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These are the nominees for the Innovatieprijs Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht 2023

24 April 2023

Three choreographers have a chance to win the €25,000 incentive prize

The nominees for the Innovatieprijs Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht have been announced today! Last month, dance professionals and enthusiasts could nominate choreographers for a chance to win this incentive prize. From over 170 entries, a jury consisting of dance and culture professionals finally selected three creators.    

The nominees for the Innovatieprijs Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht 2023 are:  

Denden Karadeniz, Junadry Leocartia and Kathrin Gramelsberger 


The award will be presented on Friday 29 September during the Nederlandse Dansdagen Gala at Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht. 

The Innovatieprijs Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht

This year, the Innovatieprijs Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht will be awarded for the second time. Last year the prize, which stems from the two previous festival awards namely the Prijs van de Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht and the Prijs van de Nederlandse Dansdagen Jong Publiek, was introduced. The renewed incentive prize highlights innovative developments and extraordinary maker talent. With the coming together of the two prizes and additional support from the City of Maastricht, the new cash prize amounts to €25,000. This amount aims to give the winner more clout in producing their ideas. The new work or a look at the creation process will be presented for the first time during The Nederlandse Dansdagen 2024.  

Winner of the Innovatieprijs 2022, Simon Bus, will show part of his new work during The Nederlandse Dansdagen 2023.


The nominees

Kjer Mariano

Denden Karadeniz is a Kurdish dancer, dance teacher and choreographer who once started out as a breakdancer. After graduating from dance school, he continued his training in Los Angeles and Australia, where he immersed himself in the combination of breakdance and contemporary dance. He has shown his innovative vision to the general public on The Ultimate Dance Battle, So You Think You Can Dance, Time to Dance and also in theatres with various urban/modern dance companies. Apart from performing dance, he also teaches his technique at various dance academies worldwide.With his roots in the urban battle scene, commercial experience on television and his love for theatre, he carries his vision forward with his own dance company "Zero Dance Theatre", bringing together a unique blend of various dance styles into a very physical movement idiom.







Junadry Leocaria is a standout in Dutch urban dance theatre. Her professional dance career started at the age of 18 with ISH Dance Collective, here she developed her love for theatre and performing arts. She then moved on to theatre dance company Don't Hit Mama, where she cultivated her work for many years. DHM is also the source for her encounters with key figures such as legendary Vogue-er/Waacker Archie Burnett who taught Junadry the art of waacking. While developing her own distinctive style, she also found a way to make her origins and heritage part of her stories. She had the opportunity to exhibit this through projects such as the award-winning short film Imprenta and solo pieces Ta(m)bu and Sugar Coated, the latter of which was made for World Class Museum Mauritshuis. This shows Junadry's ability to translate her artistry into multidisciplinary forms.




Martijn Halie

Kathrin Gramelsberger is a choreographer and dancer of Nigerian-German descent. She has developed her own language consisting of a mix of dance, music and spoken word.  She draws inspiration from her bicultural background. Kathrin creates and produces projects both within her own foundation - Bühnenbiest - and also for other companies such as Danstheater AYA and 2turvenhoog. 
For Kathrin, dance is a means of exploring her personal experiences. A way to feel connected and express herself in all her vulnerability through her art. Also issues that connect challenges, setbacks and loneliness. She calls to feel the recognition, explore the conflict and keep moving. With each performance, Kathrin aspires to find a common soul, which by daring to be small can awaken great themes and heroes in us. 




The Nederlandse Dansdagen Gala 
The Innovatieprijs Nederlandse Dansdagen Maastricht is awarded annually during the Nederlandse Dansdagen Gala in the Theater aan het Vrijthof. A festive evening where, in addition to the Innovation Prize, the prestigious VSCD Swans are also awarded. The Gala is framed by various performances by former award winners, leading makers, new talent and surprising guests

De Nederlandse Dansdagen worden mogelijk gemaakt door:

Partner Minocw Partner - Provincie Limburg Partner - Gemeente Maastricht elisabeth strouven fonds logo staand Partner - Fonds 21 logo Vrienden Loterij fonds logo kunstbende21 Partner Cultuurmakers Maastricht Partner Kanunnik Salden nieuwenhof Partner stichting Clemens Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds logo Partner - Vrienden van de NDD Partner - Zwaan Partner - Proeftuin Dans Partner - Theater aan het Vrijthof