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Photo: Joris-Jan Bos Photography.
Born in Amsterdam, Elke Schepers studied ballet at the Scapino Dance Academy and trained with, among others, Anne Marie Tannenbaum, Ivan Kramar, and Benjamin Harkarvy. She started her dance career in 1985 when she joined Nederlands Dans Theater 2, at that time called the Junior Group of the Nederlands Dans Theater. In that same year, she won the “Encouragement Prize” from Dansersfonds, an arts fund established by Alexandra Radius and Han Ebbelaar.
In 1987, Schepers was promoted to Nederlands Dans Theater 1, where she quickly became one of the muses of Jiří Kylián, then the artistic director of the company. She worked with many world-renowned choreographers, including Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, and Mats Ek. In 1997, Schepers was awarded with the Silver Theatre Dance Prize for her leading role in A Sort Of by Mats Ek. In 2000, Schepers left Nederlands Dans Theater after a career of nearly 16 years with the company.
Schepers currently sets a variety of Jiří Kylián’s works all over the world. She also teaches yoga and participates in small dance projects.