On the Couch with Anouk van Dijk

Anouk van DijkWho is Anouk van Dijk?
Artistic Director of Chunky Move, Dutch choreographer and dancer, creator behind the movement system Countertechnique.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Go to bed earlier, every day.

Who inspires you and why?
My family, my dancers and collaborators. Their inspiration feeds different aspects of my life and my personal and professional development.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Help people love, accept and understand their own bodies and physicality more. It is a substantial part of who we are, and often neglected.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Holiday is not one of my favourite things to do, but travelling for my work is. Seeing incredible places like China and Russia through the eyes of the locals helps me understand my own culture more. I enjoy seeing the effect on my work when it is performed to different audiences around the globe.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Sunset on the bay in Albert Park, and enjoying the good food in Melbourne! Like Chin Chin on Flinders Lane amongst many other yummy places.

What are you currently reading?
Distant Love by Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim, on global families and how these new forms of relationships change the choices we make in life, and redefine what identifies us. My work is predominately concerned with human dynamics and how social and political changes impact our very personal relationships.

What are you currently listening to?
The birds in the backyard of my house, the dryer in the room next door and the typing of my own fingers.

Happiness is?
Having the luxury to listen to things like that in a peaceful society, as opposed to countries experiencing conflict and warfare. Living in a healthy body is another big one for me.

What does the future hold for you?
Opening night of Complexity of Belonging on 9 October, as part of the Melbourne Festival. Everything is focused to that point right now!

Anouk van Dijk is a choreographer, dancer, and artistic director. She has been teaching dance since 1989 and is the creator of Countertechnique. After graduating from the Rotterdam Dance Academy in 1985, Anouk spent ten years as a lead soloist for Rotterdam Dance Company and Amanda Miller’s Pretty Ugly Dance Company.

She was attracted to choreography from early in her career and from 1996 committed herself exclusively to creating her own work. Anouk ran her own dance company anoukvandijk dc from 1998 to 2012 in Amsterdam, and is currently Artistic Director of Chunky Move in Melbourne.

Hallmarked by their distinctive unpredictability, Anouk’s work has been performed at the worlds leading festivals and venues including Festival d’Avignon, Adelaide Festival, Sydney Opera House, MASS MoCA, Perth International Arts Festival, Dance Triennale Tokyo, American Dance Festival and Festival TransAmériques. In 2012 Van Dijk was awarded the Golden Swan (Gouden Zwaan) – the Netherlands’ most prestigious dance accolade.

Anouk developed Countertechnique throughout her career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Over the last fifteen years, the knowledge and experience she gained – in constant dialogue with her dancers – was gradually transformed into a detailed theoretical system and a teaching method, which now forms Countertechnique.

Anouk has choreographed the world premiere of Complexity of Belonging being presented by Chunky Move as part of the Melbourne Festival. For more information, visit: www.melbournefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Anouk van Dijk – photo by Szilvia Sztankovits