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Shearing the Wolves

Johan Inger One on One
Sol León & Paul Lightfoot Sleight of Hand
Medhi Walerski AUREUM

The performances in this programme have taken place in season 2015-2016

Shearing the Wolves gathers four choreographers who’s career at NDT had a significant impact on their work and artistic development: Johan Inger, Medhi Walerski and Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. Inger enjoyed his breakthrough as a choreographer in 1995 after a successful dance career at NDT and became associate choreographer in 2009. Walerski, who was a dancer with NDT from 2001 till 2015, made his first ballet for the company in 2008. He will be showing a new creation (AUREUM) after the raging success of Chamber (2012). León and Lightfoot are both former NDT dancers as well, and have been working and creating as a duo for over 25 years.

Watch the pictures of Shearing the Wolves.


Programme order

One on One – Johan Inger
Sleight of Hand – Sol León & Paul Lightfoot
AUREUM – Medhi Walerski

Intermissions: 2

Performance dates

Season 2015-2016 | October 29 – December 20, 2015
The Hague, Den Bosch, Amstelveen, Eindhoven, Tiel, Enschede, Heerlen, Leeuwarden, Arnhem, Gouda, Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Groningen, Alkmaar

In this performance


One on One centralizes the dance between two people and investigates the progression of duets and the evolutionary stages in the relationships they portray. These stages can include 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 uniformity. 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.

Fascinated by the works of Kylián, Johan Inger (Sweden) joined NDT 1 in 1990 where he danced until 2002. Inger made his first choreography for NDT 2 in 1995, followed by many other works. His latest creation B.R.I.S.A. (2014) was a resounding success.

Photo: Joris-Jan Bos. Choreography: 'One on One' by Johan Inger.

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

on One on One
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'Sleight of Hand' by Sol León & Paul Lightfoot. Dancers: Paxton Ricketts, Madoka Kariya.

In 2007, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot made the atmospheric ballet Sleight of Hand for eight dancers for the second company NDT 2. With this piece, the choreographers showed they were going in a new, more theatrical direction. Filled with mysterious drama in a play of light and dark, black cloth walls form the backdrop to two monumentally tall characters that immediately demand authority by their sheer height alone. The stage is ruled by groups pieces and duets, some coming from the pit as if from another world. Using the music of Philip Glass they feed off these hungry maturing spirits to create a dark world full of sinister characters and strange perspectives in time and space.

Sol León (Spain) joined NDT in 1987 where she danced in masterpieces by Jirí Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. In 2012 León was appointed artistic advisor. Paul Lightfoot (England) danced with NDT from 1985 until 2008. Together with Sol León he created over fifty pieces for the company. Lightfoot became artistic director in 2011.


“The caressing grace and appeal of Chopin’s Largo from Sonata no.3, the poetry of the unattainable and the never-ending search for the golden linings of loss. That is the constant journey and sense of wonder towards the unexplored passages of life. What holds us from letting go of what is precious, yet fragile and sentient? How to bridge the gaps between intimate emotions and the obsessive pace of the collective and share what is magic in our mutual, inevitable emptiness? Like pearly foam lacings along the shoreline, like the shimmering mirage in distant horizons, illusions and reality come and go like a timeless pendulum, leaving only a melancholic breath of beauty behind. Sometimes the search for answers seems futile. For there is a bursting life force in every newborn mystery, which needs no naming to become alive. To find freedom in the alchemy of chaos, echoing our thirst for purity as we dive into infinity.” – Medhi Walerski

For his new work Medhi Walerski (France) has chosen Chopin’s music to provide the dramatic sound to his raw and pure creation. A masculine quartet emerges from the entire company while the group moves as a pack of animals, or a f lock of birds. Walerski was a dancer with NDT 1 until last season. In 2013 he was awarded the most important Dutch dance prize VSCD Zwaan for his role in School of Thought (León & Lightfoot). In season 14/15 his critically acclaimed Chamber (2012) was part of the NDT 1 programme Strike Root.

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'AUREUM' by Medhi Walerski.

Programme booklet & Music

Programme booklet (NDT 2 | Shearing the Wolves)