Schayk Toer van

Dancer, Choreographer, Sculptor, Set Designer
He was born in Amsterdam in 1936. He studied dance first under Iraïl Gadeskov and later under Sonia Gaskell. From 1955-59 he was dancer with the Netherlands Ballet which was later renamed to the Dutch National Ballet. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. In 1965 he was raised to the level of first dance at the Dutch National Ballet and was singled out for his performance in the ballet Monument for a dead boy [Monument voor een gestorven jongen] choreographed by Rudi van Dantzig the choreographer and director of the ensemble. During the same period, he designed, jointly with Rudi van Dantzig the set and the costumes for around eighty dutch productions of ballets and operas. His first work as a choreographer was the piece Past Imperfect [Onvoltooid Verleden Tijd] composed by György Sándor Ligeti (1971). From 1976 onwards he worked as a choreographer at the Dutch National Ballet where he mounted around fifty productions. His choreography expresses his interest in politics and societal issues and are presented with humor and irony through subjects such as an impeding world war threat or environmental pollution. He made adaptations of Vaslav Nijinsky’s ballets Games [Jeux] (1977) and Faune (1978) L'après-midi d'un faune (or The Afternoon of a Faun). His later works include Still Life with a White Square on music by Shoenberg (1992) and the Seventh Symphony (1986, 1997). From 2001 he dedicated himself to painting and sculpture. Toer van Schayk worked with the GNO once, as a costume designer for the ballet Four Last Songs [Vier letzte Lieder], composed by Richard Strauss. The ballet was presented in the Athens Festival, in 1993.