about AYA

Danstheater AYA produces powerful dance theatre performances for youngsters. About current, confronting themes that are connected to their reality, like cultural identity, sexuality, peer pressure or popularity. AYA’s performances are intense and direct and are characterized by a dynamic mixture of dance styles and music. AYA is the only Dutch company that consequently places contemporary dance in combination with text, and personal stories of dancers next to popular expressions from the urban culture.

Performances by AYA appeal to young people in their own language. They cause discussion, confront and explore borders, exactly like youngsters explore their own borders. AYA performs in theatres, high schools (all levels) and on location. We perform regional, nationally and internationally. The target group are young people aged twelve till eighteen, whom often see dance for the first time. Educational activities are very important to strengthen the experience of watching performances. With more than 1.500 performances and 400 educational activities AYA reached over 250.000 young people in the past decade. 

Artistic statement

AYA is established in 1990 by artistic director and choreographer Wies Bloemen, initially as a dance company for adults. Since AYA gained national and international success with the performance Bronsttijd (Mating season, 1996), about sexuality and love, Wies Bloemen decided to target specifically at youngsters. 
Amazement, curiosity and social commitment are always at the base of AYA’s work. AYA does not look for aesthetic but looks at what’s beyond the façade. To show humans in all honesty and vulnerability, in essence, raw and unpolished beyond beauty and vanity. Dance is not merely a goal but the means and the language to appeal to current day youngsters. The desire to communicate with young people about matters that concern them is the main objective. AYA wants to do that with energetic, direct and honest performances about subjects from the real life of young people. This way AYA offers them a chance to let dance play an important role in their lives.

Wies Bloemen

Wies Bloemen (1956) studied at the Modern Dance Academy in Amsterdam and has been involved in modern dance ever since. Over the last twenty years she has become recognised as a dancer, actress, choreographer and teacher. Her career is characterised by a search for her own language, concerning all disciplines, without being bothered by people’s opinions. This versatility and strong-mindedness is a part of her career and is evident in the performances themselves. Bloemen started putting on performances for adults in 1982, and founded Danstheater AYA in 1990. In 1996 AYA switched it’s focus to a younger audience. Since then Danstheater AYA has successfully made cutting-edge dance theatre performances for youth and youngsters.