Samuel Wuersten named ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’

On Tuesday 31 January 2012, Samuel Wuersten, artistic director of Holland Dance and member of the Board of Directors of Codarts, will be admitted to the French Order of Arts and Letters and given the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Wuersten is being honoured for his great achievements in the development of dance in general and in the promotion of French contemporary dance in the Netherlands. “Samuel Wuersten has a dynamic personality and has been instrumental in stimulating French programming in the Netherlands”. The admission to the French order is the second honour he has received in less than a year, as he was recently knighted in the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

Since 1994, Samuel Wuersten has been the artistic director of Holland Dance, the organisation behind the biennial dance festival that the critics acknowledge as one of the most important in the world. Under Samuel Wuersten’s leadership, Holland Dance has grown into an indispensable platform for the presentation of dance. Wuersten creates space for a diverse dance landscape, in which young dance talent and established names can excel to the full. This is one reason for his success in raising Holland Dance to the heights it enjoys today – through stimulating professionals, and challenging and inspiring their audiences. Wuersten has brought the very greatest choreographers and dancers of our time to The Hague. The French contingent has included the dance legend Sylvie Guillem and the companies Ballet Preljocaj and Ballet Marseille.

Since October 2009, Samuel Wuersten has been a member of the Board of Directors of Codarts, University for the Arts, in Rotterdam. He was the first (ex-) performing artist to join the top management of a School for Higher Arts Education in the Netherlands. From September 2000 until his appointment as a board member, Wuersten was the artistic director of the Rotterdam Dance Academy (RDA), which is part of Codarts. Under his leadership, the RDA developed into one of the leading professional schools of contemporary dance in Europe, with a very extensive international network.

About Samuel Wuersten
Samuel Wuersten (Switzerland, 1961) trained at the Balletschule der Hamburgischen Staatsoper and the Rotterdam Dance Academy, as well as with various teachers in New York. But it did not end with his career as a dancer. Wuersten went on to choreograph and teach, and saw various opportunities for taking on organisational roles. Wuersten is known in dance circles as an atypical artistic director. He is someone who can apply his vision of dance to a broad spectrum and make dance accessible to the public. One of the ways he accomplishes this is as a guest programmer of international dance at the Lucent Danstheater, a position he has held since 2005. In 2011, Wuersten was knighted in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his exceptionally meritorious achievements in developing Dutch dance, both in the Netherlands and abroad.