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 2021-2022

In season 2021-2022 NDT will engage in deepening its relationships with longtime collaborators such as Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke and William Forsythe, but it will also be presenting a wide range of new dance makers to the company. Below is an overview of all choreographers working with the NDT 1 and NDT 2 dancers this season:

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 will make his first work for NDT in the 2021-2022 season.

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Alan Lucien Øyen about the 2021-2022 season:
“It’s a big honour for me to be invited to create a work for legendary NDT. (I wish I could go back in time and whisper it to my younger self. He would not have believed me.)
As an artist today, I constantly oscillate between work with actors and work with dancers, and sometimes juxtapose the two. 

Searching for an exaggerated performative expression, I this time wish to take outset in the concept of “Death”, and look at its symbols and rituals, as well as the fear and terror we attribute it with. This as a starting point for an open exploration together with the skilled movers of NDT. 

I’m eager to challenge the dancers to work with acting, to explore words through writing, as well as engage physically with text through their own movements.

I always try to engage directly with the person behind the artist and with their own history, this very much affects the outcome of the creation. I’m therefore very curious to see my own work develop within the NDT cannon, knowing there is a lot of knowledge for me to discover and to learn from.

Ideally the process of creating together will leave both NDT and myself somewhat changed. I certainly hope so. I can’t wait to get started.” 

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 the 2021-2022 season, Sharon Eyal will collaborate with the NDT 1 dancers on a renewed version of Bedroom Folk, a ballet she created for the company in 2015.

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

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 will make his debut creation for the company with the NDT 2 dancers.

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Marcos Morau about his debut creation for NDT 2:
“The idea of the choreographic work is a visual and sound landscape that refers to us to a ritual, a celebration of men and women in front of nature. Facing the human being of the 21st century to look back in history and get lost in a pagan forest, full of enigmas and incredible situations that will shake the foundations of a civilization and a society built without affection, lost and confused.”

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 marks Nadav’s debut with NDT.

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Looking ahead to the 2021-2022 season, Nadav Zelner says:
“This is my first collaboration with NDT 2. I’m excited to meet new people, to create new fantasy and to be part of this wonderful legendary company.

As a choreographer I’m always searching for the ultimate dancers which can bring to life multiple worlds at the same moment, as I mostly require. 

Looking forward to start this journey and welcoming you all to come and join us.”

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 will bring 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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'Say Bye-Bye' (1980), Forsythes first creation for NDT. Photo: Jorge Fatauros.

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.

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

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.

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'Bella Figura' (1995, photo from 2020). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos

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.

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Marco Goecke will create new work with the NDT 1 dancers in the 2021-2022 season:
“I can’t wait to be back in Den Haag, NDT is my second home, the dancers know immediately what I am looking for and once again we will create our own universe”.

'The Big Crying' (2021). 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 will work with the dancers of NDT 1 for the first time.

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Marina Mascarell about season 2021-2022:
what you want to bring to it and what you think you will bring back with you. They are curious to see how our collaboration will support the development of us as a company and yourself as an artist

The collaboration with Nederlands Dans Theater is an opportunity to broaden up Marina’s experience as a contemporary dance artist. It will be the first time she will work directly with an orchestra. This is possible under the umbrella of an institution like NDT who can facilitate this exchange. […]
Marina is a creator who’s focus is in the process. She challenges movement through a somatic practice she has developed through the years, in which is essential to continuously deconstruct oneself movement approach recognising patrons in order to overcome them, questioning choices to find the ‘true-self’ or other ways of being. […]
The dancers of NDT will go through a process of personal artistic discovery, as artist/creators. The framework of her work will allow them to explore subjects that interest them in relation to the work. A process that will resonate in future projects.

'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.

This 2021-2022 season, Clug returns to create a new work for NDT 2

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'mutual comfort' (2015). Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

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 marks 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, IMPASSE (2020), will be performed again in season 2021-2022.

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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.

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In the 2021-2022 season, Carrizo will create a new work for NDT 1 again:
“I’m amazed that it has already been eight years since we created The Missing Door with NDT 1. It still feels like yesterday, the moment I first discovered those characters and personalities that I encountered there. Now I have the privilege to see some of them back in 2022 as well as to meet new people, to start a new creative, artistic and human collaboration. I’m very happy to embark on this new adventure together.”

'The missing door' (2013). 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, and in the 2021-2022 season she will create a world premiere for NDT 1 again.

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'The Other You' (2010). Photo from 2020: 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.

Assaf, a new face to the company, will create a world premiere for NDT 1 this season.

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Roy Assaf about his debut creation for NDT:
“I never know, when I begin to make a piece, what it is about. Although I look for inspiration and ideas before entering the studio, I always find, as if for the first time, that they come when I meet the ones with whom I share the studio. The act of making a dance is first of all an act of creating a safe, generous, open-hearted environment where all collaborators feel free and totally engaged– more than that, where they feel proud to share their creative ideas, opinions, and interpretations, where they allow themselves to reveal their fears, vulnerabilities and fantasies. The act of making a dance is the act of building trust and building a certain kind of environment where there are no limits to the ways we can express ourselves, no sacred cows we cannot kick or sensitive issues we cannot confront and embrace.”

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 will become reality in the Grote Kerk in Veere.

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'The Most Fascinating Problem In The World'. Dancers: Ivo Mateus, Kele Roberson, Auguste Palayer. Photo: Milena Twiehaus / OFFprojects
'The Most Fascinating Problem In The World'. Dancer: Auguste Palayer. On the floor: Tom Weinberger. Photo: Milena Twiehaus / OFFprojects

Up & Coming Choreographers

In June and July 2022, NDT and Korzo will present Up & Coming Choreographers. The following choreographers will make new creations with NDT 2:

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

In season 2021-2022, Liliana will create for NDT for the first time during Up & Coming Choreographers.

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

The creation for Up & Coming Choreographers marks Emilie’s debut with NDT.

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

His debut creation for NDT will premiere during Up & Coming Choreographers.

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More NDT choreographers

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

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.

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'FIT' (2018). Photo: Rahi Rezvani

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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'George & Zalman' (2006, NDT premiere 2020). 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.