Choreographers

NDT is one of the few dance companies that invites so many choreographers on an annual basis, providing them the opportunity to create new works with a virtuoso modern dance company. It is therefore not surprising that international, award-winning choreographers such as Sharon Eyal and Gai BeharHofesh Shechter and Edward Clug are recurring guests at NDT. In addition, world renowned associate choreographers Marco Goecke and Crystal Pite complete NDT’s repertoire on a regular basis with contemporary masterpieces. The presence of established as well as upcoming choreographers leads to creative cross-pollinations of memorable ballets of the highest quality.

Season 2022-2023

The 2022-2023 season intersects a multiplicity of ideas, perspectives, and styles by some of today’s most passionate, emerging and established voices working in contemporary dance. Below is an overview of all choreographers working with the NDT 1 and NDT 2 dancers this season:

Jiří Kylián

The world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián (Czechoslovakia) was the artistic director of NDT for nearly a quarter century. He remained house choreographer until 2009. Kylián’s exceeding body of work counts 100 creations to date, of which no less than 75 were especially created for NDT. Numerous dance companies and schools around the world frequently perform Kylián’s masterpieces. Kylián has received many prestigious, international awards and honours, among which an election as foreign associate member of the prestigious French Académie des Beaux-Arts, for the newly founded choreography section of the Academy.

With the NDT 1 programme Celebrating an evening with Jiří Kylián!, we celebrate this inspired maker with an evening of three significant works .

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'Toss of a Dice' (2005, photo from 2022). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos

Andrew Skeels

Andrew Skeels is a Montreal-based choreographer. He has created work for the Ballet of the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Cirque du Soleil, TanzTheater International Festival Hannover, Théâtre de Suresnes Jean-Villar, Kansas City Ballet, Festival Quartiers Danses Montréal, Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, WestWave Dance Festival San Francisco, Colorado Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence.

In the 2022-2023 season, Andrew will make his debut as a choreographer at NDT, creating a new creation for NDT 2 in the programme Now here, Now always.

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“Over 20 years ago, as a student at Boston Ballet school I heard about the work of Jiří Kylián and on a whim took a bus to NYC to see NDT 2’s final performance at The Joyce Theatre. Arriving at the theatre hours before the start time, I found the show was already sold out and there was a line around the block of people hopeful for a last minute ticket. I joined the back of the line and befriended a woman in front of me, Catherine, a former dancer then working in publishing in NY. We chatted about my classical ballet studies and how I enjoyed creating my own dances. One by one people were given tickets and almost 2 hours later Catherine reached the box office and was told that her ticket was the last, there were none left. She bought it and turned around and gave it to me and said “Have a wonderful show, I think you need to see this” and left. 

 The generosity of a stranger and the brilliance of NDT shifted, at least internally, the direction of my career at that moment. That performance was the first time that I had been so captivated by contemporary dance. The innovation, complexity, dramatic intention and virtuosity pulled me in and opened my mind for the first time, to what was possible in contemporary dance.

 Many years later, I had just taken the leap out of stable company life into the much riskier role of freelance choreographer. My first big break, a production for the Théâtre de Suresnes in Paris, had been picked up and it was after opening night of the first leg of a 27-city European tour. I came down the stairs into the restaurant of our tour hotel and sat down for breakfast when a man sat at the table next to me. The man was Jiri Kylian. It was like a wink from the fates that at another turning point in my work, (this time an external rather than an internal one) that I was on my correct path.

 To be welcomed to this stage now is an honour and a delight and feels like I’ve come full circle. I hope to be able to share with the young talent of NDT 2 the kind of generosity and inspiration that I experienced when I first saw the company. I hope to be able to share a bit of the magic I felt and that the audience leaves the theatre feeling as inspired as I did over twenty years ago.” – Andrew Skeels

Marco Goecke

In 2013 Marco Goecke (Germany) joined NDT as an associate choreographer. For the company he created many choreographies in this period. His Midnight Raga (2017) earned him the Zwaan for ‘most impressive dance production’. As of season 2019-2020 Goecke leads the ballet direction at State Opera Hannover.

In season 2022-2023, NDT 2 will again stage his The Big Crying (2021) in the programme Now here, Now always, and make his first full-length creation for NDT 1, In the Dutch Mountains.

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'The Big Crying' (2021). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Alexander Ekman

Alexander Ekman (Sweden) began his career as a choreographer when he was still dancing with NDT 2. Before that he danced with the Royal Swedish Ballet and the Cullberg Ballet. For NDT, Ekman created Cacti (2010), Left Right Left Right (2012), Maybe Two (2013), Definitely Two (2013) and FIT (2018), among others. Ekman is an acclaimed choreographer worldwide and created for many other companies, such as the Göteberg Ballet and the Ballet de l’Ópera de Paris.

In the programme Now here, Now always, the NDT 2 dancers once again perform his Cacti.

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'FIT' (2018). Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Crystal Pite

In 2008 Crystal Pite (Canada) joined NDT as an associate choreographer. She is also an associate dance artist with the Canada’s National Arts Centre and Sadler’s Wells, London. For NDT 1 Pite created several pieces, among which Plot Point (2010), Solo Echo (2012), Parade (2013), In the Event (2015), The Statement (2016), Partita for 8 Dancers (2018) and Kunstkamer (2019). In 2002 Pite founded Kidd Pivot, her own company in Vancouver.

As NDT’s associate choreographer, Crystal regularly creates new work. The programme Climb the sky marks her first collaboration with the NDT 2 dancers, for her Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue (2008).

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'Figures in Extinction [1.0]' (2022) in collaboration with Simon McBurney. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Botis Seva

Botis Seva is an Olivier award winning dance artist, choreographer and director working within the realms of hip hop, physical theatre and contemporary dance. Botis’ distinct language has placed him at the forefront of Hip Hop dance theatre in the UK and internationally.

In the 2022-2023 season, Botis Seva will make his debut with the company with a new creation for NDT 2 in the programme Climb the sky.

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Noé Soulier

Born in Paris in 1987, Noé Soulier studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, the National Ballet School of Canada and PARTS in Brussels. Noé Soulier’s work explores choreography and dance in different settings. In July 2020, he became director of the Centre national de danse contemporaine in Angers, a unique institution that combines within a theater a creation center, a contemporary dance school and the programming of a dance season.

Noé makes his debut choreography for NDT in the NDT 2 programme Climb the sky.

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“To me, NDT 2 exemplifies an approach to dance that combines a very strong ballet foundation with a relentless exploration of new approaches to movement. My initial training is in ballet, but until now I have mostly created with dancers who have a contemporary dance background.

Using practical goals diverted from their primary function, I try to create a vocabulary based on the way energy unfolds in the movement. This approach is already present in a very stylized way in the classical vocabulary with steps like the frappé, fouetté, assemblé or battues, but this underground dimension of ballet has been less explored than its geometric architecture by neoclassical and modern dance.

Developing this approach to movement with dancers who are physically familiar with its historical roots can lead to new paths. I am increasingly convinced that the invention of new vocabularies requires the development of new interpretations of those we have inherited.” – Noé Soulier

Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar

Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar (Israel) form an innovative duo in the contemporary danceworld. For NDT 2 they created Sara (2013) and FEELINGS  (2016) and for NDT 1 they created Bedroom Folk (2015) and Salt Womb (2016). In 2013 the duo formed their dance company L-E-V.

In season 2022-2023, Sharon Eyal will work with the NDT 1 dancers on a new creation for the programme Raw are the roots.

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'Sara' (2013, photo from 2019) for NDT 2. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Felix Landerer

During his dance career at the Opera of Hannover, Felix Landerer (Germany) began choreographing. In 2006 Landerer transitioned to working full time as a freelance choreographer and founded his own company LANDERER&COMPANY. He was appointed the house choreographer at Scapino Ballet Rotterdam in 2011. Landerer created for the first time for the company in season 2018-2019, when he made The whys and wherefores are elusive for the NDT 2 dancers.

His new work for the programme Raw are the roots will be Landerer’s debut creation for NDT 1.

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'The whys and wherefores are elusive' (2019). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Ohad Naharin

Batsheva Dance Company Choreographer & Artistic Director Ohad Naharin has been hailed as one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers. As Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company since 1990, he has guided the company with an adventurous artistic vision and reinvigorated its repertory with his captivating choreography. Naharin is also the originator of an innovative movement language, Gaga, which has enriched his extraordinary movement invention, revolutionized the company’s training, and emerged as a growing force in the larger field of movement practices for both dancers and non-dancers.

In season 2022-2023, NDT 1 will once again bring his The Hole, this time to the NDT Blackbox.

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'George & Zalman' (2006, NDT premiere 2020). Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Damien Jalet

Choreographer Damien Jalet (Belgium) creates for companies worldwide, among which les ballets C de la B, Paris Opera Ballet and Gothenburg Dance Company. In his works, Jalet interweaves dance with other arts such as visual art, theatre, fashion and music in a unique way. In 2018, Jalet worked as a choreographer for the movie Suspiria. His debut creation for NDT, Mist, will be shown as a film in the 2021-2022 season and can be seen as a film screening at multiple locations both in the Netherlands and abroad in season 2022-2023.

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'Mist' (2021). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

More NDT choreographers

Choreographers who have worked with NDT in previous seasons can be found below:

Alan Lucien Øyen

Alan Lucien Øyen (Norway) is a rarity within dance and theatre. Graduating in dance from the School of Art in Oslo, Alan works in hybrid forms straddling dance, theater, opera, and film. His works are highly acclaimed both in his home country and abroad.

Alan created his first work for NDT in the 2021-2022 season.

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Marcos Morau

Between Barcelona and New York, Marcos Morau (Spain) studied photography, movement and theatre. He builds worlds and imaginary landscapes where movement and image meet and shallow one another. For over ten years, Marcos runs La Veronal, as director, choreographer, and set, light and wardrobe designer. He’s travelled the world presenting his pieces at festivals, theatres and international contexts.

In the 2021-2022 season, Marcos made his debut creation for the company with the NDT 2 dancers.

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Nadav Zelner

Nadav Zelner (Israel) loved dancing and listening to music as a child and during his high school years he discovered his choreography skills. Over the years Nadav formed a unique dance language and recently he started to developers his own new dance technique of which he wants to make accessible to the world.

His world premiere for NDT 2 in the 2021-2022 season marked Nadav’s debut with NDT.

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William Forsythe

William Forsythe (USA) has been active in the field of choreography for over 50 years. His three decades of work with his ensembles in Frankfurt exerted significant influence upon generations of artists in a wide array of creative practices.

With an initial focus on the organizational underpinnings of academic ballet Forsythe has, since 1991, extended his choreographic discourse into the field of visual arts. Forsythe has been the recipient of numerous awards which include the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale and Der Faust, both for lifetime achievement.

In the 2021-2022 season, NDT 1 brought three of his works back to the NDT stage: N.N.N.N. (2002), Of Any If And (1995), en One Flat Thing, reproduced (2000).

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'One Flat Thing, reproduced'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Marina Mascarell

Marina Mascarell (Spain) is a choreographer based in The Netherlands and Associated Artist at Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona since 2018. In her art the reflections, inquiries and concepts turn into a poetic fight, where thought transforms into corporeality and movement. Marina is interested in a rebellious body characterized by questioning ‘normativity’. In the dancing body as a form of resistance, deeply rooted in a political and social action.

For NDT, Marina created A Hefty Flood (2018) for NDT 2. In season 2021-2022, Marina worked with the dancers of NDT 1 for the first time.

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'A hefty flood' (2018). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Edward Clug

Edward Clug (Romania) debuted with Nederlands Dans Theater with his creation mutual comfort (2015). Other works for the company are Handman (2016) for NDT 2 and Proof (2017) and APERTURE (2019) for NDT 1. Clug is artistic director of the Slovenian Maribor Ballet. His newest creation Cluster for NDT 2 premiered in 2022.

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'APERTURE' (2019). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen (Out Innerspace)

Out Innerspace was founded in 2007 by Tiffany Tregarthen (Canada) and David Raymond (Canada). The choreographer duo is entering their 17th year of collaboration. They create works for Ballet BC (Canada), NDT 2, Hessisches Staats Ballett (Germany) and LUCODA Collective (Luxembourg).

Their new creation for NDT 2 in the 2021-2022 season marked the debut of Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond at NDT.

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Johan Inger

Johan Inger (Sweden) created numerous ballets for the company, for NDT 1, NDT 2 and NDT 3. His repertoire for NDT includes among others: Mellantid (1995), Couple of Moments (1997), Dream Play (2000), Walking Mad (2001), I New Then (2012) and B.R.I.S.A. (2014). One on One (2015) earned him the Benois de la Danse.

His newest creation for NDT 2 is IMPASSE (2020).

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'IMPASSE' (2020). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Gabriela Carrizo

Gabriela Carrizo (Argentina) danced for les ballets C de la B/Alain Platel before founding the Brussels-based collective Peeping Tom in 2000, together with Franck Chartier. Carrizo’s experimental style constitutes a mix between dance and theatre and between the everyday and the mysterious. In 2013 Carrizo created The missing door for NDT 1. In season 2021-2022, she made her latest creation for NDT, La Ruta (2022).

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'The missing door' (2013). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Roy Assaf

Roy Assaf (Israel) works as a freelance choreographer since 2010. Before that, he collaborated as both performer and choreographic assistant with Emanuel Gat from 2003 until 2009. For his work, Assaf received several awards. He created for, among others, Théâtre National de Chaillot, Jacob’s Pillow, The Royal Swedish Ballet and the Batsheva Dance Company.

In season 2021-2022, Assaf created a world premiere for NDT 1 for the first time.

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Tom Weinberger

Tom Weinberger (Israel) danced with the Batsheva Ensemble in and the Batsheva Dance Company, under artistic director Ohad Naharin, among others. In 2012 he became a founding member of L-E-V under Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. Together with the NDT 2 dancers Tom created a new work, specially created for locations outside the traditional theater set-up. Projects like these offer us as a company new perspectives and creative discoveries. In September 2021, the premiere of Tom Weinberger’s work for NDT 2 became reality in the Grote Kerk in Veere.

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'The Most Fascinating Problem In The World'. Photo: Edwin Paree.

Liliana Barros (Portugal) is an independent dancer and choreographer, based in Germany.

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The French-American Emilie Leriche (USA) is dancer and creator, based in Sweden with GöteborgsOperans Danskompani.

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Jermaine Spivey (US) is an independent dancer and choreographer who has danced and worked for various dance companies.

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Bryan Arias

Dancer and choreographer Bryan Arias (Puerto Rico) has created works for dance companies worldwide. His work In frayed edges was presented during Up & Coming choreographers at Nederlands Dans Theater in 2016. In 2013 Arias founded his own ARIAS Company. Arias created his first ever piece for the regular programming of NDT 2 in season 2018-2019, Epoch.

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'In Frayed Eyes' (2016). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Dimo Milev

Dimo Milev (Bulgaria) studied at the National Ballet School of Sofia. He has danced works by William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek, Wim Vandekeybus and Jiří Kylián for various dance companies, among which Compañia Nacional de Danza. Since 2009, he works as a freelance dancer and choreographer. Milev made a new creation for NDT 2 for the first time in Up & Coming Choreographers in 2019, and his first work for the regular programming of NDT 2 premiered in 2020: Fusions and some confusions.

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'Arpeggios, flowers and some manoeuvres' (2019). Photo: Linda Zhengová

Franck Chartier

Choreographer Franck Chartier (France) founded the Brussels-based collective Peeping Tom in 2000, together with Gabriela Carrizo. Since then Peeping Tom has become a nationally and internationally acclaimed dance theatre company. In line with Carrizo’s work The missing door (2013) Chartier created the critically acclaimed choreography The lost room in 2015. In season 2017-2018 the trilogy was completed by a third work, called The hidden floor.

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'The hidden floor' (2018). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Hans van Manen

The Dutch maestro of dance and world famous choreographer Hans van Manen has been involved with NDT since it was founded in 1959: as a dancer (until 1963), choreographer, and as artistic director from 1961 until 1970. From 1988 to 2003 he was NDT’s house choreographer. Currently he holds the position of resident choreographer with Dutch National Ballet. His exceptionally rich oeuvre counts more than 120 ballets, of which more than half were created for NDT. Van Manen’s important influence on dance is recognized, both nationally and internationally. Among which by appointing him with the Golden Medal for Art and Science in the House Order of Orange in 2018, which was awarded to him by the Dutch King Willem-Alexander.

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'Short Cut' (1999). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Hofesh Shechter

Hofesh Shechter (Israel) is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in London. In 2008, he founded the international touring Hofesh Shechter Company. In season 2013-2014, NDT 1 presented his work for the first time in the double bill Uprising/Your Rooms (2009). After that, he created Clowns (2016),VLADIMIR (2018) and From England with Love (2021) for the dancers of NDT 1.

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'Clowns' (2016). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Ihsan Rustem

Ihsan Rustem (London) was educated at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and started his professional career at the age of 17. For NDT, Ihsan created A Tale of Impermanence for NDT 2 during Up & Coming Choreographers in 2018-2019 season.

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Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal

Siblings Imre van Opstal and Marne van Opstal (The Netherlands) – both former NDT dancers – debuted with their creation LiNK for the talent development programme Up & Coming Choreographers in 2014. After that the created multiple works for NDT: for Up & Coming Choreographers 2015 they made the work John Doe and season 2016-2017 marked their choreographic debut for the regular programme of NDT 2 with The Grey (2017). They created their highly praised first work for NDT 1, Take Root (2019), in season 2018-2019, which was awarded with a nomination for a Dutch ‘Zwaan’ for ‘most impressive dance production’. In 2020, both decided to fully focus on choreography. For NDT 1, they then created Baby don’t hurt me in 2021.

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'Take Root' (2019). Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Jiří Pokorný

The most recent piece that former NDT dancer Jiří Pokorný (Prague, 1981) created for NDT 2 is Humpback Runner which premiered in season 2016-2017. Earlier he created A Honeydew Hunt (2015) for the company. In season 13/14 Pokorný worked with NDT 2 dancers in the talent development programme Up & Coming Choreographers and created the piece Trivial Friend. In 2010 he made his first larger work Dead Nature for the students of the NDT Summer Intensive.

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'A Honeydew Hunt' (2015). Foto: Joris-Jan Bos.

Juliano Nunes

Juliano Nunes was born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1990. He studied at the Academy of Dance at the University of Performing Arts in Mannheim (Germany) and performed in several companies. In season 2018-2019, he created Mirros of Life for NDT 2’s Up & Coming Choreographers.

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Medhi Walerski

During his dance career with NDT, Medhi Walerski (France) started choreographing. In 2013, he received the the Swan for the most impressive dance performance 2013 for his role in School of Thought  (León & Lightfoot). With Mammatus (2008) for NDT 2, Walerski made his official debut as a choreographer. He then created several ballets for NDT 1 and NDT 2.

Since season 2020-2021, Medhi Walerski is artistic director of Ballet BC in Vancouver, Canada.

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'SWAY' (2019) for NDT 2. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Sol León

Sol León (Spain) joined NDT 2 after graduating from the National Ballet Academy of Madrid in 1987. Two years later she joined NDT 1 and danced in masterpieces of Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. León continued to dance up until 2003, when she decided to fully devote herself to choreography, together with Paul Lightfoot. From 2012 until 2020 León was Artistic Advisor of NDT.

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Paul Lightfoot

Paul Lightfoot (England) joined Nederlands Dans Theater in 1985, starting as a dancer with NDT 2. Two years later Lightfoot joined NDT 1, where he danced until 2008. During his dancing career, he started choreographing together with Sol León. From September 2011 until August 2020 he also was Artistic Director of the company.

León and Lightfoot have been a choreographer’s duo since 1989 and together they have created more than fifty pieces for the company, for which they received prestigious awards. In 2002 León and Lightfoot were appointed house choreographers for NDT, a position they held until August 2020.

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Philip Chbeeb

As a choreographer and freestyler Phillip Chbeeb (Unites States, 1988) has collaborated with numerous American celebrities. Chbeeb performed in various TV shows, such as So You Think You Can Dance and MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. He also danced and choreographed for a wide array of films and video clips, all expressing his true passion for the art of Hip-Hop. In season 2018-2019, Chbeeb worked with Nederlands Dans Theater for the very first time . He created The Reunion of I for the NDT 2 dancers.

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Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Yoann Bourgeois

Acrobat, actor, juggler, dancer,  choreographer, Yoann Bourgeois (France) is first and foremost a player. He founded his Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois in 2010. His works strongly depict Bourgeois’ fascination with gravity, often through installations that defy the forces of physical strength. In 2016, Bourgeois became codirector of the CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble. In the 2019-2020 season, Bourgeois created his first piece for the company called Little song for the dancers of NDT 2. A year later in the 2020-2021 season, he created his first piece for NDT 1, I wonder where the dreamsI don’t remember go.

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'Little song' (2019). Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Google Arts & Culture

NDT is very pleased to be able to look back on its rich existence with you, our audience. For the past two years, we have been working on preserving and digitizing the image archive. In the fall of 2019, this material was festively presented on the occasion of NDT’s sixtieth anniversary. Large parts of the archive can be found on Google Arts & Culture, which is free to the public.