Soleil de Jager

No other dancer started her career at Scapino Ballet Rotterdam at such a young age: as an eleven-year-old dance talent, Soleil de Jager was chosen in 2014 to dance a choreography by Ed Wubbe with Scapino dancers Bonnie Doets and Mischa van Leeuwen during the annual Liberation Concert on the Amstel River.

“I remember the phone call well, my mother answered: 'Whether I wanted to participate in this project.' I could hardly believe it, you normally only get an opportunity like that in your wildest dreams.”

At the time, Soleil was taking classes six times a week at an amateur dance school in Middelburg, and it was during the Dansdroom Zeeland project that she first met Ed Wubbe. She was, she says, a very shy girl at that time, but that shyness falls away because of the pleasure and passion she experiences when she dances. Even at the Liberation Concert. "It was nerve-wracking, but once on stage I was able to let go of the tension. Bonnie and Mischa gave me that confidence, that feeling of 'we're doing this together.'"

Online auditions

Soon after, Soleil leaves for Antwerp, where she is accepted at the Royal Ballet School. Although she enjoys the classes, her stay at the accompanying boarding school is hard on her - she misses family life - so after a year and a half she transfers to the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where she finds a much better ground with a host family, at a classmate's home.

Meanwhile, she kept in touch with Bonnie Doets and was also regularly allowed to join a class at Scapino. "My dream became clearer and clearer because of that: getting a contract at Scapino, although I also realized that that is only for very few a reality."

In the middle of the first coronalockdown, she auditioned, at both Scapino and Introdans, for an internship position. "Suddenly all the auditions were held online, so you had to send in videos of yourself. My goodness, I re-recorded all those videos a hundred times." With results, because she is welcome at both companies, but she has no trouble choosing: in season 2021/2022 she starts as a trainee at Scapino.

My dream became clearer and clearer because of that: getting a contract at Scapino, although I also realized that that is only for very few a reality.

Own initiative and motivation

"That was quite a switch: from training to company. You no longer get all the explanation and attention you were used to getting at school. You have to show a lot more initiative, find your own motivation, make sure you learn different roles in case another dancer drops out. It's a good test for yourself, I've already learned so much."

She dances as a substitute a number of times in Ed Wubbes Casablanca, gets to try her hand at the dance form 'threading' in Justin de Jager's Intertwine, which is totally new to her, and - after her employment contract has been converted into a permanent contract - she will be performing with OSCAR for almost three weeks in September 2022 in a sold-out Theater Carré. "An emotional experience; after all, it's the place where it all started in 2014," she said.

Curriculum Vitae

Born
2002, Gorinchem, The Netherlands
Education

Royal Ballet School Antwerp
Royal Conservatoire The Hague

To be seen in

Intertwine, The Square 2, Oscar, Casablanca

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Incentive award Cultuurfonds School for Young Talent - 2019
Dansersfonds '79 Scholarship - 2020
Kylián Foundation Scholarship - 2021

With Scapino since
2021

Support and love

She wants to be a dancer who "tries everything," who is open to new ideas and influences and constantly remains on the lookout for other sides in herself, in order to show above all her own strength, personality and uniqueness.

Besides dance, her parents and two brothers are most important to her. "I still go home every free weekend; I use the enormous amount of support and love from my family as a motivation. In addition, I love the sea. My parents now live in Monster, near The Hague, and I love to walk on the beach with my dog Saar, and organize my thoughts while walking."

 

Photography: Khalid Amakran | Interview: Astrid van Leeuwen

Performing in Carré was an emotional experience

Contact

Scapino Ballet Rotterdam
Eendrachtsstraat 8
3012XL Rotterdam

tel: 010 - 414 24 14
(ma t/m vr 09:00 - 17:30)

info@scapinoballet.nl

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