Watch the pictures


Sol León & Paul Lightfoot Some Other Time
Jiří Pokorný Humpback Runner
Out of Breath Johan Inger

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

In light of the Hieronymus Bosch year that marks the 500th anniversary of the medieval painter’s death, this NDT 2 programme offers a tryptic of ballets that are inspired by Bosch’s art and extensive use of symbolism.

Giving a creative opportunity to a young new voice, chorographer Jiří Pokorný is invited to create a piece for the second company (Humpback Runner). In his career so far, Pokorný has already become known for creating elaborate dream worlds. The programme will also show Some Other Time (2014) by house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot with black decor pieces seemingly floating across the stage. Out of Breath (2002) by guest choreographer Johan Inger concludes the evening with a strong symbolic piece centered around a curved white wall as a fortress arising from the ground.

This programme is a co-production with Stichting Jheronimus Bosch 500.

Watch the pictures of Symbolen.

Programme order

Some Other Time – Sol León & Paul Lightfoot
Humpback Runner – Jiří Pokorný
Out of Breath – Johan Inger

Duration: 2 hours, including 2 intermissions

Performance dates

Season 2016-2017 | November 3 – December 22, 2016
The Hague, Tilburg, Amsterdam, Den Bosch, Lelystad, Amersfoort, Eindhoven, Groningen, Zaandam, Arnhem, Utrecht, Maastricht, Alkmaar, Haarlem, Amstelveen, Zwolle, Leeuwarden

In this performance


Some Other Time can be seen as a sequence of haunting reveries of a forgotten play.

These moments of time have no duration as we know it in our reality. No destination nor specific location. They are an array of scenes in our lives that convey messages formed into evocative miniatures of our memory banks.

Postcards sent from our history to our future and back again to the present.

Unlike postcards which arrive to a given address, they are without sender or recipient.

Almost as if they got left behind or maybe stuck in somebody’s dreams along the way.” – Sol León & Paul Lightfoot

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'Some Other Time' by Sol León & Paul Lightfoot. Dancers: Xanthe van Opstal, Clement Haenen.

The vocabulary is brilliant and outspoken, for example when a dancer moves in a technically demanding pose and followed by vibrations pulling through his body as if he lost control completely.

on Some Other Time
Photo: Joris-Jan Bos. Choreography: 'Humpback Runner' by Jiří Pokorný.

“Although Hieronymus Bosch’s work consists of paintings, I see them as pieces of duration, of traveling time. His environments revolved around staging movement in different scenes. This is mostly visible in his triptychs that open like a book that can be read in every possible direction. This particular element inspired me to think about movement and migration in general; a never ending f low of time and space. With the dancers I created specific phrases that exist in separate scenes, highlighted by different types of music. We kept stripping off the literal references in the constructed shapes until we were left with a varnished vocabulary that only hinted at the explicit meaning we started off with. To me, that is very much what symbolism is about; a suggestion for something that evokes multifaceted meanings. I use symbolism as a sign of recognition with which I create an outline, a free structure of the piece. Within this frame that leaves enough space for other creative aspects I usually search for a theme, a bigger idea or direction I want to go in. That’s what I enjoy the most about the symbol; its indirection.” – Jiří Pokorný

Initially, the images and movements force the viewer to immediately focus on the different scenes, later on in the piece, the choreographer allows the viewer to wander in this universe. This gives the returning characters have a life of their own.

on Humpback Runner

“I created Out of Breath during a tumultuous time in my life when the dramatic birth of my daughter brutally sparked the awareness that life can be extremely fragile from the very start. The piece addresses the ever lingering presence of death, how we tend to forget this is part of our daily lives but also how that anxiety is constantly surpassed and transcended by the vibration and passion for life. Out of Breath was made a month after this event and I was still very taken by it so I made this piece where life and death are both present, almost going hand in hand. The curved wall on stage recalls a sunken ship that provides the anchor point for the dancers to dance around. It is counterbalanced by the passionate and spirited music composed by Jacob ter Veldhuis and violinist Lajko Felix.” – Johan Inger

Photo: Joris-Jan Bos. Choreography: 'Out of Breath' by Johan Inger.

In his intelligent choreographic process Inger often delivers a lightness, the gloomy theme of Out of Breath forces him into another direction that as the ballet progresses, comes out ever brighter into the limelight and is ultimately inescapable.

on Out of Breath

The dancers on 'Symbolen'

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Alice Godfrey.
Photo: Joris-Jan Bos. Dancer: Benjamin Behrends.

“For me Out of Breath is the most absolute and vivacious celebration of life and death. Our burning human defiance of its inescapability. There isn’t a moment in the piece that isn’t navigating through the strife of this theme in the most poetic way.

It has been both a challenge and a privilege to explore that, as well as realize the physicality and style which is so specific to Johan Inger. It is something which is thick and rich and so dynamic – A direct reflection of him and his energy in the studio. Everything makes sense when Johan rehearses at NDT, and I always feel like I’m truly dancing when I’m doing his work. It has also been a challenge finding my own breath (no pun intended) in the ballet. My original part was created for Parvaneh Sharafali (NDT 1) many years ago, and adapted a few times since. I am not trying to reproduce something or somebody exactly, but still want to respect the original creation, and live up to that generation’s artistry.”


“I really cherish the time that I get to spend with Jiří in the studio. He creates a very warm atmosphere and gives a lot of space to the dancers to collaborate and explore qualities of movement.

I feel like us dancers have complete freedom when taking on tasks that Jiří would give us to create phrases with. I’ve really enjoyed diving in rehearsals with him to investigate the textures and sensations of different movements. This experience has been so open and I feel Jiří trusts us as artists to offer him ideas, that he then takes and molds into something that’s really pleasurable to dance.”

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Madoka Kariya.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Paxton Ricketts..

“This creation with Jiří started with tasks he gave to dancers to create their own materials with gestures that they use in everyday life. In the beginning he was working with the dancers individually to see each one’s material and guided us to develop our own movement character and quality.

It was such an exciting time for me. It was a challenge to respond to his requests so quickly, yet I never felt under pressure or in a rush working with him in the studio, it felt enjoyable and was such creative time full of discovery! He really took the time to look at everyone’s material in detail. He guided us with such great care until all the dancers felt comfortable in their work. It was a beautiful surprise when we gathered again in the studio and were able to see what everyone had been working on individually. Everyone’s own unique quality came to the surface but it was spiced up by Jiří. I am so happy to have this opportunity to explore this style of movement.”


Some Other Time was created when I first joined NDT 2. It’s a character driven piece of dance that is expansive, both physically and emotionally.

When working on the piece, Paul and Sol focus with you on developing the characters you’re embodying and help you strive for the highest technical qualities in your movement. Now I am in my third season with NDT, as well as my third season of dancing this piece. I have been able to both witness and take part in the development of this work. It’s exciting to be able to investigate a role so deeply, and to be constantly discovering new things in it. Something Paul and Sol have helped me realize is that there’s always room for more in this work. There’s always room to push myself further and to breathe fresh life into what I do.”

Programme booklet & Music

Programme booklet (NDT 2 | Symbolen)