IMAGE BY CHRIS PARKES/STOPGAP
SAND-R (he/they), otherwise known as Sander Verbeek is a Disabled artist from The Netherlands. SAND-R's career started at Holland Dance Festival (HDF) in 2016. At HDF he quickly got to collaborate with other European dance companies through iDance and also to perform with The Dutch National Ballet. Through iDance they started working with Stopgap Dance Company and in 2018 they joined Stopgap's Sg2 as an apprentice dancer. As an apprentice for Stopgap the connection with HDF was still strong and a European tour with SALLY Dance Company and SAND-R was planned to happen in 2019 and 2020. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic this tour was put on hold after the first performance.
During this pandemic everything went online and so did the apprentice company and training. Even though a children's show and tour was cancelled, fortunately a new creative outlet was found and so the very first audio choreography was created at the end of Sg2.
This Disabled artist is still involved with Moving Ground where he got to perform in public and outdoor spaces in Belgium in 2018 and 2019. 2019 also marked the first time SAND-R performed at Sadler's Wells in a production with Step Change Studios.
Participant LABO, Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp; artistic research, Misiconi Dance Company; International connection, SZENE 2WEI.
why do you dance?
Dance is the place where body and mind of Sand-R can fuse together. It is the place where he can feel free, intrigate emotions. Sand-R just loves the stage, the buzz and the amazing energy they get from performing. "Dance is a way to express myself, lose myself and find myself again."
Why would you call yourself disabled?
The disabled community is a strong empowered community that I've come to love. Not only am I empowered with calling myself disabled, there is also recognition for heritage and how we have disadvantages the way current society has been set up (medical model vs social model). Being one of many disabled artists I am able to create work from a unique perspective and add creativity and variety to dance.
why have you included your dutch identity in your brand?
Because I want to be able to bring what I've learned about disabled community and identity back to the Netherlands and introduce more empowering language. I'm trying to introduce disabled as a Dutch word among the less empowered words we know today.
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