Based in The Hague, under artistic guidance of choreographer Paul Lightfoot, the company masterfully integrates various art forms including visual art, music composition, and innovative light and set designs. Nederlands Dans Theater’s home base is regarded as a unique worldwide breeding ground for exceptional talent, constantly moving ahead to let the future of dance take shape.
Since its founding in 1959, this rebellious company has built a rich repertoire of 600 ballets by master choreographers such as Jirí Kylián and Hans van Manen, renowned house choreographers Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, associate choreographers Crystal Pite and Marco Goecke, and high-profile guests such as Gabriela Carrizo, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, Hofesh Shechter and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar.
The multi-national company consists of 28 phenomenal dancers from all over the world, varying in age between 24 and 41 years, each one of them excelling in their solo qualities. The dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater are renowned for their versatility, technical precision and virtuosic expression.
Their Melbourne performances include three distinctive works: Sehnsucht (Sol León / Paul Lightfoot, 2009); Solo Echo (Crystal Pite, 2012); and Stop-Motion (Sol León / Paul Lightfoot , 2014).
The German word ‘Sehnsucht’ connects to a certain yearning and describes a deep emotional state of missing something intensely, and is the inspiration for León and Lightfoot’s Sehnsucht (2009), which also features the music of Beethoven.
Solo Echo (2012) by Canadian Crystal Pite softly lures the audience into a wintry melancholy, inspired by the poem ‘Lines for Winter’ by Mark Strand. Against a backdrop of steadily whirling snowflakes and on sober strings of Brahms, a dynamic collective erupts around the focal point of the individual.
With melancholic music by Max Richter, seven dancers depict a process of farewell and transformation in León and Lightfoot’s Stop-Motion (2014), which premiered in January 2014. The piece also features enormous screens on stage that show delayed video projections, which include their daughter Saura.
“They are the world’s most magnificent dancers: a retina-shredding spectacle of passion and power” – The Sunday Herald
Nederlands Dans Theater
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne
Season: 22 – 25 June 2016
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Nederlands Dans Theater – photo by Rahi Rezvani