DECEMBER, 2009: PALLAS AND TRISTAN PERFORMED IN DeDDDD's NUTCRACKER BALLET IN DE GROTE KERK IN DEN HAAG !
From 27 December,2009 until 1 January,2010 Pallas and her 8 year old son and student, Tristan van der Kroft, performed in 6 of the 12 performances in the 4th edition of De Dutch Don't Dance Division's spectacular production of 'De Notenkraker' in de Grote Kerk in Den Haag, under the direction of Thom Stuart and Rinus Sprong. This marked a comeback performance for Pallas after a long hiatus from the stage. She danced the comedic role of the drunken 'Tante Francoise' (Aunt Francoise') - who performed both a solo dance and a duet (with 'the butler') in the 1st act, eliciting big laughs from the audience. This production marked Tristan's debut on the big stage. He had a triple role: First as a young Israeli boy at the party, secondly as a 'mouse' in the battle scene between the mice and soldiers, and finally in the second act as a breakdancing 'falafel'- in which he had a solo dance doing the 'robot' and the'moonwalk'. Both mother and son enjoyed performing tremendously and were very proud of each other! This production of the Nutcracker is unique in the Netherlands in terms of bringing together dancers from many backgrounds: guest stars from the American Ballet Theater in New York,freelance professional dancers from the Netherlands and abroad, amateur dancers, 'recreational' dancers, serious dance students, and children. It is comparable with community theater in America and DeDDDD modelled their concept for this production after Nutcracker productions in which they danced in America. To view a complete photo album of The Nutcacker go to www.notenkraker.nu click on 'foto's voorstelling 2009' The first photos that come up in the album are of the cast we performed in the 'blue' ('blauwe') cast.
Tante Francoise 'boozing it up' with the Butler
Tristan as 'mouse' (far right)
Tristan dancing his 'robot' solo
(photos of the Nutracker -Hans Oostrum Fotografie)
Article from "TheHagueOnline.com"April 24 2008
24 April 2008 : Article from TheHagueOnline
Imagine my excitement when my wife called out that I had an email about going to Paris, France. I rushed over to the computer and discovered that it actually said 'Pallas Dance'. I expect Pallas herself would forgive my disappointment. But I found that my trip to Pallas Dance was quite an enjoyable experience. [more]
Pallas Dance is a dance class run by the enthusiastic Pallas van der Kroft-Sluyter. Originally from LA, her training resume and CV in the professional show world are extensive. She's worked in musical theatre, movies and even MTV videos.
I got to the Theatre aan de Haven in time to see the last ten minutes of the children’s ballet class, during which they did classical barre work. As I sat with the waiting parents, I watched the children concentrate on their positioning and grace with touching determination and earnestness.
After the barre, they had some free dance time and a warm down, and then the lesson finished. There were a few very sad faces. I soon discovered the reason for this sadness: this was the last lesson of the course and there would be no more dancing for a while. They gave Pallas a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gesture, which was sweet to see.
Then followed the adult class. Though I planned to stay for only ten minutes, I ended up sitting through the whole class. All the students were ladies, which apparently is often the case, as Pallas complained, 'We never get males here?'
The class began with some yoga-based stretching, followed by ballet barre exercises. Pallas is a very encouraging teacher, watching closely for the smallest misplacement of the feet or arms. Though it is all taken quite seriously, the atmosphere remained friendly. Despite the hard work, everyone was smiling.
I was asked to join in and experience the class for real, but as I have two left feet and the coordination of a brick, I felt it better to decline. The final part of the evening was a funky jazz routine. The group had been learning a routine each week, and adding to it. I was at the last lesson, and was lucky to see the end result. It was fun, bouncy and athletic: a very entertaining show. To finish, the class had a bit of fun with an improvised dance game. All the participants were friendly with each other, and clearly enjoyed themselves.
So what are my conclusions about this class? It has something for everyone, even you men! It's a great source of 'stress relief at the end of a working day,' as Pallas put it to me. I was not really that keen to go along, but I ended up sitting there quite happily listening to the great music and tapping my feet, enjoying the class vicariously.
The next classes are planned to start around the second or third week of May. Watch the website or contact Pallas for more current details. The children’s classes are for children 6 and up. Both adult and child classes are over a ten-week period, one session per week.
So if you have some energy to burn off, want to learn ballet and modern dance techniques in a fun atmosphere in a professional dance studio, go along, I guarantee you will enjoy it. And remember, guys, you ought to go along as well - they'll be happy to see you!
For details go to: www.pallas-dance.com or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Neal McClimon
English photographer in The Hague
On Wednesday, 19 December, 2007 a group of students from Pallas-Dance
performed at the Christmas celebration of The Nutsschool M.M. Boldingh
in The Hague.
Three children (students from the Boldinghschool); Jade, Sanne, and
Tristan and four adults (mothers from the school) Sandra, 'Sandy', Nieske
and Pallas performed before an enthusiastic audience in the Marathonkerk.
The dance program (which was interspersed between a musical program)
began with a short classical piece with the adults and children sharing
Next on the program was a 'pas de trois' (trio) performed by the children
incorporating the girls' classical skills and peppered with Tristan's
breakdance stunts set to Rosemary Clooney's rendition of 'Jingle Bells'.
The final selection on the dance program offered the adults performing
a fun and funky jazz dance piece set to two very special versions of
'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' and 'Jingle Bells' both from the CD
'Jungle Bells' from Brent Lewis (www.brentlewis.com).
It was especially nice to bring the children and adults together on
stage and to perform together. It was an exciting and joyous experience
to perform for friends, family, teachers, peers and colleagues at this
beautiful Christmas celebration.
Article from "The Hague
Times" Feb 10 2006
Article #1 from "TheHagueOnline.com"
Jan 16 2006
Stress Reducing Ballet Workout for Non-Dancers
16 January 2006
If you dare to do something different, why not come
along to try a free introductory ballet workout with Pallas van der
Kroft-Sluyter at the ABC Treehut on Thursday 2 February at 12 noon.
Today TheHagueOnline is talking with Ms. van der Kroft-Sluyter, dance
teacher and creator of Pallas's Ballet Workout. (cont.)
A native of Los Angeles, Pallas has had an extensive
and varied career touring the world as a professional dancer, teacher
and choreographer. Her most recent project is the creation of Pallas's
Ballet Workout, designed for men and women with little or no previous
training in dance.
Q - TheHagueOnline: Can you tell us
something about your workout? Does it require previous experience in
ballet? Is it just for women?
A - Pallas: My Ballet Workout is a
hybrid of techniques that I've developed for men and women with little
or no prior training in dance. The only requirement is a desire to learn.
I would like to emphasize that men are welcome as well
as women and encourage men to give it a try. Typically, women are more
prone to attend dance classes or yoga classes or to participate in activities
that aim at nurturing them.
Men need this, too! My workout is a great way to build
strength, stamina and coordination while gently but progressively increasing
flexibility. The workout is designed to develop one's musicality and
artistry while training one to become skilled in a form of self-expression.
As a bonus, there's a marked reduction in tension and stress.
The workout consists of three primary elements:
The first element is classical ballet barre work and
stretching techniques, taught in a supportive, "body friendly"
Second is correct "placement," or body alignment,
which supports a return to organic posture. (If you observe babies from
the time they can sit up on their own, you'll notice their posture,
which is naturally erect, gorgeous, yet relaxed.)
The third element is consciously directed use of the
breath, which creates a state of relaxed invigoration and produces a
myriad of benefits too numerous to mention here.
I have great respect for anyone who is willing to show
up and give the Ballet Workout a try. I understand that starting to
learn classical ballet (or any new skill, for that matter) in one's
adult years really takes guts. So I do my best as a teacher to be supportive
and encouraging while pushing students to levels they might not know
they're capable of. One of the pitfalls of adult education is that students
tend to expect too much of themselves. Intellectually they understand
the exercises perfectly, but the body needs time to practice and train
to catch up with the mind . . . so I'm here to encourage any willing
subject to DARE TO DANCE!
Q - TheHagueOnline: How is it that
your Ballet Workout is effective in reducing stress?
A - Pallas: That's a good question.
All the elements of the workout combined produce a stress-reducing experience.
Simply put, the pleasurable experience of dancing, the finely tuned
balance of intense training and the deeply relaxing stretching exercises
are all supported by the continuous, deliberate, consciously directed
use of the breath.
One of my students volunteers her own experience
with Pallas's Ballet Workout:
"Having just moved to The Hague, and having had
all the stress of settling in with two young children on my own, without
my previous networks and support systems, I didn't know how I was going
to manage. My daughter started attending Pallas's ballet classes for
children, and I started attending her Ballet Workout for adults. In
just a few weeks I felt my whole attitude change. Not only did the effect
of one and a half hours per week show almost at once in my posture,
my muscle tone and my physical fitness, but I also felt more focus,
more balance and more enjoyment in life. Going to classes with Pallas
has been a remarkable tonic for me at a time of high stress at work
and at home. It has helped me to cope, to see myself differently and
to remember how it felt to be young and fit, with muscles in all the
right places. The classes are enjoyable: relaxed and hard work at the
same time. I really recommend them. Better than any amount of more abstract
'self-development' activities, retreats and that kind of thing."
- Helen H.
Q - TheHagueOnline:
Does your Ballet Workout help one to become more adept in other forms
A - Pallas: Yes, absolutely, yes! It's
well known that ballet is the basis for becoming skilled in all forms
of dance. Anyone interested in learning ballroom or salsa dancing could
truly benefit from the Ballet Workout.
All of the best ballroom dancers have trained extensively
in ballet. Training in ballet is really the best supplement for improving
one's performance quality in all dance styles.
Dance . . . if you dare!
Free introductory Ballet Workout (and birthday celebration...please
join Pallas for soft drinks and cake) Thursday 2 February at 12 noon
at the ABC Treehut; Lange Poten 23 in The Hague.
Ten-week class series at the ABC Treehut; a lunch hour
Ballet Workout Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 p.m., starting on 9 February.
Eight-week class series at the AWC of The Hague in
Scheveningen on Friday mornings starting on 3 February.
Workouts can be scheduled by appointment for groups,
businesses or privately.
Ballet classes for children are held on Tuesday afternoons
in the Statenkwartier.
For detailed information about class times, locations
and registration, email: email@example.com or call 070-363 39 10.
Please R.S.V.P. (via the contact numbers above) if
you will be attending the Ballet Workout/ birthday celebration on 2
If you wish to comment or express an opinion about
this article please e-mail the editor@TheHagueOnLine.com.
Article #2 from "TheHagueOnline.com"
Dec 15 2005
"New Dance Teacher on the Block"
15 December 2005
Today Pallas van der Kroft-Sluyter, dance teacher and
creator of Pallas's Ballet Workout is talking to TheHagueOnLine.
Born and raised in Los Angles, Pallas has had an extensive and varied
career touring the world as a professional dancer, choreographer and
teacher. Her most recent project is the creation of Pallas’s Ballet
Workout, designed for adults with little or no formal dance training.
TheHagueOnLine: What exactly is Pallas’s Ballet
Workout? Does one have to have some experience in ballet to practice
this? How is it different from, say, conventional fitness or aerobic
Pallas Van der Kroft-Sluyter: My ballet workout is a hybrid
of techniques developed for adults with little or no formal training
in dance. The only requirement is a desire to learn! The workout is
designed to build strength and flexibility, develop proper body alignment
and promote conscious and efficient use of the breath, thereby reducing
stress and increasing vitality. Inherent in the workout is the possibility
to develop one’s musicality, artistry and self expression, which
is certainly quite different from aerobics or fitness training. Aerobic
dance tends to build slightly bulkier muscles, whereas ballet workout
builds longer, leaner muscles.
My ballet workout consists of three primary elements. The first element
is classical ballet barre work and stretching techniques taught in a
‘body friendly’ and supportive style.
The second element is correct ‘placement’
or in layman’s terms, body alignment, which supports the body
in returning it to its organic posture (if you observe babies from the
time they are able to sit up on their own, you should notice their posture
which is naturally perfectly erect, gorgeous and yet relaxed). So I
do not teach the old school style of classical ballet placement, which
is very ‘pulled up’ and, in my opinion, tends to minimize
rather than maximize the full benefits of conscious breathing.
The third important element of the workout is the consciously
directed use of the breath, which creates a state of relaxed invigoration
and produces a myriad of benefits too numerous mention in this forum!
The fitness and aerobic aspects of the workout are built
right in to the barre work.
TheHagueOnLine: Pallas, you have a lot of experience
in teaching ballet to kids. How can you tell if a child is gifted? At
what age can children be introduced to ballet classes?
Pallas Van der Kroft-Sluyter: I can usually spot a
gifted child from the very first plié. It’s truly amazing.
It’s as though they already know it before they’ve been
taught it. Their little hands and feet go into the perfect aesthetic
positions. It’s so beautiful, and exciting for me as a teacher
to work with such children. Children can be introduced to ballet or
‘pre-ballet’ at around the age of four.
TheHagueOnLine: Ballet has a traditional image of being
a "girlie" kind of exercise. Can ballet be fun for boys, too?
Pallas Van der Kroft-Sluyter: Ballet can most certainly
be fun for boys! I’ve had several little boys (including my own
two) in my dance classes for children, and they participated with great
pleasure. However, somewhere between the ages of six and seven, peer
pressure and the sense of gender roles which the kids are bombarded
with from society and the media, sadly, seem to have great influence.
Breakdancing and ‘street jazz’ seem to hold more appeal
for little boys. The irony is that although ballet appears to be ethereal,
it is as tough as any top sport, if not more so. Actually, a ballet
class is a great way for a boy to be surrounded by a flock of pretty
girls, so perhaps when they get bigger… In fact, my husband and
I met dancing together in a small dance company here in The Hague and
the rest is history.
TheHagueOnLine: What ballet and dance schools in The
Hague would you recommend? Are there ballet classes taught in English
in The Hague?
Pallas Van der Kroft-Sluyter: There are a number of very good
ballet schools and dance studios scattered throughout The Hague and
the surrounding areas. Most of the classes are taught in Dutch and I
believe there are also a couple of classes offered in English and in
French. My dance classes for children are taught in English and in Dutch.
Pallas’s dance classes for children are held on
Tuesday afternoons in the Statenkwartier.
Pallas’s ballet workout for adults can be scheduled by appointment
for groups and companies, and a new class series of eight weeks will
start in February at the AWC of The Hague on Friday mornings in Scheveningen.
For detailed information about the classes you can contact
Pallas directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 070-363 39 10.
If you wish to comment or express an opinion about
this article please e-mail the editor@TheHagueOnLine.com.