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Marco Goecke Wir sagen uns Dunkles
Johan Inger One on One
Alexander Ekman Cacti

The performances in this programme have taken place in season 2017-2018.

As the title suggests, the music of virtuoso Franz Schubert predominates in this first NDT 2 programme. Besides the poetic duets in One on One (2015) by Johan Inger and the energetic teamwork in Alexander Ekman’s Cacti (2010) NDT treats the audience to a world premiere by associate choreographer Marco Goecke (Wir sagen uns Dunkles). Schubert will be accompanied live by Het Balletorkest.

In Cacti choreographer and selfproclaimed ‘rhythm freak’ Alexander Ekman used classical music for the first time; a new arrangement of Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen, in which the dancers form the instruments of the orchestra.

Inger chose to make One on One on Franz Schubert’s Impromptus and 21st Sonata. These scores are considered the composer’s last great piano compositions. One on One earned Inger the prestigious 2016 Benois de la Danse award.

Finally, Marco Goecke will create a new piece for the young NDT 2 dancers (Wir sagen uns Dunkles). With his particular, frenetic movement language, Goecke is one of the world’s most sought-after choreographers.

Watch the photo’s of Schubert here.

Programma order

Wir sagen uns Dunkles – Marco Goecke
One on One – Johan Inger
Cacti – Alexander Ekman

Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes, including 2 intermissions

Performance dates

Seizoen 2017-2018 | November 4 – December 22, 2017
Den Haag, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, Den Bosch, Amersfoort, Dordrecht, Arnhem, Enschede, Gouda, Tilburg, Venlo, Amstelveen, Leeuwarden, Alkmaar

In this performance


Marco Goecke’s new creation for NDT 2 begins with encounters in the studio between the choreographer and the dancers. Their meetings appear unimportant, yet simultaneously they are more important than anything else; young, naughty and evil, playful and punky. “Today, my feelings belong to the dancers, more than ever before”, says Goecke. A blink of the eye, a glance, a seemingly f leeting gesture. Just a moment or a story? What remains is a tear on an eyelash that is fanned away. How do we get closer? A butterfly that remains a second before it f lies away. The sounds of Schubert and Schnittke meet those of Placebo, The Swan Song and Song To Say Goodbye. Then there are the rattling pants, its sound interfering with the music. Goecke: “The dancers understand me immediately. There is no limit, they want to be challenged.” They move fast, virtuoso, gesticulate in peculiar ways, unconscious yet self assured, and – whether solo, in a pas de deux or larger group – they communicate in Goecke’s language, as if they had never learned another. Darkness Spoken, without words. – Nadja Kadel

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'Wir sagen uns Dunkles' by Marco Goecke. Dancer: Guido Dutilh.

Limbs move back and forth so fast that the viewer’s eye can hardly keep up. And the exact implementation always makes an indelible impression.

de Volkskrant
over Wir sagen uns Dunkles
Photo: Joris-Jan Bos. Choreography: 'One on One' by Johan Inger.

One on One centralizes the dance between two people and investigates the evolutionary stages in relationships: the exploration and sensing of two bodies, their meeting and touching when coming together or the collapse that occurs through the small cracks in their partnership. Inger chose to make the piece on Franz Schubert’s Impromptus and 21st Sonata. These tender scores were written during the composer’s final years of his life, and count as one of his last major compositions for the piano. Schubert was ostensibly incapable of maintaining a romantic relationship, something he pursued until the day he died. For Inger, this longing is inherent to the composer’s music and symbolizes the prevalent desire in this ballet. With One on One Inger won the 2016 Benois de la Danse for best choreographer.

One on One is well constructed, but at times it is a bit safer than we are used to from Inger.

over One on One

Over ten years ago, choreographer Alexander Ekman decided to solely  create works that offer a great amount of humor, as well as a critical note. With Cacti (2010) Ekman amusingly challenges the audience to reflect on modern dance as a higher art form. Sixteen dancers stand, seemingly trapped, on oversized Scrabble tiles. They run, fall, writhe and try to escape their invisible prisons. Eventually they each acquire a cactus. But what does it all mean? Cacti is a gleeful parody of the art form’s greater excesses. A string quartet performs the music by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert live on stage, while the dancers become the instruments of the orchestra, resulting in a rhythmical ensemble. In 2010 Cacti was nominated for a Swan Award for
‘most impressive dance production’.

Photo: Joris-Jan Bos. Choreography: 'Cacti' by Alexander Ekman.

In a disarming way Ekman kicks against a number of sacred values of contemporary dance.

over Cacti

The dancers on 'Schubert'

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Fay van Baar.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Miguel Duarte.

“I think of Marco as the Wizard of Choreography. In rehearsals, he turns off the lights, wears dark sunglasses, and brings along his little dog. In one of my first rehearsals with him, he said: “All these steps are boring, but if you put them together and speed them up, they become interesting.”

That’s the magic of Marco’s method: the final work of art is far more interesting than the individual motions alone. The dancers must be completely mentally present to translate his ideas into movements. Because of Marco’s style, the studio becomes its own world during rehearsals, and it’s easy to forget about everything outside of it. Every so often the dog will bark, which makes me jump out of that zone for a moment.”


“Marco’s intuitive, emotional response to the music, the light, the space and the people around him are an inherent component and influence in his act of creating. Each idea has a precedent. I consider this trust in one’s own emotional interpretation to be the origin of a powerful, authentic work. It
is, as well, of my understanding, that Marco recognizes art as a potential incubator for ecstatic experiences.

For several moments in the studio, during the creation process, I felt the anxious, erratic character imbedded in the work, leading the group to a collective transcendence experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share such an intimate space with Marco Goecke.”

Programme booklet & Music

Programme booklet (NDT 2 | Schubert)