Sacrifices? “No, not at all”. The Principal dancer at the Dutch National Ballet enjoyed every single step of his ballet training. Today, after leaving Australia, he has found his place in the European dance scenery and is a star of one of its most vital and sparkling companies. An intimate chat with a dancer who is not scared of looking vulnerable on stage, nor of laughing of himself.

By Alessandro Bizzotto


Amsterdam – Remi Wörtmeyer is short on self-importance and quite long on theatricality. He often laughs at something he finds funny and he talks decisively and confidently.

After his training at The Australian Ballet School, he danced with the Australian Ballet and with the American Ballet Theatre. Then, five years ago, he joined the Dutch National Ballet and was shortly after promoted to the rank of Principal. Outside the weather is rainy, overcast. Remi and I are sitting at a table in the canteen of the Muziektheater. He evidently enjoys chatting, but he seems a good listener too.

What has brought you to the Netherlands?

I very much enjoyed dancing with the American Ballet after leaving the Australian Ballet, but I have always wanted to dance in Europe. The history of dance is from here, after all and I really wanted to experience the European lifestyle as well… travelling included! Australia is so far away, but every holiday (even just for a week) I would travel to Europe visiting different cities and it was exhausting. However now, living in Amsterdam gives me the chance to go to Paris by train in just a  few hours, or to go to Germany. I often go to Hamburg to train with John Neumeier and I am about to dance Rudi van Dantzig's “Romeo and Juliet” in Bratislava with Silvia Azzoni. So, as you can see, living in the Netherlands is great fun for me!

Do you speak Dutch?

No, I don’t. I had the best of intentions when I moved here, I took courses… but it is a tricky language and everyone here at the Dutch National Ballet speaks English, so I don’t practise!


Is Europe a more glamorous place to dance too, to an Australian dancer’s eyes?

I think it is all about opportunities: Europe can give more opportunities to a dancer than Australia. The Australian Ballet is a great company and I was proud to be a part of it, but… 

The whole interview in our Winter issue to read. Subscribe here

Photos: One Thing Leads to Another/Don Quijote © Dutch National Ballet


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