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Artistic director Jim Vincent launches third pillar under Nederlands Dans Theater

01 Apr 2010

Nederlands Dans Theater’s artistic director Jim Vincent will build a third pillar under Nederlands Dans Theater in the 2010-2011 season. It is not going to be a distinct dance company like Nederlands Dans Theater I or II, but a constantly changing concept group. This group is to expose dance as a ‘movement medium’ to other influences, such as architecture, science, technology or medicine. Money for the new pillar will come from the Kylián Fund for Innovative Collaboration, which was founded in October 2009 and has a  total budget of €150,000 for three years.

Jim Vincent announced all this on 31 March during the official presentation of the season.

Vincent on his vision of the new pillar: ‘I think Nederlands Dans Theater owes it to itself to keep stimulating, investigating and developing itself as a company, and ‘dance’ as an art form. This applies to the collective, but also to the individual artists within Nederlands Dans Theater. It’s a mentality that is basic to our company and we should stay loyal to this. I’m convinced that we have not yet discovered everything that can be discovered in dance, that we can reach further. Yet I think that ‘dance’ in itself is restricted because of the playing field it has locked itself in. We could break out of that if we allow the outside world to mix with dance. So it’s vital that dance also exposes itself to outside influences. The concept group we are going to form should expose dance as a ‘movement medium’ to other influences. This could be anything. Architecture, science, technology, medicine, design, anything. It is actually a pillar that has an important place in any other business: research and development.’

This summer there will be a call for proposals for the first concept group, which should deliver a first result in the spring of 2011. Artists and other professionals of various disciplines can put forth proposals for the concept group, which will be assessed by a selection committee yet to be formed. The resources for the concept group from the Kylián Fund for Innovative Collaboration will be extended by sponsoring.

Nederlands Dans Theater II: the place for cultivating new talent

Apart from the new pillar, Vincent announced more measures that should help the company set a different course. Resident choreographers Paul Lightfoot and Sol León will from now on create only for Nederlands Dans Theater I, just like associate choreographers Crystal Pite and Johan Inger. What Vincent wants to achieve with this is for Nederlands Dans Theater I to distinguish itself more from the junior group Nederlands Dans Theater II. This latter group will be the place where young dance makers will create their work, where the latest names can be seen. Vincent wants the junior group to be an even more explicit breeding ground for various young artists and new talent. In the oncoming season, therefore, talent from our own ranks will be given a chance to make new work for Nederlands Dans Theater II: Alejandro Cerrudo, Fernando Hernando Magadan, Iván Pérez and Lukáš Timulak.



A bridge to the public

A third mission for Vincent is to seek more connection with the public. In the new campaign of Nederlands Dans Theater, photographed by Rahi Rezvani, this mission is visualised with photos of dancers literally blending with non-dancers. Vincent says the images symbolise how dance can connect with society: ‘It is not about the dancer in contrast with the non-dancer, but more about the equality of two people. It is about people expressing themselves, each in their own way. And that is where the connection is between dance and society, between us and our audience. The audience in the theatre speak the same language as the artists on the stage.’

Combined with the campaign photographs, the titles of the programmes (like ‘Retouch’, ‘Unleash’ and ‘Transform’) should evoke associations in the audience, and combined with the special programming this should result in a total experience, according to Vincent.

Collaboration with The Hague Philharmonic

In 2011 The Hague Philharmonic will mark the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s death with the project ‘Mahler in The Hague’. The Hague Philharmonic will focus attention on Mahler’s songs and in three concerts will explore the influence his songs had on his symphonies. The highlight of this tribute will be a collaboration between The Hague Philharmonic (conductor Neeme Järvi), the young Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill  and Nederlands Dans Theater II  in Songs of a Wayfarer, a danced version of ‘Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen’ choreographed by Ji??í Kylián.

Tours abroad

In addition to its performances at home, Nederlands Dans Theater presents some sixty performances a year abroad. In the oncoming season, too, the company will cross frontiers. After its focus on Europe in the jubilee season 2009-2010, the company will once again go ‘overseas’ as well as ‘European’, with shows in Brasil, North and South America and Australia (where the company will be back after an absence of ten years).  

Dancers coming back

From the 2010-2011 season the following dancers will come back to Nederlands Dans Theater: Medhi Walerski, Parvaneh Scharafali and Anton Valdbauer.

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