They met in the 1970s in the then youth club in Westervoort, The Netherlands. The then 20-year-old Onno is a DJ there. He wins the “who will offer her a drink first” competition that he and his male colleagues always play when a new girl arrives. The close-knit group of friends from then, all board members of the society, still exists. ‘We still feel connected to each other.’ Yet Helma Kolmschate and Onno Vos, unlike their friends, have also taken a few new paths in their lives. Enjoying Introdans is one of them. And not just a little. Unconditionally and to tears.
“I remember exactly when it started,” says Helma. “With a sponsor show at AkzoNobel, in 2002. “It was like lightning struck. Both of us. Onno was working there at the time and asked if I wanted to go there. We had seen Introdans in the theatre. That had stayed with us as a beautiful night out. I thought it would be nice to see them again, in a special location: in the hall of the AkzoNobel building. I will never forget that day. We were completely taken by surprise. Very deeply touched. After that, we didn’t miss a show – except for one.’
‘We really discovered the love for culture and refinement together in our lives,’ says Onno. “We never went to the theater or to a good restaurant at home. We simply didn’t know it. Still, something made us curious about it.” “Our fathers perhaps?” Helma suggests. Your father did something really special as a concrete carpenter by organizing a trip for his colleagues every year. And my father loved to read. And opera and operetta. So they did have ‘fantasy in life’.’ Onno nods. ‘A few years after our marriage, Helma and I went to a performance for the first time. I don’t remember what we saw, but I do remember the feeling afterwards. We had enjoyed it! It felt like an enrichment and it also immediately tasted like more. From that moment on we went to the theater much more often, as the only ones in our group of friends. In recent years we see something almost every week; dance, music, drama, cabaret. With Introdans as absolute passion at the top.’ Helma: ‘I just can’t explain what goes through my mind when the lights go out. An indescribable lot.”
Helma: ‘A while ago Onno suddenly read something. An article about supporting Introdans through your will. It was on their website. The idea immediately appealed to us. We have been Friends of Introdans for many years and we enjoy the privileges that this entails immensely. Because we don’t have children, we had already considered ‘later’ earlier. But not with the possibility of having a significant part of our legacy benefit Introdans. It opened up a world of thoughts, very special. First we determined – approximately – what we want to give in the event of our death. Then I emailed and made an appointment.’ Onno: ‘The conversations we had with Janet and Hadassa were very pleasant. Together we discussed ways to benefit from our gift in our lives in the future. Those are personal choices.”
“We are taking everything step by step and have also reconsidered the content of our funerals. In fact, this is thinking about what we think is important to share with the people on our funeral. We both chose a favorite ballet to be shown on a big screen.” Helma laughs. ‘I have already shed a lot of tears in my life because of ‘my’ piece, I think it is so intensely beautiful. So a few tears more or less…’ What matters to me is that I have learned that there are many beautiful and special things in life. Onno and I enjoy that to the fullest. The unique dance language of Introdans is one such thing. I think it’s a wonderful thought to say goodbye to that. And that Introdans can create new performances with what we leave behind, which others enjoy again: how beautiful is that?’
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