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Scenic Route

Sol León & Paul Lightfoot Silent Screen
Sol León & Paul Lightfoot Singulière Odyssée

The performances in this programme have taken place in season 2016-2017.

Scenic Route, the third programme by NDT 1, presents two works by house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, showcasing the incredible artistic range by this choreographic duo and their dancers.

The evening consists of two halves, a
world premiere (Singulière Odyssée) and Silent Screen (2005), that reflect and juxtapose each other. For the new creation, long time collaborator Max Richter will compose a new piece. The second work, Silent Screen, can be seen as the epitome of a transdisciplinary performance where dance, theatre, film and music effortlessly come together to melt into a painterly Gesamtkunstwerk. Here, León and Lightfoot’s other longtime creative partnership with Philip Glass is highlighted, who will turn 80 years old in 2017. With that, Scenic Route acts as a nod of recognition to both these composers that have played an important role in León and Lightfoot’s careers from the beginning. The music will be performed live by Het Balletorkest in The Hague and Amsterdam.

Watch the pictures of Scenic Route.

Programme order

Silent Screen – Sol León & Paul Lightfoot
Singulière Odyssée – Sol León & Paul Lightfoot

Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes, including 1 intermission

Performance dates

Season 2016-2017 | February 2 – April 8, 2017
The Hague, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Enschede, Heerlen, Arnhem, Utrecht, Leeuwarden, Zwolle

In this performance

“We are honored to welcome you to Scenic Route, a full evening of our work. Though Silent Screen and the new work differ over a decade in the moment of their creation, they both show a combination of symbols and reflections, of transition, time and space, which have served as our main inspirations during the course of our career.

To you, our audience, Scenic Route can be seen as a voyage that can be interpreted and observed freely. As choreographers we are very much aware of how the predominance of travel, of moving and of living in an everlasting state of f lux has carried through the DNA of our times. Scenic Route is an effort in responding to those matters in ways we know best: through choreography.

With each and every piece, we consider ourselves extremely lucky that we get to work with such formidable artists: the dancers, but also our production team and technical crew, light designer Tom Bevoort, the costume atelier run by Joke Visser and Hermien Hollander, repetitors Lorraine Blouin, Anders Hellström and Ander Zabala, are truly the performers without whom creating magic would simply not be possible.

This list would most definitely not be complete without our long time collaborators Philip Glass and Max Richter. Philip, who is turning 80 this year, is a true phenomenon and pioneer in the field of modern music. We have been extremely fortunate to get to work with his music on multiple occasions. Since 2003, his nostalgic worlds infused with longing to a time and moment that never was, have been a guiding force and massive wave of creativity for us in developing our choreographic signature.

For the new work, Singulière Odyssée, the music has been especially composed by none other than Max Richter. Max’s music has also been of great importance to us in the last years and his newest creation Exiles is no exception. We couldn’t imagine a better way to musically balance these two diverse yet connected worlds.

Scenic Route is dedicated to our colleague and dear friend Gérard Lemaître, whose own departure occurred during this creative period and his memory reminds us of how one can make any journey into a beautiful adventure.

We truly hope you enjoy this evening together with us and the entire company.” – Sol León & Paul Lightfoot


Silent Screen by NDT house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot can be seen as the epitome of a transdisciplinary performance where dance, theatre, film and music effortlessly come together to melt into a painterly Gesamtkunstwerk.  Large screens offer a lively background of images that flow into each other as if in a dream. For 45 breathtaking minutes, Silent Screen shuttles between pure stillness and utter panic, reinforced by Philip Glass’ familiar cinematic music Glassworks.

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'Silent Screen' by Sol León & Paul Lightfoot.

Silent Screen is a rare compelling ballet in which all characteristic León & Lightfoot ingredients are combined into…well, call it an “insurmountable piece of art’… This masterpiece will inevitably touch your soul.

on Silent Screen
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'Singulière Odyssée' by Sol León & Paul Lightfoot. Dancers: Chloé Albaret, César Faria Fernandes.

Singulière Odyssée by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot is symbolic of the choreographers’ awareness of how the predominance of travel, of moving and of living in an everlasting state of flux has carried through the DNA of our times. The piece is set in a train station based on the art deco waiting room of Basel’s Central Station. Dancers come and go as passersby in transit with the exception of one character who lingers in waiting and watches travelers go by and come back, in a moment frozen in time. For this piece, the music, titled Exiles, has been especially composed by none other than Max Richter.

Wonderful how a series of upright piano chords, subtle and restrained, with stately percussion grows into a ceremonial train journey through an imaginary landscape. While the clock in the station doesn’t even jump a second: here the travel history of many flows into a single moment.

de Volkskrant
on Singulière Odyssée

Composers on 'Scenic Route'

Philip Glass
Max Richter

American composer Philip Glass (1937) has become renowned for his musical style that has widely been dubbed ‘minimalism’. However, Glass himself never appreciated the term and gave preference to speak of himself as a composer of ‘music with repetitive structures’. In the past 25 years alone, Glass has composed more than twenty operas; ten symphonies; two piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; string quartets; soundtracks to films, including Oscar winning The Hours, and a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. His operas, symphonies, and compositions have been executed with a wide range of collaborators including artists such as chorographer Twyla Tharp, poet Allen Ginsberg, filmmaker Woody Allen, and musician David Bowie. It is safe to say that Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times and has reshaped the definition of modern classical music.

“Composing is a way to talk about the things I care about, so when Sol and Paul asked me to write a new composition for them I immediately began to think about subject matter; what exactly should a new work made in Europe in 2017 talk about?

Reflecting on contemporary society I decided to make a work on the universal subject of journeys: our life is defined by our movement forward through time, and we map our physical world by journeying through it. Many of us are lucky enough to be able to influence where we are going, but for an increasing number of people there are very few choices: the physical journey is a necessity in order for the journey forward through time to continue at all. Exiles takes a simple musical line for a long trip. The piano and mallet instruments playing this material are surrounded by varying landscapes of orchestral string texture. The music is subjected to all sorts of transformative processes along the way: every journey leaves its mark.” – Max Richter

The dancers on Scenic Route'

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Roger Van der Poel.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Jorge Nozal.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Sarah Reynolds.

“This new piece by Sol and Paul marks our 10th creation together since I landed in NDT. I have had the pleasure to work closely with the two of them for the past eleven years and performed in approximately twenty different pieces of theirs so far!

Naturally, our relationship has developed through the years to a point where we trust each other as artists, professionals, and friends which makes our work process feel like second nature to me. The result of their constant perfectionism and intensity shows in each of their works, and that is something beautiful to be a part of.”


Silent Screen was the first new creation that I worked on with Sol and Paul during my first season with NDT. It’s an emotionally coded work, with difficult techniques and fast pace movements that require a very demanding stage presence.

During the time of its creation, Silent Screen was like a jump into the wild ocean for me. I still vividly remember how aware I was of the amount of responsibility that I had, and the intense desire to make it happen.”


“When I think of Silent Screen I think of storytelling. In all its many shapes and forms, storytelling has always been a means of conveying a message, a moral or magic.

I believe Sol and Paul were very inspired by silent movies for this work in particular; how artists portrayed their role through the eyes, the breath, a physicality. There being no words nor dialogue left space for the body to be the storytelling vessel.”

Programme booklet

Programme booklet (NDT 1 | Scenic Route)