about AYA

Dance Theatre AYA makes bold and accessible dance theatre for a young audience. Direct and honest performances, not afraid to shy away from taboos. About subjects that are current, such as cultural identity, peer pressure or popularity. The performances are an exciting mix of contemporary and urban dance, acting and music.

Dance is a language that’s direct. AYA offers young people and children the opportunity to allow dance to play an important role in their lives. With performances that have guts. Raw and unpolished, stepping beyond beauty and vanity. The AYA dancers and actors use their personality to touch and seduce the audience. Both strong and vulnerable at the same time.

Dance Theatre AYA has been accepted into the Basic Infrastructure (BIS) as of 2021, a great step for the company. Under the artistic leadership of Wies Bloemen, the choreographers Anne Suurendonk and Ryan Djojokarso will be the company's resident choreographers for the next four years. Each season, we will present new performances by Wies Bloemen and the resident choreographers. And revive successful past productions.

Anne Suurendonk has been connected to AYA for a while now. Amongst other things, she was the assistant to Wies for ‘I Call my Brothers’ (a 2018 co-production with Toneelmakerij), co-choreographer of ‘Guerrilla’ (a 2017 co-production with DOX) and created ‘Bloedband’ in 2020. The Theaterkrant about ‘Bloedband’: “It is raw, playful and authentic. The provocative choreography fits well within the accessible repertoire of Dance Theatre AYA."

In 2020, Ryan Djojokarso made his first production with AYA: ‘Het Verhaal van Anders’ (‘The Story of Different’). Before that he was associated with Korzo, among others. In 2019 he made ‘Libi’, a large-scale production by Korzo, Scapino and Zuiderstrandtheater.  The Theaterkrant about Ryan: "It is clever how Djojokarso uses seemingly simple actions to make duality visible."

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 thirty years she has become recognised as a choreographer, artistic director, teacher, and dancer . Her work is characterised by a search for her own language, integrating dance, song - music, text, and visuals. Without being bothered by people’s opinions, this versatility and strong-mindedness is a part of her work and is evident in the performances themselves. Wies Bloemen started putting on performances for adults in 1982, and founded Danstheater AYA in 1990. In 1996 she switched her focus to a younger audience. Since then Wies Bloemen has successfully made about 60 cutting-edge dance theatre performances for youth and youngsters.