In October 2011 I joined Bert van Dijk’s Presence Workshop while he was visiting The Netherlands. It was a great and truly inspiring day. The added value - and I would even say the beauty - of really being “in the now” was so clear. Bert is in my opinion the living example of being present and he knows how to get you there with practical, energizing and fun exercises, both on individual and group level. The art of being present means being present with all your senses, not only to see and hear but also to smell, feel and ‘sense’. Experiencing all this in just one day made me - once again but more than ever - conscious of not only the choice we have to be (or not to be) in the present, but also of the added value when it comes to the quality and effectiveness of our daily life and work. I experienced my awareness and energy level going up strongly. Bert’s workshop really supported me to be in the now, to be in a pleasant state of full alertness. I truly believe Presence is a strong concept that can help people - and organizations as a whole - to maximize their capacities.

Alex Verheijden

Global Head Executive Reward

ING Insurance EurAsia

The Netherlands

I love being a part of the audience at Bert’s productions. From the outset I am involved and feel a part of all that is happening around me. I am constantly amazed at his ability to engage and engross his audiences.

Often I feel bewildered, amazed and experience strong feelings during his productions. There is no way of knowing what will happen next and how it will be portrayed.

Bert's productions are always thought provoking, intense, provocative, exciting, powerful, and moving all within a short time span. These experiences end up being a part of you and remain totally memorable for a long, long time!

Ros Bartosh - Audience member

As a teacher and artist Bert van Dijk is a laughing, shit-stirring provocateur with an infectious intelligence, a brilliant sense of invention and a heroic passion for theatre and its impossible challenges.

Madeline McNamara - Actress and director

Bert van Dijk is a supremely gifted theatre creator. He possesses remarkable vision and a deft hand with the skills of the deviser.

Bert has long been an inspiration for me as a deviser of theatre.

Simon Ferry - Director and theatre practitioner

Philip Parsons Prize Runner Up

An honourable mention goes to Bert van Dijk for his exciting project Towards a New Pacific Theatre submitted as part of his PhD thesis at Victoria University, Wellington and the accompanying performance event Ex_Isle of Strangers. The site-specific performance and research project sets out to develop a model of theatre-making that articulates the cultural, geographical and spiritual specificity of Aotearoa/New Zealand in the context of the Asian Pacific region. The performance as research project brings together and interrogates divergent artistic practices drawn from Maori, European and Asian traditions in the articulation of a new model of Pacific Theatre praxis. The performance project tests and presents a case study which stands as the first exemplar of the proposed model of New Pacific Performance which draws from Whare Tapere (pre-European Maori performance traditions), contemporary European performance, and traditional Noh Theatre. In attempting to investigate and articulate a new model of Pacific Theatre, van Dijk’s research and practice provides a valuable contribution to the development and understanding of contemporary theatre and performance practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The project remains an important case study of performance as research that will hopefully inform further performance and scholarly inquiries of an emergent field of Pacific Theatre.

ADSA Executive committee (July 2011)

Bert van Dijk is an inspirational teacher, director and pedagogue. He has a unique and extraordinary knowledge of the theatre and has worked with some of the great practitioners of our time.

Bert’s understanding of theatre is vast.

Anna Marbrook - Theatre director and film maker

Bert is one of New Zealand's most dynamic and innovative theatre practitioners. I have learnt so much from him about taking theatrical risks and letting the imagination fly!

I look forward to seeing his method and experience captured in words.

Sally Stockwell - Actress and former student

Bert generously offers wisdom and practical tools based on many years of intensive training and practice in various theatrical and cultural genres.

His passion for devised theatre is set out in a way that is detailed, clear and specific, so that even those in the early stages of devising can follow.

Bert's influence and methodology have had a profound personal impact onme, calling me to realise myself in ways far beyond my perceived limitations,not only as a performer and a collaborator, but also in the way I live my life.

Jess Campbell - Actress BENNU Theatre Company


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