A wonderful sacrifice


Filmmaker Karin Junger explores the Nederlands Dans Theather (NDT) through the eyes of two dancers currently with the company, and two former dancers who were part of the company in its very beginnings. We follow the ups and downs of a dancer’s life, the hard work, the joys of creation, and the sacrifices often made in the private life and physical condition of the average dancer.


Film puts its finger on the sore spot of a dancer's existence

Annette Embrechts , 9 February 2010
The new documentary by Karin Junger, A wonderful offer - the dancers of the Nederlands Dans Theater, which will be broadcast tomorrow evening, puts the finger on the sore spot of an existence as a top dancer. The camera follows four dancers of different ages, employed or retired by the Nederlands Dans Theater. The youngest, Arina Trostyanetskaya from Russia, is the most vulnerable. Just accepted at NDT II and examined like a dog on the massage table by the physiotherapist, she fights back tears when her name is not on the bulletin board. The eldest, Martinette Janmaat, looks at her letter of resignation, remembers the booing and quotes scathing reviews from the early days of Nederlands Dans Theater.

Seventy-something Gérard Lemaître honestly says that he can do nothing but dance. "Yes, I'm good at ironing. But I can't do anything else. Except dancing.' And NDT I dancer Sandra Marín García misses her family, her friends and has sacrificed her relationship to her dance career. And yet, when she enters the studio, her doubts disappear. “Dancing is a drug,” she says. “Even the pain is a drug,” Arina adds. "You like the pain too. Your muscle says through the pain: I'm learning, I'm working.'

Arina lies on the dissecting table in front of a packed lecture hall while a sports doctor carelessly twists her sensitive knee in all directions. And Lemaître says mockingly to a specialist as he looks at the X-rays of his artificial knee: "This is a gift of my career."

In between, Junger shows black and white shots of their wrinkled bodies with the young flesh of the new generation against their bellies. And then it comes out what they do it for. Arina: 'When I dance, I see a waterfall all the time. While cooking, eating, I always think of dance.' And Sandra: 'When you dance, it's like you disappear and are somewhere else. You meditate, you are timeless.”

Supported by

  • NTR Television
  • NPO Fonds


  • Directed by: Karin Junger
  • Production company: IDTV
  • Producer: Suzanne van Voorst, IDTV Docs & NPS Television
  • Cinematography: Brigit Hillenius
  • Sound: Mark Wessner
  • Editor: Patrick Minks


  • NPO Sales



FIFA 2011