SOMETIMES I TAKE PHOTOS, MY PUMA IS THE BEST. I EAT WAY TOO HEALTHY, STILL CREATE MOVEMENTS INSIDE OF MY HEAD.
Hi, my name is Anil van der Zee. Regarding my early days, I was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in the north of Holland. I’ve studied classical ballet at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague where I was able to turn my hobby and my passion into my profession. As a professional I went on to dance with companies such as Introdans, Grand Théâtre de Genève and Bern Ballet. During my career I was able to get a chance to dance in ballets choreographed by the likes of Kylian, van Manen, Forsythe, Naharin, Celis, Godani and Miller among others. Unfortunately, I had to end my career in 2007 due to a viral infection from which I have never fully recovered. A few years later I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
For the first six years I could still do my thing a bit, however during the last 5 years I’ve currently been at home in a chiefly bedridden state. ME is a neuroimmune disease that, contrary to common misconceptions, is not characterised by chronic fatigue, but rather by a severe exacerbation of symptoms which manifest after a minor physical or mental exertion. This hallmark symptom characteristic of ME, known as Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM), can persist for days, weeks or consequently be a the trigger for a relapse or deterioration. I now live in a darkened room with earplugs and construction workers headphones. Any physical, cognitive or mental overexertion can make me more ill for days. This is of course a great contrast compared to the once active dancer I used to be.
The language of the body through dance and photography is really more my thing. Nonetheless I’ve tried to write a blog here and there about my experience with M.E. As a dancer I have been surprised by the counter intuitive treatments that patients receive and the controversy that surrounds this disease. I feel it’s important to share my side of the story in the hopes that it will help raise more awareness for M.E. Besides my terrible writing skills, English vocabulary and too often speaking my mind, you’ll hopefully still enjoy your stay.
Anil van der Zee