Marijn Rademaker answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Dancers’ Edition

Marijn Rademaker in Bolero -  © Stuttgart Ballet
in Bolero – ©


When did you start dancing?
My soccer coach told me I was a ballet dancer on the field. So according to him around 6; but with actual dancing, amateur-wise, at the age of 8.

Why did you start dancing?
Because I enjoyed it. Music moved me a lot as a child and I was always dancing around in our living room at home. One day my mom asked me if I would like to go to dance class. But no, I thought that was for girls. After a while she asked me again and then I gave in. Thank god 

Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
I know it’s boring, but it was Nureyev (for instance in his adagio Swan Lake solo), and Baryshnikov in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, and other pieces of course.

Which dancer do you most admire?
A dancer who is committed to dancing, who respects the style of a ballet or choreographer, who doesn’t give up and works his ass off and cares about the art of dancing, the quality and not the quantity.

What’s your favourite role?
Armand Duval in Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias, Romeo in Cranko’s and Iago in Neumeier’s Othello.

What role have you never played but would like to?
Le jeune Homme in ’s , and .

What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
I really don’t know. It’s really hard to watch ballet for me  I really enjoyed ’s . Most Cranko ballets, because they are so easy to read and beautiful.

Marijn Rademaker with Sue Jin Kang and Marcia Haydée, Shanghai, Lady of the Camellias - With Sue Jin Kang and Marcia Haydee in Shanghai rehearsing Lady of the Camellias -  photo by Patricio Melo
Marijn Rademaker with Sue Jin Kang and in Shanghai rehearsing Lady of the Camellias –
photo by Patricio Melo

Who is your favourite choreographer?
Cranko, Neumeier, Goecke, McGregor, van Manen.

Who is your favourite writer?
I don’t read 

Who is your favourite actor?
Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep.

Who is your favourite singer?
Birdy, Queen.

What is your favourite book?
Stieg Larssons Millennium books

What is your favourite film?
The Place Beyond the Pines, The Notebook, Legends of the Fall.

Which is your favourite city?
Amsterdam, Bangkok.

What do you like most about yourself?
Are you really going to ask me that question?… That I work hard.

What do you dislike about yourself?
That I take myself way too serious sometimes.

What was your proudest moment?
Dancing in the music theatre in Amsterdam for the first time with .

When and where were you happiest?
This is an impossible question  I have been happy in many moments of my life. On stage, after a show or during, or in the summer break looking down from a 2,700m mountain. I don’t know which one was the happiest.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I think it’s movement and great music combined.

What is your greatest fear?
To die realizing I was a coward my whole life.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Turning 2 pirouettes 

What is your most treasured possession?
After my Pierrot Lunaire première Glen Tetley wrote me a letter, and that letter ended with the words, “To our next adventure together’! And then he passed away. So I really treasure that letter.

Marijn Rademaker in class
Marijn Rademaker in class

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
My grandmother had so many virtues. She was kind to all, didn’t judge, helped everybody, was extremely disciplined and you could trust her a 100 percent. She was amazing. I wish I could ask her, how that was for her. To be so truthfully nice to all. Did she loose herself a little by doing that?

I don’t know..

On what occasion do you lie?
I’m not gonna tell 

If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
Soccer player, violin or piano player. As a kid I wanted to be a baker of bread because it always smelled so great in the bakery, or a bus driver because I thought the big steering wheel and all the buttons were so cool  Not anymore though….

What quality do you most value in a friend?
Honesty, having fun together.

What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Being professional.

Which living person do you most admire?
Our little Georgette Tsinguirides! She is the choreologist in Stuttgart and was dancing in Stuttgart even before Cranko came as a director. She now sets his all his ballets with us and all over the world. She is over 80 years old, wearing a ballet tricot with grace and always looks amazing, I am currently learning the role of Petruchio in Cranko’s Taming of the Shrew and I am working with her a lot. It’s astonishing to see what she does in the studio (where she is the whole day every day). She knows ALL the steps by heart, all the counts and can play every character in the ballet. And not just hint to what the character should be, no, she IS that character. She even does the difficult Cranko lifts in Taming……!!! But the most amazing thing about her is, that she knows what Cranko would have wanted and she passes that on to us with the highest respect for it.

Wayne McGregor: I just have a lot of respect for him. He knows precisely what he is doing. There is no nonsense. He comes in the studio, and he wants to work. And he does. So we do too Smile He’s highly creative and imaginative, extremely professional, always creating something great. And he is a very kind and very funny person on top of that. Just lots of respect.

What do you most dislike?

What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be extremely, highly intelligent. (not that I’m all that dumb, but still…)

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
It changes all the time. I think happiness is overrated. I don’t expect too much of the idea “happiness”. I think these are short moments and I cherish them when they come by.

How would you like to die?
Quietly, with no pain.

What is your motto?
Don’t have one.

Marijn Rademaker – a biography

Marijn Rademaker was born in Nijmegen, Netherlands. He started his ballet training in Nijmegen and then went to the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam (1991-1992). Afterwards he was trained at the Arnheim Institute for the Arts (1992-96) and completed his studies at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag in 2000. In 1998 and 1999 Marijn Rademaker took part in a ballet competition of the “Young Dancer” foundation of Alexandra Radius and Han Ebbelaar where he won the Grace Prize in 1999.

In 2000/2001, Marijn Rademaker became a member of the Stuttgart Ballet’s Corps de ballet. At the beginning of the season 2004/05 he was promoted to Demi Soloist. At the beginning of the season 2006/07 he was supposed to be promoted to Soloist but after his highly successful debut as Armand in The Lady of the Camellias () in July 2006, Reid Anderson promoted him immediately to Principal Dancer after the performance.

Marco Goecke created the Solo Äffi for Marijn Rademaker, which he danced for the first time at a Gala in Arnheim. For this solo he was named “Young Dancer to watch” in the critics’ choice of the magazine ballettanz 2005. In 2008 he was named several times in the category „Outstanding Dancer“ in ballettanz, above all for his captivating performance of Jago in John Neumeier’s Othello. Just one year later he was named again twice in the category “Best Dancer”. In November 2006 he won the German Theatre Prize “Der Faust” in the category “Best Performer Dance” which has then been awarded for the first time. Only one year later he received the honorable German Dance Prize “Future” 2009. In July 2009 he was awarded the international dance prize “Premio ApuliArte”.

Marijn Rademaker joined the Stuttgart Ballet on tours all around the world. In addition to that he receives invitations to international galas and guest performances. In May 2007 John Neumeier invited him to dance the role of Armand Duval in his The Lady of the Camellias together with the Hamburg Ballet and Sue Jin Kang as Marguerite Gautier. At the 34th Nijinski-Gala in the course of the “Hamburg Ballet Days 2008” he danced excerpts as Tadzio in John Neumeiers Death in Venice together with Lloyd Riggins as Aschenbach. In the season 2008/09 he performed the title role in Heinz Spoerli’s Peer Gynt as a guest with the Zurcher Ballet which has also been recorded for television and a DVD-production. In January 2011 Marijn Rademaker was guesting at Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam where he danced in The Sleeping Beauty (Sir Peter Wright nach Marius Petipa) together with Maia Makhateli. Since the season 2011/12 he is dancing as a permanent guest with Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam.

For the Noverre-Society’s “Young Choreographers” Marijn Rademaker created his first own choreography in May 2012: the Solo Odium? was danced by Stuttgart Ballet’s dancer Robert Robinson.


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