IMAGE BY CHRIS PARKES/STOPGAP
Dance is the place where body and mind can fuse together. It is the place where I can feel free, integrate emotions. I just love the stage, the buzz, the amazing energy while performing. "Dance is a way to express myself, lose myself and find myself again."
SAND-R (he/they), otherwise known as Sander Verbeek is a proud to be 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.
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 of the heritage we hold and the disadvantages we face as a community within our current society. Being one of many disabled artists, I am able to create work from a unique perspective and add creativity and variety to dance.