Watch the pictures

The Hole

Ohad Naharin The Hole

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

In line with NDT’s site-specific works School of Thought and Spiritwalking, NDT undertakes another project that defies the traditional theatre experience.

The Hole, Ohad Naharin’s masterpiece from 2013 is performed twice per evening, each performance showing a shift in the prominent presence of either the male or the female dancers. Naharin created an intimate setting in which the audience, limited in number, sits on stage and surrounds the dance floor. An ingenious use of the space creates a grand experience for the audience.

Naharin has been connected to NDT for over 30 years and has created for the company several times. This return with The Hole marks a new moment in NDT’s relationship with this master of modern dance.

Watch the pictures of The Hole here.

Performance dates

Season 2017-2018 | February 8 – March 11, 2018
The Hague, Heerlen, Amsterdam

Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes

In this performance

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'The Hole' by Ohad Naharin. Dancers: Meng-ke Wu, Prince Credell.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Choreography: 'The Hole' by Ohad Naharin. Dancer: Meng-ke Wu.

“Dancing is about being in the moment. It is about listening to the scope of sensations and allowing that listening to become the fuel of all feelings, forms and content. Yet, we should always remember where we came from. Going back 30 years, I think of Jiří Kylián. A man whose generosity, talent, wisdom and experience have taught me and touched me in a profound way. NDT became a second home for me and my work. I love coming here, because I rarely meet such a unique combination of the highest level of production quality, extraordinary skill, creative dancers  and great hospitality.

When I created The Hole, I told my team that they should prepare for a work that will never tour, will never leave our studio (where we performed it). It is too complicated production wise, I thought. NDT proved me wrong. They managed what was impossible for us. While working on The Hole with the NDT dancers, I was given a great opportunity to see it in a whole new light: being in a different space and being with hugely talented, creative and generous dancers have created a meaningful process that allows the work to grow. When I am asked what The Hole is about, my

first answer is that the work is about itself; about how all its elements meet to create a collective narrative. A dance narrative, which tells a story of volume, delicacy, the use of explosive power, the research of movement, organization and structure, laughing at ourselves, dynamics, overstatements and understatements, the connection of pleasure and effort, the sublimation of each dancer’s madness, passion and fantasy into a clear form, The Hole is a particular space with its own codes and you are invited into it.”

– Ohad Naharin

After an hour the spectator leaves the building somewhat dizzy. (…) It is, sandwiched between dancers in the front and in the back, an unprecedented physical viewing experience that no one can remain insensitive to.

NRC Handelsblad
about The Hole

The dancers on 'The Hole'

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Aram Hasler.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Jon Bond.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Sarah Reynolds.

“With every new piece we learn it is our responsibility as dancers to embrace the choreographer’s vision. This opens us up to the full potential of the creative experience in learning the piece, which we then combine with our own individuality and experience.

We tap into a different dimension of movement, one that is very distinctive and rich in knowledge. Ohad uses images and visualization to load each movement with uncensored meaning. It is a challenge to get that every day because you have to break your habits to grasp these movements. With Ohad, Rachael and Ian’s guidance we explore new limits of our artistic expression, taking us out of our comfort zones. It is a true joy to see my colleagues go through that experience and gives me courage to look further in my own artistic journey. It really strips out dance to the raw pleasures that inspired me to dance in the first place, I hope the audience will feel the same.”


“It has been an extreme pleasure revisit Ohad’s work once again. His movement language is quite the challenge to master but one that is very welcome. There are so many things to think about besides the actual steps and patterns.

You’re constantly challenging your mind and body to switch from one sensation to another. One second you’re pulling the skin of your stomach to lift your leg the next you’re releasing your pika and stretching your extremities while little explosions are happening inside and many engines are creating all this movement-all while trafficking your way through your fellow colleagues. It’s a constant exploration and I love it.”


“There’s something full circle about this program for me. I had the opportunity to dance Ohad’s work in my time with NDT 2 performing Minus 16 and SPIT.

During that time of
learning and discovery, his work was key in my personal artistic development, I think. Ohad’s work is hugely influential all over the world. Not only for its aesthetic beauty: musicality, flow, groove, power, softness and pleasure, but also because of its integrity. Integrity to the artist/ performer/dancer as well as the audience. It’s all about the movement and exploring what you as an individual can do, like to do, wish to do. The body is the instinctual leader in this sense.

I wish everyone could try Gaga (Ohad’s movement  technique) simply to find a sense of wholeness – excuse the pun! There is something very uniting in finding yourself (your body, your choices) amongst a group of people at close quarters. I believe these performances will be very intimate experiences for us as performers as well as for the audiences, and I am excited and curious to be there as it happens.”

Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Madoka Kariya.
Photo: Rahi Rezvani. Dancer: Cesar Faria Fernandes.

“Since we started working on The Hole, we have had Gaga class about three mornings a week instead of ballet class. These classes help a lot in understanding Ohad’s work and style. It also helps me to understand what is actually happening in my body and my mind while I move.

One day when Ohad was giving us a Gaga class, he told me to let the movement happen inside of me. ‘Don’t think too much, the movement is already in your body’. It is challenging to be in the moment and to not let my mind be in control of everything. Through the Gaga class I find more wonder and more challenge; I have more to discover. I have a very similar feeling when performing The Hole. Through the process I learned to be strong physically, as well as in mind and spirit.”


“In Ohad’s work I feel encouraged to research my inner self, something that is not common in the dance world.

His language of movement has such a unique trait because he gives you tools and with those tools he lets you find yourself in his work. It is a very touching and human experience, and it makes me go back to my childhood; children have a huge imagination, a sense of discovery and a fearless questioning of what is accepted. Through this journey I believe I will get closer to the dancer and person I always wanted to be.”

Programme booklet & Music

Programme booklet (NDT 1 | The Hole)