Born: 1990 Landgraaf (the Netherlands)
Education: National Ballet Academy, Amsterdam; John Cranko Schule, Stuttgart
Experience: Introdans (since August 2010)
Accolades: Aanmoedigingsprijs Dansersfonds ’79 (2016)
“Oh God, I hope that my mother is still keeping this up to date.” Jurriën sits in front of a photo album full of newspaper cuttings, reviews and photos. The black album is a silent witness to the path he has travelled to succeed as a professional dancer.
As in the case of many boys, ballet was more of a coincidence than a calling for Jurriën. His older sister Marlike danced in Heerlen, Mama Schobben took her there and picked her up again, and little Jurriën went along for the ride. Although he played tennis and went skiing, he thought that dancing was “OK as well”. That ‘OK’ proved to be a fitting phrase in the years that followed. It wasn’t long before the 8-year-old Jurriën did his first audition at the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam. He immediately went on to the next round. And that’s how things would continue until he reached the aged of ten.
“My main memory of those first few months of the training programme is that they were boring,” says Jurriën. “You have to start right from the beginning again and I felt it all went so slowly. Endlessly practicing the same positions. They picked and pushed at me until I stood properly.”
With the passion for dance in his heart, Jurriën switched from the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam and continued his studies at the famous John Cranko School in Stuttgart. It was here that he received tuition from, among others, the renowned and feared Russian ballet teacher Peter Pestov. This Russian teacher was responsible for training ballet greats all over the world, and his former students praise him with the same passion that they loathed his lessons. Jurriën is no exception here.
About Introdans. “We are a very tight-knit group. I think that’s important because we dance with each other, too. You can’t carry a performance by yourself, however good you might be. You need a lot of people for the thing to succeed. You need to be able to rely on each other.” Jurriën says that contact with the audience gives him his biggest kick. “It depends a bit on the atmosphere in the auditorium, of course, but usually I can hear and see the audience reacting. That’s the best thing of all.”