De Dansers: Pokon
April 24-26, 2020 in the Family Theater
Three performers storm the stage whirling, twirling, hiccupping, tumbling, and singing. Dutch dance company De Dansers presents this mesmerizing performance for children and grown-ups who can’t keep still. Ages 5+
These performances are a part of Never Grow Up!
Never Grow Up! is a year-long initiative bringing an abundance of Dutch film, literature, and performing arts for young audiences to the United States. This program shares a wide range of work from the Netherlands for young audiences at festivals, conferences, and other platforms, all representing a respect for young people and dedication to youth culture as an autonomous art form.
A joint effort of Dutch Performing Arts, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, Eye International, Netherlands Film Fund, Cinekid, Dutch Foundation for Literature, and DutchCulture, Never Group Up! aims to stimulate the dissemination and visibility of Dutch youth arts as well as cultural exchange and partnerships with renowned U.S.-based presenters and organizations.
Dutch youth arts are known for their artistry and high production values while often tackling challenging subjects, ranging from the commercial to the chaotic, the playful to provocative and poetic, the silly to the serious, and everything in between. Filmmakers, writers, and performers take young people and their personal experiences seriously. Unafraid to take artistic risks, publicly-funded makers in particular like to go off the beaten path of typical children’s stories and address topical issues head-on. At the same time, Dutch youth arts are characterized by their sense of humor, playfulness, and light take on things, and are equally enjoyed by young audiences and grown-ups.
Throughout 2019, Never Grow Up! presents Dutch film, literature, (music) theatre, and dance that caters to young audiences and their families at events and venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kennedy Center, New York International Children’s Film Festival, and Brooklyn Book Festival. Presenters and agencies are invited to attend screenings, readings, and performances, meet directors, writers and performers, and engage with representatives of Dutch expert organizations to discuss opportunities for collaboration and exchange.
Visit DutchCultureUSA.com/NeverGrowUp for more information and upcoming activities.
About Education At the Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts sets a national standard for arts learning. Working through model programs and a nationwide network of partners, the nation’s cultural center harnesses the power of the arts to address education challenges, accelerate best practices, and uplift citizen artists. Across all its programs, the Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessible, inclusive opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in, learn about, and learn through the arts. New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems serves as the Center’s first-ever Education Artist-in-Residence. Throughout his two-year residency, Willems will invite kids and former kids into the creative process with original productions and hands-on, interactive moments.
Highlights of the 2019-2020 season include the 51st annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, which impacts thousands of college-aged theater students across the country; two Kennedy Center world premiere commissions comprising of Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical), and Kid Prince and Pablo; the 5th year of the DC Public Schools Performing Arts Festival at the Kennedy Center; and New Visions/New Voices, the biannual festival dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals for young people and their families. On September 7, 2019, the Kennedy Center opened the REACH, an immersive arts and learning center with significant space and programming for arts education.
As an essential component of the living memorial to President Kennedy, the Center’s Education programs utilize the arts to embrace President Kennedy’s ideals of service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude. By cultivating the citizen artist in everyone, the Kennedy Center brings the arts and creativity to the center of our lives. For more information, please visit kennedy-center.org/education/.
Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of Performances for Young Audiences.
Additional support for is provided by
A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Anne and Chris Reyes;
and the U.S. Department of Education.
Funding for Access and Accommodation Programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by
David M. Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program.
Discover the Kennedy Center on social media: @KenCenTYA #KennedyCenter