Last seen in the UK in 2012, Nederlands Dans Theater is back this Spring for their 2016 UK tour! And we are excited to reveal that the repertoire, including TWO UK PREMIÈRES, has been announced! Read on to find out more about the dances the troupe will be performing this year…
Schubert premiered during the anniversary performance 25 Years León & Lightfoot. This pas de deux, danced on a piece of music by Schubert is, besides an emotional ballet exuding a love story between a man and a woman, a highly technical work that emphasises NDT2’s extraordinary talent level.
“The couple Takaura and Coeffard came to better advantage in Schubert. They were both fragile and a bit broken, as the tin soldier and the dancer in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.”
Some Other Time premiered at the anniversary performance 25 Years León & Lightfoot. A white floor and black decor pieces that seemingly float across the stage highlight the refreshing and oppressive feeling that the dancers portray in this ballet. All dressed in black and with a wide variety of pas de deux and solos, Some Other Time is an extraordinary exercise for the NDT2 dancers in the emotional dance language that is so characteristic for choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot.
“Some Other Time is contemplative, almost still. Imre van Opstal looks back accurately, as if she reflects on repressed desires. Her sister Xanthe wears a lace collar and laughs. Is this her young, vibrant alter ego?”
Sad Case was originally created for NDT1 in 1998 when Sol León was seven months pregnant with their daughter, and acts as one of the main pillars of León & Lightfoot’s oeuvre. Surprising and earthly movements on Mexican mambo music show a continual search for the tension between satirical and classical moments.
“Sad Case (1998) is actually a rather happy case. The five white-faced, red-mouthed dancers in Lightfoot Leon’s creation twitch, curl, and swing cartoonishly to crooner tunes and Latin beats as they contort their faces into hyperbolic expressions. Their clownish faces and manic gestures are spicy and refreshing in contrast to the last two pieces. It’s light. It’s fun.”
Johan Inger takes four girls and five boys to great heights on songs by Van Morrison. Not a group in unison, but instead sprouting individuals who rebel against it. On the spot swinging off their hips, falling in between the others and shelter in a steel forest. Inger’s work breathes humour: it’s fresh and optimistic, ranging from comic and theatrical to earthy and organic.
"The choreography shows much inventiveness and the young dancers fulfill their role with real character"
Edward Clug’s choreography is detailed and sharply defined. Often at times, its most distinguishing feature tends to be twitchiness where the bodies flick and jerk so extremely and frequently that it can be interpreted as punctuation; a certain acknowledgment of the beat. As a choreographer, Clug is interested in highlighting the dancer’s individual experience by keeping it fresh in its approach. By doing so, his work
leans towards emphasising a personal experience that arises from the process of creation that is led by illuminating human contradictions, imparting surprising moments of beauty and spontaneous irony.
“The sober-ranging mutual comfort is a diverse series of meetings between duos and trios who, in their perfection and behaviour - minimal but cartoonish - express something unreal.”
Hans van Manen created Solo for NDT2 in 1997. With this seven minute, high pace ballet set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin partita, Van Manen made a piece for three dancers who portray a single man re-examining his place in the world. Since the rate of movement is exceptionally high requiring extraordinary timing, the ballet can only be performed by the dancers taking turns.
“Solo splashes and swings and makes you chuckle at the scurrying feet, the raised arms as exclamation points, the flashy turns, the impending bent knees and the fun, the mischievous, the speed and momentum with which the NDT2 dancers present this choreography.”
Alexander Ekman calls himself a ‘rhythm freak’, as one of his trademarks is designing contemporary soundscapes. This choreography, for which he merely used classical music, resulted in a new arrangement of Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen, created together with Holland Symphonia. In addition, the dancers become the instruments for the orchestra. Ekman used all dancers to challenge the audience to reflect on the way in which art is perceived. Read an interview with Cacti’s choreographer Ekman here.
“The audience erupts into laughter during Ekman’s subversive and highly original Cacti which satires pretentious contemporary dance while delivering movement of unparalleled synchronicity (…) eye-poppingly inventive”