Hundreds of students from Groningen and Drenthe play Romeo and Juliet: ‘It’s great that the schools have time for this’

Dance, music and theater teachers from Club Guy & Roni the NNO work with no less than 300 high school students and special education students at the MOVE IT! Show for ten weeks. Photo: Corne Sparidaens

This week, three hundred Groningen and Drenthe students are on stage making music, acting and dancing with Move It !, the educational project for the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Club Guy & Roni. During this fourth edition, William Shakespeare’s tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet forms the basis, and music by Sergei Prokofiev will be played.

Is there relief in the teens’ faces? Or do they feel satisfied because the tests just went so well? While the students at Ubbo Emmius from Winschoten storm out excitedly, the next group from RSG De Borgen from Roden gets ready. Hectic everywhere. Inside, in De Machinefabriek on Groningse Bloemstraat, there is first a break. A busy morning is over, followed by a tightly planned afternoon filled with music and dance exercises.

Today is another important day for Anna Jacobs and Hanna van der Meer, the two directors who set up the creative studio Lunatics and Poets in Amsterdam. Now, as theater makers and choreographers, they must steer the education and participation project for the Noord Nederlands Orkest (NNO) and Club Guy & Roni in the right direction.

Excitement too much

The day before, they saw for the first time the result of the efforts that the Drenthe students have made over the past ten weeks to master their contribution to the show. “There was a tear,” says project manager Lily Lanser. The excitement was a little too much for a girl.

Lancer has a lot of work to do with the fourth edition of Move It! which takes place again for the first time since 2019. This time, no less than three hundred students from the youth educations, the youth educations and the special education participate. Comes from twelve schools. Lancer sees the enthusiasm grow. “It’s great that the schools are doing this and giving time to this.”

She just wants to say that it is by no means a matter of course, because it provides a lot of extra work for the teachers. But as part of the teenagers’ cultural and artistic education, it is a good project to work on. In the end, the young people will shine with the whole NNO on a beautiful professional stage in De Nieuwe Kolk in Assen or De Oosterpoort in Groningen.

Jacobs and Van der Meer are happy with what they have seen so far. Working with young people is not their specialty, but they like to see them surprise them. “When you tell something, they handle it in a certain way,” Jacobs explains. “Sometimes you think you could have estimated it, and sometimes you think it’s nice.”

Classic love story

Based on William Shakespeare’s classic love story of Romeo and Juliet, love is the common thread running through the collage performance. Van der Meer: ,, And then love in the broadest sense of the word, ie not just romantic love, but also friendship and hatred for example. It’s about life and about goodbye ‘.

In fact, they think the project has already succeeded. “When you see how proud they are when they have shown something. Some young people are insecure, but it also has something beautiful because they get over it. It is also about the collective experience, the feeling of doing things together and being part of something special. ” And hopefully tasting theater and classical music will make you want more.

Sanneke Roelofs, Estela Muller and Annefloor Plantinga do not let themselves be fooled. The ladies are waiting for the next group to come to try on costumes. The racks with clothes are full, soon each student will have a suitable piece to wear during the performance. In the rehearsal room a little further on, workshop teacher Johannes Terpstra is in control of the matter. Eighteen boys and girls line up with big drums and djembs and perform what they have been practicing in a rather disciplined way.

fire alarm

Guy Weizman comes to look, but this time leaves the work on the floor to others. Workshop teacher Tresor Nzita Fatima has the task of keeping RSG De Borgen’s dancers in line. He is interrupted by the fire alarm. Someone was too close to spray with deodorant. After a short interruption and the signal is safe, everyone can enter again.

Nzita Fatima tries to give some more instructions to the dancers playing the stage of Julia’s Funeral. ,, Make the movements a little bigger, then it just looks even better. You have to do it for the people who will soon be sitting at the very back of the room. Should we do it again? ”

Move it! will be performed twice this week by NNO and the students; Thursday 19 May in De Nieuwe Kolk in Assen and Saturday 21 May in De Oosterpoort in Groningen.

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