“Although hip-hop dance is a very new form, it has all the ingredients needed to tell stories with a long dramatic arc. It is not just a young people’s trend. Hip-hop is the source from which I have developed my language of dance, and it will in all probability remain a source of inspiration.” Alida Dors
Alida Dors (Amsterdam, 1977) danced with various dance crews from an early age. Having completed her studies of Fiscal Economics in 1999, she decided to spend a year focussing exclusively on dance, to see where her talent would lead her. She became a highly sought-after dancer, appearing on stage with star names such as Eternal, P. Diddy, Usher, Arnhemsgewijs, Ruth Jacott and Gordon. She also appeared in video clips and theatre and dance productions.
From a dancer, Dors developed into a choreographer. Alida's choreographies are characterised by social commitment and are always rooted in the hip-hop vocabulary. Her work did not go unnoticed: she was awarded an international bursary by the Van den Ende Foundation, in 2008 she received the Kunstfactor Award and in 2009 was appointed ‘artist in residence’ for two seasons at the MC production house. Her growth continued at the Korzo production house and in 2010 she was selected for the Blind Date Tour (a series of productions with promising new theatre-makers in the area of theatre, dance, mime and musical theatre). She also participated in the Choreoroam project by Dansateliers Rotterdam in 2009, enabling her to further explore her style during seven international residences.
Today, Alida Dors is artistic director of her own foundation, Stichting BackBone. In addition, she is the artistic force behind the hip-hop movement Solid Ground Movement, established in line with her principles.
‘Alida Dors is able to build bridges; between different dance vocabularies and different audiences. At the same time, she continues to seek out the unknown’: the words of the jury that awarded her the Prize of the Dutch Dance Festival Maastricht (2012). In recent years, she also received a talent development award from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and the Performing Arts Fund NL to make the transition from hip-hop dancer to choreographer. In her productions, Dors regularly collaborates with other choreographers, musicians and wordsmiths such as Typhoon, Diego Soifer, André Gingras, Krisztina de Châtel and Erik Kaiel. She has now also completed a second course of academic study, in sociology.
In dance, Alida has found her way to make a concrete contribution to the discourse on the world we live in, as well as to stimulate people. The traditional form of hip-hop, with its short narrative structures and rigid forms, proved insufficient to act as a catalyst for her artistic and social ambitions. Alida breaks open these forms, adds different disciplines to her dance vocabulary as needed and creates a total experience in her productions.
She removes the bravado from regular hip-hop dance and tackles subjects that are contemporary and relevant to everyone. As one of the first women in hip-hop, she decided that hip-hop can form a rich basis through which to tell stories and share emotions. She is able to build bridges between different languages of dance and different audiences. Her work presents recognisable themes that are of concern to ‘real’ people. This allows her to reach a broad, heterogeneous public. She draws potential audiences into the theatres, while at the same time finding locations outside of the theatre, in the public space, where her work is easily accessible to everyone.
“Alida Dors enriches the hip-hop idiom from the inside. Breaking through the bravado to search for the humanity behind it. And she finds this.”
“Alida Dors is one of the most interesting, most innovative hip-hop choreographers in the Netherlands. Where hip-hop in the theatre often tends to be too narrative, and/or too moralising, Dors seeks abstraction. [...] with marvellous – and powerful – results.’
“Alida Dors is not like most hip-hop choreographers. While many cling doggedly to pure hip-hop, over the past decade Dors has developed from a hip-hop dancer into a choreographer with her own signature.”