On Wednesday January 12, Queen Mathilde of Belgium visited the Performing Arts Research and Training Studies (PARTS) dance school in Vorst. During this visit, she took the time to talk to Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, the founder of the school, the students and the staff. This visit was intended not only to encourage the students, but also to support the cultural sector in general.
The Queen of Belgium, 48, notably received explanations on the functioning of the school. Mathilde from Belgium was also able to attend a ballet class and even enjoyed a show. The sovereign also discussed with the students. The impact of the pandemic was also discussed during the conversation. For the school, the lessons were given via Zoom from March 2020 until the summer holidays of 2020. Digital lessons have also been set up. Bubble dancing lessons have even taken place. “Very intense, even dramatic”, summarizes De Keersmaeker over this period. “The pandemic had a huge impact. It was an exercise in resilience, flexibility. This generation of students had a very bumpy journey,” she says.
Mathilde from Belgium at PARTS: concern still reigns
In general, the course of the P.A.R.T.S school has gone rather well since 2020, according to Ms. De Keersmaeker. Only, she did not fail to raise her doubts and concerns about the possible consequences of the pandemic on her students and their studies. “I have great concern about the effect this will have on the younger generations. It sometimes takes on terrible proportions. We really should not underestimate this,” she said.
The visit of Queen Mathilde is particularly positive for De Keersmaeker and the PARTS school. “The pandemic is an almost traumatic experience for all of society and especially for the arts,” says the founder of the school. “Understanding this from a certain authority is of course very important and provides support for us,” she concludes.
Queen Mathilde of Belgium © Photonews