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Nederlands Dans Theater experiences Royal Grand Finale Kylián

28 Oct 2009

With his world premiere Mémoires d’Oubliettes (Nederlands Dans Theater I) resident choreographer Ji??í Kylián bids Nederlands Dans Theater an official farewell. For both Kylián and Nederlands Dans Theater this marks the end of a fundamental era that lasted 36 years. Kylián’s farewell coincides with the festivities for the dance company’s 50th anniversary, celebrated in the presence of members of the Royal Family during the premiere of the programme ‘50 Years of Challenging Dance’. This programme features two more world premieres: Studio 2 (Nederlands Dans Theater II) by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, and dissolve in this (Nederlands Dans Theater I and II) by Johan Inger. In addition, there is a supporting act with installation art by Karine Guizzo and Yvan Dubreuil entitled Trobad’or.  ’50 Years of Challenging Dance’ is also the opening of the Holland Dance Festival, which will be dedicated to 50 years Nederlands Dans Theater for two full weeks. The premiere takes place in the Lucent Danstheater in The Hague on 28 October.

 

Ji??í Kylián                               Mémoires d’Oubliettes, world premiere

Mémoires d’Oubliettes for Nederlands Dans Theater I brings Kylián’s oeuvre to 101 choreographies. Oubliettes in French means an underground dungeon in which in medieval times convicts were thrown and forgotten.

‘This new creation has the impact of a farewell ballet imbued with Kylián’s typical sarcastic humour and his feeling for tragicomedy. It is also a layered ballet, which apart from references to Kylián’s parting also contains numerous reminiscences of his extensive oeuvre with Nederlands Dans Theater. Just as in Tar and Feathers, the Czech choreographer once again uses spoken text fragments from the Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Kylián’s kinship with the Irish master of the bare word and absurdist theatre is on a par with the affinity he has with the Czech writer Franz Kafka’ (from: ‘Constant in verandering’ by Isabella Lanz in the programmebook ‘Mémoires d’Oubliettes’).

Ji??í Kylián about ‘Mémoires d’Oubliettes’: ’The facts of life are never just the facts of life. They are all open to interpretations, modification, adjustments or fantasies. But somehow they never happened…We seem to exist in the world of “lost and found” and in a strange way I feel that it is just as good to be found as being lost and being remembered or forgotten. We can never be sure…But what about the ones who were never lost or found, never remembered or forgotten? The question of memory and forgetting is the question of being and not being. All our lives are ruled by what we remember and what we forget.  But it is more complicated than that.  There are not only things we want to remember and things we want to forget, but we want to influence the facts which we want to forget or remember. What do we remember? What do we forget? How do we want to be remembered? What do we want to be forgotten? What is memory?

How much time does it take to forget? I remember that, when I was young, I wished to be remembered for something that I had created and that would be worth the struggle. The man who burnt down the Temple of Artemis was sentenced to obscurity, that his name must be forgotten for ever after. That is why he is remembered forever. His name was Herostratus.

‘Herostratic fame’ comes from Herostratus and is defined as “fame at any cost.”

 

For Mémoires d’Oubliettes Kylián collaborated with Dirk Haubrich (music), Joke Visser (costume design), Kees Tjebbes (light design), Yoko Seyama (set, designed by Kylián), Jason Akira Somma (photography and video design), Tatsuo Unemi and Daniel Bisig (computer-controlled projection), Sabine Kupferberg (voices, together with Kylián), Lorraine Blouin (choreographer’s assistant) and with the dancers Valentina Scaglia, Allan Falieri, Natalia Hore?na, Menghan Lou, Aurélie Cayla and Kenta Kojiri (A cast).

 

 

Paul Lightfoot and Sol León   Studio 2, world premiere

The Bard of Avon was the title of the very first work that Paul Lightfoot and Sol León made for Nederlands Dans Theater in November 1989. Between then and now  there has been an intensely creative period, much of which took place in one of the rehearsal rooms of Lucent Danstheater: Studio 2.  Exactly twenty years later, during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nederlands Dans Theater, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León pay tribute to this room. A room animated with the tracks of generations of dancers and choreographers. A room where Paul Lightfoot and Sol León have steadily worked, since 1989, on building up an oeuvre that now counts as many as 39 choreographies. The music the choreographers are using in Studio 2 refers to Tabula Rasa, the first major dance piece by Ohad Naharin, which makes it an ode to important heritage. According to Lightfoot and León it might well be that the real history of the soul of Nederlands Dans Theater is locked in this room with its dance floor, walls and mirrors.

For Studio 2 Paul Lightfoot and Sol León collaborated with Joke Visser and Hermien Hollander (costume and set design together with Sol León and Paul Lightfoot ), Tom Bevoort (light design) and dancers Bryan Arias, Astrid Boons, César Faria Fernandes, Chiaki Horita, Carolina Mancuso, Marne van Opstal, Spenser Theberge and Riley Watts (A cast).

 

Johan Inger                             dissolve in this, world premiere

dissolve in this is Johan Inger’s first creation since his appointment as regular guest choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater. Although Inger has created dissolve in this for a total of sixteen dancers from Nederlands Dans Theater I and II together, it is not a ‘group piece’. It is the individual that Inger zooms in and out of in his new choreography, to eventually rise above the individual and express collective and universal themes like time, origin and transformation.

 

‘ though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway’ (In praise of shadows, Jun’ichiro Tanizaki)

 

To create dissolve in this, Inger collaborated with Jens Sethzman (set and light design), Urtzi Aranburu (choreographer’s assistant) and dancers Celia Amade, Nina Botkay, Anna Herrmann, Sandra Marin García, Sarah Reynolds, Ema Yuasa, Fernando Hernando Magadan, Iván Perez, Lukáš Timulak, Bastien Zorzetto, Chiaki Horita, Carolina Mancuso, Bryan Arias, César Faria Fernandes, Riley Watts and Spenser Theberge (A cast).

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