FAQ - OBOC Amsterdam 2019 

As we are operating on a very small team, we will be unable to answer all of your questions individually. For that reason, we’ve compiled an extensive FAQ page, with literally all the questions we thought you might have. Please make sure to carefully read the information on this page, to find an answer to any question you might have. It's your responsibility to be aware of all the conditions that apply.* In the rare case where a question would go unanswered, you can email us at the email address at the bottom of this page. Questions sent via Facebook, Instagram or the registration form will go unanswered.

1. CONTENT OF THE PROGRAM
2. DATES, REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT
3. SELECTION AND PARTICIPATION
4. TRAVEL, HOUSING AND LIVING IN AMSTERDAM
5. STUDIOS
6. OTHER PROGRAMS

 

1. CONTENT OF THE PROGRAM

1.1 What is the Countertechnique?
Countertechnique provides tools for body and mind to deal with the deman­ding dance practice of the 21st century. It is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body, focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Within a clear structure of exercises, the Countertechnique class thoroughly prepares the body for rehearsal and performance, enabling dancers to move bigger, more fluidly and more spatially, while becoming stronger and more flexible.

By continuously and sequentially directing and counter directing parts of the body through space, Countertechnique allows the moving dancer to work with an ever-changing dynamic balance. This dynamic balance reduces the pressure on the overall body structure and can be changed at any given moment. The consistent use of the counter direction in all movements is key to the technique; both the awareness and application of this principle is trained throughout the Countertechnique class.

The Countertechnique theory is orga­nized around two principal notions: the ‘toolbox’ and ‘scanning’. The toolbox is the systematically organized collection of tools for body and mind with which Countertechnique works, often visualized as a virtual map that dancers carry with them. Scanning defines the process of dancers continuously and actively observing their mindset and body in order to choose the most appropriate tool(s) from the toolbox for the situation they find themselves in. Scanning allows dan­cers to make active use of the toolbox in their daily practice of training, rehearsing and performing.

Countertechnique was developed by Anouk van Dijk throughout her twenty-five year career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Over the last twenty years, the knowledge and experience she gained – in constant dialogue with her dancers – was gradually transformed into a detailed theoretical system and a teaching method, which now together form the Countertechnique system.

Countertechnique is taught all around the world by 32 Teachers, trained and certified by Founder Anouk van Dijk and Master Teacher Nina Wollny in the biennial Countertechnique Teacher Training.

1.2 What is the OBOC?
Working for ten full days with Countertechnique Founder and former Chunky Move Artistic Director Anouk van Dijk, Master Teacher Nina Wollny, Senior Teacher Niharika Senapati and Alexander Technique expert Tom Koch, will give you an all-encompassing view into the theory and application of Countertechnique into your dance practice.

The OBOC encompasses a variety of programs, that all look at different aspects of your daily life as a dancer, and help you understand and apply Countertechnique to these different situations. You will take Countertechnique classes with Founder Anouk van Dijk, Master Teacher Nina Wollny and Senior Teacher Niharika Senapati, but also work on improvisation, partnering, creation, theory and analysis, performance practice, presentation. And – last but certainly not least – you’ll be doing group and individual sessions with legendary Alexander Technique Teacher Tom Koch, who’s had 30 years of experience working with dancers, amongst others with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt.

Countertechnique Founder Anouk van Dijk will share her love for space, improvisation and the creative process, Master Teacher Nina Wollny will teach her much sought-after partnering workshop alongside her dynamic anatomy sessions, Senior Countertechnique Teacher Niharika Senapati will offer insights in Anouk van Dijk’s repertory for Chunky Move and strategies for performance practice, and Tom Koch will introduce his specific approach of Alexander Technique for dancers in plenary and individual sessions. The intensive will conclude with a shared presentation of the various workshops.

Through these programs of physical practice, theory and discourse and creative workshops, participants will gain a set of practical tools that they will be able to draw from and apply in their daily dance practice and through performance seasons.

1.3 Who will be participating?
The OBOC Intensive is aimed at professional dancers and advanced dance students interested in pursuing a long, healthy and successful career in dance. First time participants will gain a detailed introduction to the distinct elements and methodology that form Countertechnique, while returning participants will have the opportunity to deepen and expand their understanding. 

We’re always very careful to select a balanced mix of experienced professionals and dancers in the earlier stages of their career. Similarly, we make sure to select a group of participants that have no or limited Countertechnique experience, and those that have already taken frequent Countertechnique classes, or done OBOC’s before.

For morning classes, groups will be split based on their prior experience with Countertechnique, and in most afternoon works participants with and without prior Countertechnique experience will be mixed, based on their choice of workshop. Other parts of the program have both groups together in one big group.

Participants in previous editions have come from all over the world, adding the additional benefit to the OBOC of building an international professional network for yourself.

1.4 What will I get out the OBOC?
You will be gaining a set of practical tools that you will be able to draw from and apply in you daily dance practice as well as your performance seasons.

Countertechnique does not teach you to imitate and it is not tied to any particular style, it empowers dancers by providing them with tools that they can apply themselves in their own daily practice. These tools will help you to become less judgemental about yourself, to take more initiative in your own development and to realize your potential. The OBOC will also help you prevent and manage injuries. The OBOC will bring fun to your life as a dancer, and a strong sense of purpose and control.

1.5 How is it different from taking a regular Countertechnique class, or a workshop?
A regular Countertechnique class is aimed at warming up your body and preparing it for rehearsal or performance. The information, analysis and modes of application that you get provided with during the OBOC will give you extensive additional knowledge that will help you to work on a much more refined and deeper level in a regular Countertechnique class or workshop.

1.6 How is it different from taking one of the many other summer workshops in Europe?
As one of the very few workshops in the world the OBOC will not give you a taster of different styles and techniques, or practicing someone’s choreographic repertoire, it’s aimed at delving in deep into the Countertechnique movement system for two weeks, and will send you home with practical tools that you can apply in your own daily practice. Countertechnique is about empowering dancers, and the information and practice you gather during the OBOC is guaranteed to be of great benefit to your own career.

1.7 Is it different being taught by these specific Countertechnique teachers than by other Countertechnique teachers near me?
All of our Countertechnique teachers have been trained and certified by Founder Anouk van Dijk herself, so the classes that they teach offer information in line with the Countertechnique methodology. Working with Founder Anouk van Dijk herself for two weeks, as well as Master Teacher Nina Wollny, Senior Teacher Niharika Senapati, will give you access to a very different level of knowledge, expertise and experience. Anouk van Dijk has developed the system over the last 20 years, and trained all 32 certified Teachers. Nina Wollny has been a core member of Anouk van Dijk's company from 2002-2012, and has been teaching Countertechnique since 2004. Niharika Senapati has been a core Chunky Move ensemble member and since 2012 featured in almost all of Anouk van Dijk’s creations for Chunky Move; she will be able to share her knowledge and experience of applying Countertechnique at the highest professional level.

1.8 Where can I find more information about the faculty?
Please find more information about Anouk van Dijk’s work as a choreographer online. To get an impression of her work, we recommend watching trailers of An Act of Now (2012), Complexity of Belonging (2014), Depth of Field (2016), Rule of Thirds (2016), Common Ground (2018). She’s currently creating the new work Distant Matter for Staatsballet Berlin, which will premiere in a double bill with Half Life by Sharon Eyal in February. Nina Wollny performed in all of Anouk van Dijk's work between 2002-2012, and continues to perform her work at Schaubühne Berlin with Trust (2009). She also featured in Van Dijk's first work for Chunky Move, An Act of Now (2012) and more recently Safe Places (2016) at Schauspiel Frankfurt. This year, she also featured in Falk Richter's staging of David Bowie's Lazarus in Hamburg, and in the work of choreographer Jenny Beyer (Fluss, 2018). Niharika Senapati performs in Van Dijk's works An Act of Now, Depth of Field (2016), Rule of Thirds, as well Anti-Gravity (2017) and Accumulation (2018). Tom Koch has more information about his practice on his website Tomsterdam.

1.9 Will I get to work with all the different faculty members?
Yes, during the two week OBOC everyone will be able to work with all the faculty members in various settings.

1.10 Will there be a presentation at the end?
The OBOC will have a presentation moment of the creative workshops at the end of the second week. This will be an internal presentation, although some members of the local community can be invited.

1.11 If I do the OBOC, will I receive a certificate?
No, there is no certificate at the end.

1.12 Do I get to take something home after the OBOC?
Besides the experience from the Intensive itself, you will be taking home a written summary of all the information that has been shared with you during the OBOC. This is for personal and private use only, and you are not allowed to share, multiply or publish these materials or their content with others in any shape or form, or through any platform.

1.13 After I complete the OBOC, can I share my experiences with others?
We encourage all participants to share their experiences and insights, but we’re very strict in allowing only teachers who have successfully completed the Countertechnique Teacher Training to teach Countertechnique to others. Teaching Countertechnique requires very specific teacher perspective on Countertechnique, as well as a detailed pedagogical understanding of what happens during class – neither of which are taught during the OBOC in any way. The OBOC is exclusively aimed at learning to understand and applying Countertechnique as a dancer, and after completing the OBOC you therefore can’t claim for any of the classes you teach yourself that you are teaching or incorporating Countertechnique in any way.

1.14 Is the OBOC getting documented?
Elements of the OBOC will be recorded on video and through photography. By confirming your place in the OBOC, you consent to these registrations and any use for future marketing purposes. We do not provide materials to any of the participants, other than what is published online through our website or social media. Participants will not be allowed to make audio or video recordings of (parts of) the OBOC for any purposes.

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2. DATES, REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT

2.1 When does the OBOC 2019 in Amsterdam take place?
The OBOC 2019 in Amsterdam takes place from Monday 29 July to Friday 9 August. The program consists of ten full days, running from 10am to 6pm, with a lunch break in the afternoon. Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August are free.

2.2 How many places are available?
We will accept a total of 55 applicants.

2.3 How can I apply?
You can only apply until Friday 1 March midnight (all time zones) using our online registration form: https://form.jotform.co/90176693235866. We will not accept registrations sent to us by email or post.

To be included in the selection process, you will be required to complete the registration form online and pay your registration fee. We will not accept payments of the registration fee via other ways other than what’s offered on the registration page.

All questions need to be answered in English. As the selection of the participants will be done by our English-speaking faculty, information submitted in any other language can unfortunately not be accepted.

Please make sure that all text files you upload are PDF or Word only, and all image files either JPG or PNG. Pages, Txt or other text formats are not accepted by the registration system, nor are other image formats.

Once you have completed your registration, you will receive an automatic email confirmation that your application will be included in the selection process.

You will hear about the outcome of the selection procedure by Tuesday 12 March at the latest.

If you're on the waitlist: invitations to people on the waitlist are not expected to be sent out before Wednesday 20 March.

Please do not send enquires about the status of your application; as we work with a very small team, no individual status updates can be provided until Tuesday 12 March. We will not be providing any individual feedback on applications of participants who haven't been selected, or who first end up on the waiting list.

Summarizing:

  • Fri 1 Feb - Registration opens
  • Fri 15 Feb - last day Early Bird offer
  • Fri 1 Mar - Registration closes
  • Tue 12 Mar - Invitations are sent out to selected applicants
  • Tue 19 Mar - Deposit needs to be paid to secure spot
  • Wed 20 Mar - If spots are available, first invitations to waitlist applicants are sent out
  • Mon 6 May - full payment is due
  • Mon 29 Jul - start OBOC Amsterdam
  • Fri 9 Aug - finish OBOC Amsterdam

2.4 How much does it cost to participate and what’s the payment process?
The full cost for the intensive is €950. For applicants applying by Friday 15 February, there is an Early Bird rate available at €925. A one-time registration fee of €25 is required for all applicants. 

After the selection process has been completed, on Tuesday 12 March, the selected applicants will be offered a spot in the OBOC. They will have to pay a €250 deposit by Tuesday 19 March to confirm their participation. 

From Wednesday 20 March, applicants on the waitlist might be provided with an invitation to attend. They will also need to confirm their participation and pay their deposit within one week after notification. Invitations to people on the waitlist can continue to roll out until June.

2.5 Are there any scholarships available?
Limited scholarship opportunities will be offered for the OBOC. All applicants will be notified on Monday 3 March what information is required, which can then be provided online within one week. As only a small number of scholarships will be available, applying for financial support does not guarantee receiving it, and we therefore strongly encourage applicants to seek funding from multiple sources, independently from their scholarship request. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of a combination of artistic excellence, financial need, cultural diversity and motivation. Partial scholarships (25% and 50%) will be considered in order to assist as many dancers as possible.

2.6 Do I get a discount as a return OBOC participant?
No discounts can be provided to attendants of previous OBOC’s.

2.7 What is your refund policy?
All payments are strictly non-refundable. If you withdraw before your final payment is concluded, no further payments are due. If you withdraw after you’ve paid your full fee, your €25 Application Fee will be reimbursed.

2.8 I’m not sure yet if I’m free / have the money / etc. Should I apply anyway?
We appreciate that there are many reasons why you might not yet be able to 100% confirm your participation at the moment of registration. However, we encourage everyone with interest in the OBOC to at least apply. Final confirmation and deposit payment will not be required until Tuesday 19 March, so everyone has until then to figure things out. If you have to drop out, at least your profile is on our radar, and we’ll take that information into our consideration when processing applications in future years.

2.9 What should I do if I’ve accepted my spot, but find out later that I can’t attend after all?
You should notify us immediately via email, obocamsterdam@countertechnique.com. Participants who withdraw after they’ve paid their full fee, will receive their registration fee back.

2.10 Do I get a discount if I attend both Henny Jurriëns Studio's Summer Intensive and OBOC?
Although we highly recommend both events, they are unrelated and no discount is available for participating in both.

2.11 Are there other OBOC’s taking place in 2019?
An OBOC will be taking place from 1-12 July 2019 in Montréal, Canada. Registration has closed on Sunday 27 January, with invitations going out by Monday 25 February.

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3. SELECTION AND PARTICIPATION

3.1 Do I need prior experience in Ctech to be selected?
There’s no formal requirement to have prior experience with Countertechnique. Each year, about half the group has limited or no experience with Countertechnique, and half has moderate to extensive experience with Countertechnique.

3.2 How will you be selecting participants?
We’re always very careful to select a balanced mix of experienced professionals and dancers in the earlier stages of their career. Similarly, we make sure to select a group of participants that have no or limited Countertechnique experience, and a group that has already taken frequent Countertechnique classes, or done OBOC’s before.

Within those categories we will select candidates on the basis of their motivation letter, CV and video, as well as their level of education and professional experience. As best we can, we look to put together a group that’s balanced and diverse in terms of gender, age and cultural background as well.

We will always prioritise the most talented dancers in our selection process, in any category. Countertechnique was originally developed for highly motivated professional dancers operating at the top of their game, so the bar for selection will be high.

3.3 What kind of video would you like to see from me?
Please send us a dancer's reel, which clearly shows you dancing. The video you send us needs to include footage of yourself dancing in a studio setting, be it improvised and/or set choreography. If you're sending us additionally excerpts of a performance, please send us material that shows you individually, not as part of a group. If you're sending material that has you in a duet or trio, make sure to supply information that allows us to identify you easily in the video (e.g. costume colour), and make note of this in the Additional Information box at the end of the form. Selecting material that is easy for us to assess is your responsibility; if we need to make significant effort to identify who you are in the videos you have sent, we will simply not include the video in our selection process.

3.4 How do I send you my video material?
We only accept video material via links on Youtube or Vimeo. We do not accept links to materials that need to be downloaded, or viewed on non-mainstream platforms. Make sure there is NO password on the links.

3.5 How do I send you my photo material?
We ask that you send us JPG’s, with a maximum size of 5 MB per photo. Send us one headshot, and one dance photo - please do not send us more.

3.6 How do I send you my CV and motivation?
We ask that you send us a Word document or PDF only, with a maximum file size of 5 MB. 

3.7 Will other considerations be taken into account?
Other than the above criteria, we have few other considerations. We will reserve ten spots for dancers from the Netherlands, of which five for dancers from Amsterdam. These dancers will still need to meet all of the criteria, but if they do they will get a preferential treatment in the selection process for those particular spots. If insufficient applications have come in for these spots, they will be made available to all other applicants.

3.8 How good does my English need to be?
Having a decent understanding of English is an important criteria. During the OBOC, a lot of detailed information will be shared, exclusively in English. It is important that you are able to understand and process that information, and are able to ask questions in English when you need to.

3.9 I can’t make it to one / more day(s) of the OBOC. Is that a problem?
Yes, it is. We will prioritize applicants that commit to being present for the whole duration of the OBOC Intensive. If you can't please feel free to still apply, and we can put you on the waitlist for if any spots become available. Please be upfront about your availability; we reserve the right to deny access to those who show up at the OBOC and turn out not to be able to meet their full time commitment.

3.10 I can attend the full two week period, but I'd like to attend (part of) the OBOC as an observer. Is that a problem? 
Yes, it is. We do not allow observers in the studios. All attendants will be required to fully participate as a dancer in the OBOC, or otherwise leave the space. 

3.11 I'd like to make video / audio recordings of (parts of) the OBOC, is that a problem? 
Yes, it is. We do not allow the OBOC to be recorded by participants in any shape or form. We will make video and photographic recordings ourselves, for archival and marketing purposes, which will be published online and through social media, and which can be shared by participants.

3.12 I would like to receive a confirmation letter, for the purpose of a funding application - is that possible?
Upon making your deposit, you will be provided with a confirmation letter.

3.13 If I'm not selected, can I receive feedback why? 
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to provide feedback on individual applications.

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4. TRAVEL, HOUSING AND LIVING IN AMSTERDAM

4.1 What’s Amsterdam like?
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, culturally diverse, and known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and more. During the summer, outdoor festivals take place in several beautiful parcs, and the sea is not far away, about 30 min. by train. Cycling is key to discovering the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths. Information about tourism, culture, performances, concerts, going out, hotels, and opportunities in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area can be found on the website of IAmsterdam

4.2 Do people speak English in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam has a population composed of many nationalities, and almost everyone speaks English well.

4.3 Will you assist in finding housing?
All participants in the program must arrange for their own accommodation. HJS can suggest budget housing possibilities, and can sometimes couple you to local dancers who may be renting out their room or apartment during the OBOC period. Do plan your stay as soon as possible! Amsterdam is a popular destination.

Sharing an apartment is a fun and economical way to live for the month. As soon as invited applicants confirm their application, we'll be setting up a closed Facebook-group where you can connect to other participants to discuss housing options in advance of the OBOC. 

4.4 What are the public transport options?
There's various public transport options near the Chassé Dans Studios, trams 13 and 19 stop nearby at stop Admiraal de Ruijterweg, and buses 18 and 247 stop at stop Jan Evertsenstraat.

For information about where and how to buy tickets / passes etc. visit the GVB website. For information about out how to get from the place you stay, to the studio’s, theatres and back, please visit the 9292 website.  

If you are used to biking in busy cities, biking is the best way to move about. You can rent a bike at different places in town. Do take care, the traffic is quite hectic. The closest ones to the studio are:

Fietspadje (Van Kinsbergenstraat 38)
Fietsenwinkel Admiraal: Admiraal de Ruijterweg 81
Bike King: Kinkerstraat 364

Bicycle online routemap, Routecraft.

 

4.5 How will I get to Amsterdam?
There's excellent train connections to Amsterdam from France, Germany, Belgium as well as the UK.

If you fly to Schiphol Airport, there's an excellent train connection to various train stations in and around the city, where you can change to trams or buses. Google Maps is the easiest way to plan your route, with more route info on the 9292 website, and info about train tickets on the NS website and trams and bus tickets on the GVB website.

4.6 What visa and passport conditions apply to the Netherlands?
Citizens of most Western and many Asian countries can enter the Netherlands without a visa and stay up to 90 days in the entire EU Schengen area. For some countries, there are visa requirements. In all cases, check the requirements for your nationality online, by clicking on this link. Please make sure to do your research well in advance of your arrival.

4.7 What's the weather like in July?
The month of July in Amsterdam is generally good, but unpredictable. On average, tempatures will be between 20-25 C, but occassionaly temperatures might drop to as low as 16 C. There is a high changes of showers, but they would generally be limited in duration.

4.8 How will I stay in touch with the other participants during and after the OBOC?
As soon as applicants start confirming their spots, we'll set up a closed Facebook group which will allow participants to connect. During the OBOC, this Facebook group will also serve the purpose of sharing information about the day to day program.

4.9 Health-related addresses

Fysiotherapie Keizersgracht (fysiotherapy-manual therapy, haptonomy)
https://www.fysiotherapie-keizersgracht.nl

Fysiocity  
https://www.fysiocity.nl/en/
(located at the studios where OBOC takes place. You can book an appointment online or at the studio.)

Chiropractor Nekwerk
https://amsterdam-chiropractor.nl/

There also is a list available at the HJS Reception desk for doctors, dentists and such.

4.10 Insurance
Please make sure you have an updated travel / health insurance.  Countertechnique / HJS will not be responsible for any accidents/ medical bills or loss of property which may occur during the stay in Amsterdam.

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5. STUDIOS

5.1 What are the studios like, in which the OBOC will take place?
We will be using three spacious studios, measuring 24 m x 18 m, 27.5 m x 11 m, and 8 x 10 m (for Alexander Technique only).

5.2 Where are the studios located in Amsterdam?
They are located in Amsterdam-East, at the Chassé Studios, Chasséstraat 64‚Äč

5.3 What’s the connection to public transport?
The studios are easy to reach by public transport or bike.

5.4 What facilities are around?
The studios are located in a busy part of town, and there are cafes, restaurants and supermarkets in the area.

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6. OTHER PROGRAMS

6.1 How does the OBOC relate to the Countertechnique Teacher Training (CTTT)?
The OBOC and the CTTT are entirely separate programs, containing different information. The OBOC is exclusively developed for dancers, the CTTT is a program developed for those considered eligible to become Countertechnique teachers themselves. As participating in the CTTT requires, however, to be able to apply the Countertechnique principles comfortably in your own dancing, attending the OBOC is a prerequisite to applying for the CTTT. If, therefore, you intend to apply for the CTTT in future years, the OBOC in Amsterdam is the ideal opportunity to meet that requirement..

6.2 Once I’ve done the OBOC, will I automatically qualify for participation in the CTTT?
No, you will not. There are a number of selection criteria in place for the CTTT, which can be found on the webpage about the CTTT. Attending the OBOC is one of them.

6.3 When will the next CTTT take place?
The next CTTT will take place in 2020, but all further details won’t be announced until the second half of 2019.

6.4 Is there any relationship between the OBOC and Henny Jurriëns Studio’s Summer Intensive, or their regular program?
Henny Jurriëns Studio has been hosting Countertechnique classes for more than 15 years, and was also a co-presenter of the OBOC Countertechnique Intensive from 2006-2012. Its annual Summer Intensive program in July always features a Countertechnique class and workshop. Its regular program throughout the year, generally offers Countertechnique classes for one week each month. In terms of content, the OBOC and HJS' Summer Intensive are unrelated. For those who want to sample Countertechnique, Jenia Kasatkina's classes and workshop during the HJS Summer Intensive is a perfect opportunity; for those who want to delve into Countertechnique for two weeks, the OBOC is the best choice.

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7. CONTACT INFORMATION

I've read all the information above, but my question is not answered anywhere. How can I reach you?
If your question is urgent, relating to our program and you've read all the information above to verify it is not answered on this page, then you can get in touch with us at obocamsterdam@countertechnique.com.

 

* We are providing this information to the best of our knowledge. However, the full responsibility for making any arrangements regarding your individual situation remains with you. We do not claim that the information on this page is complete or applicable to any situation, nor do we accept any claims regarding events, actions, or damage resulting from consulting this page. This information is only provided as a service to make it easier for you to get started, but should not be considered to reflect the full details of your individual sitatuon, for which you exclusively remain responsible.

This page is regularly updated. Last update 27-02-2019.