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Digital program book ‘Climb the sky’

Digital program book

Climb the sky


Dear friends,

Welcome to Climb the sky! This new programme features NDT 2 in an exhilarating evening of works by acclaimed choreographers Crystal Pite and Johan Inger and a world premiere by an exciting new voice to NDT, Noé Soulier.

Originally created for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in 2008, Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue marks NDT associate choreographer Crystal Pite’s debut collaboration with NDT 2. In this moving and intimate score for ten duets, Pite portrays fragments of an untold narrative about human relationships and their often complex connections.

Since 2020, Noé Soulier has been the director of the Centre national de danse contemporaine in Anger. Soulier’s work explores how we see, interpret, and incorporate gestures in dance. With his new work About Now, he analyzes and describes different ways to conceive movements that offer multiple approaches to experience the body. We are thrilled to introduce Soulier and his new work created in collaboration with fashion designer Nix Lecourt-Mansion to our NDT audience.

To close the evening, we are delighted to present Johan Inger’s breathtaking Out of Breath, created for the company in 2002. Restaging this work with a new generation of dancers brings a unique perspective to this important work from the NDT canon.

Thank you for joining us tonight. We hope you enjoy the programme!

Emily Molnar
Artistic Director

'About Now' - Noé Soulier. Dancers: Casper Mott, Gabriele Rolle. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue

Crystal Pite

Dancers: Conner Chew, Viola Busi. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Cindy Salgado

Cliff Martinez: High Energy Proton Accelerator, Maybe you’re my puppet, Don’t Blow It, Will She Come Back? Version Titles From “Solaris”/ Score (Twentieth Century Fox Film Music Corporation)

Jim French

Linda Chow

Lydia Bustinduy, Ander Zabala

June 30, 2008, Ceder Lake Contemporary Ballet

March 16, 2023, Amare The Hague

14 minutes

Dancers: Sophie Whittome, Viola Busi. Photo: Rahi Rezvani


Conner Chew
Ricardo Hartley III
Samuel van der Veer
Sophie Whittome
Viola Busi


Barry Gans
Rebecca Speroni
Casper Mott
Demi Bawon
Nova Valkenhoff

“I love the word “rescue”. It captures a whole story in a single word. Similarly, the body can convey narrative through the simplest of actions. For me, this work for Cedar Lake was an act of excavation. After creating the choreography, I searched within it for images that specifically evoked rescue. There are many of them. They exist inside the dancing like fragments of an untold narrative. I suppose the presence of rescue in this work is twofold, as I tried to liberate and expose these images for brief contemplation before releasing them back into the dance: saving and holding one picture of rescue in each of the ten duets.”
– Crystal Pite

Read the choreographer’s biography

Conner Chew about Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue:

“Out reached arms
Softening palms
Her weight falls back into the safety of my hands
A cry for help, only to send it elsewhere

She slips from my hand
to ignite the charge
We cannot touch but let us run together
Three steps, a chase, resilient pressure
Although we never touch, I feel your warmth
Drag me, save me

I am blind yet we still fly
I let you soar to come down
Let me be your pillow

Another release to save
Let us push and pull
Out reached arms
Softening palms”

Conner in 'Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue' with Viola. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Sophie Whittome about Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue:

“Something I’ve found interesting:

Within this piece, the range of rescue has been stretched out and tried on in different sizes… Heroism in miniature, the size of lint removed from a shirt, or at its hugest, enough that a slipped grip sends a person into free-fall.

Equally as compelling has been watching as the stakes gets scrambled (which they’re bound to do). The lint is suddenly heavier than the free fall. As viewers, our minced stakes are uniquely our own, and we make of each rescue what we will.”

Sophie with Samuel in 'Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

About Now

Noé Soulier

Dancer: Barry Gans. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Johan Sebastian Bach by Pierre-Laurent Aimard: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080: Contrapunctus I, II, III, IV, Contrapunctus No. 9 alla Duodecima, No. 20 Fuga a 3 Soggetti (Contrapunctus No. 14) (Deutsche Grammophon/ Universal, Albersen Verhuur  B.V. Den Haag, namens © Peters Edition, Leipzig.)

Victor Burel

Nix Lecourt Mansion

Ander Zabala

March 16, 2023, Amare The Hague

22 minutes

Dancer: Nick Daniels. Photo: Rahi Rezvani


Demi Bawon
Barry Gans
Nick Daniels
Casper Mott
Omani Ormskirk 
Gabriele Rolle
Rui-Ting Yu 

My approach to movement is rooted in practical actions that most of us are familiar with, such as hitting, avoiding or throwing. I insert many distortions that motivate the dancers’ movements without being identifiable by the spectators. These diverted actions capture a poetic dimension of movement that lies beneath discourse and narration. Far from being purely formal, they aim to trigger affects and emotions in both the performers and the audience without having to be part of a narrative structure. 

In About Now, I confront this vocabulary of diverted actions with the steps of classical dance, that can be seen as stylized action verbs: “frappé, fouetté, assemblé… ”. With the dancers of NDT 2, we explored actions present in this classical vocabulary, and thereby delved into the sensual, experiential and affective dimension of this movement language, rather than into its formal geometric structure. 

Ballet is disciplinary, and imposes a formal framework on the body that disregards its natural tendencies and conveys stereotyped gendered norms. The problematic nature of this heritage appears more and more clearly. It is, however, illusory to think that we could completely separate ourselves from this legacy. Instead of denying it, About Now aims to rework its principle guidelines to create a new classic movement language that draws on the richness of this tradition. This way, About Now generates a different relationship to the body, one that is affective and sensual, and that reconfigures the dynamics of power embedded in classical dance.
– Noé Soulier

Read the choreographer’s biography

Rui-Ting Yu about About Now:

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Noé.

We started with improvisation, in which we used a few ballet languages to develop the ideas. To experience it through the body, and to understand what it means for each individual. A task could bring up many possibilities to receive and respond in conversation.

We play with our senses in relationship between people, space, and everything. In the present moment it requires a high awareness. The joy of unknowing and challenge opens our sensitivity. Each choice creates other paths, we’re already in the dialogue by existing.”

Rui in 'About Now' with Casper Mott. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Nick Daniels about About Now:

“Working with Noé began with a lot of improvisation, most of the tasks coming from a classic background. Then for us to reinvent what these ideas mean in our bodies. It creates a playful atmosphere to experiment, transforming something we know and developing a dialogue with it. Trying out different links around the materials. Disassemble, repeat, hang on the edge, and reimagine the framework. Our relationship to space, time, music, and the people around us brings up a lot of new questions. An interconnected channel of communication that holds volume if you stay tuned in. How far the listening can carry you through the work with all the complexities required. It is quite a challenge but a great opportunity to investigate how to stay alive in an active state of response.”

Nick in 'About Now'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

With About Now, choreographer Noé Soulier presents his debut creation with the company. What was his creation process like? In this interview, you learn all about it, as well as his approach to the piece.

Out of Breath

Johan Inger

Dancer: Rui-Ting Yu. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos

Parvaneh Scharafali

Jacob ter Veldhuis: uit: String Quartet Nr. 3 (1994) “There must be some way out of here”  Track 1 : Slow movement (Donemus).
Lajkó Félix (viool) Hongaarse vioolmuziek: Vonósnégyes String Quartet (X-Produkció, Fono records). 

Ellen Ruge – redesigned in 2016 by Tom Visser

Mylla Ek

Lydia Bustinduy

November 14, 2002, Lucent Danstheater The Hague

20 minutes

Dancers: Omani Ormskirk, Ivo Mateus. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos


Rui-Ting Yu
Rebecca Speroni
Omani Ormskirk
Gabriele Rolle
Barry Gans
Ivo Mateus


Demi Bawon
Sophie Whittome
Nova Valkenhoff
Conner Chew
Ricardo Hartley III
Nick Daniels

“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

Read the choreographer’s bio

Ivo Mateus about Out of Breath:

“Slippery form of freedom,
Singular exhale.

Embracing our eyes
Savoring our own textures.

Tearing down the plasticity of humanity.
Picking up courage, facing what’s left.

Black mass, selfishness.
Passion and self.

A lifetime, a place shared with memory
Ecstasy and support.

Togetherness also equals madness.
I am above you and with you at the same time.

Silent screams as a form of understanding communication.

Constantly moving towards disagreement.
Believing in what’s not there.

Six bodies is one.
Physicalizing a timeline.

Commanding. Compressing. Denying. Decaying. Moving away.

While breaking.
We climb towards the Last Breath.”

Ivo in 'Out of Breath' with Omani. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos

Rebecca Speroni about Out of Breath:

“When I think about the piece Out of Breath the first thing that comes to mind is intimacy.

I think this piece has the power to transport you in a second into a world in which you are always in a state of tension but also of hope, from which you do not know how to get out. Although it is about a very deep subject, that is difficult to understand, especially if you have not experienced it in your life, It’s one of those repertoires where it’s impossible to pretend.

Dancing this piece is like stripping all certainty, leaving at the end the pure essence of the individual.”

Dancers: Barry Gans, Rui-Ting Yu, Ivo Mateus and Omani Ormskirk. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos

Photo gallery

'Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue' - Crystal Pite. Dancers: Sophie Whittome, Ricardo Hartley III. Photo: Rahi Rezvani
'About Now' - Noé Soulier. Dancer: Demi Bawon. Photo: Rahi Rezvani
'Out of Breath' - Johan Inger. Danser: Rui-Ting Yu. Foto: Joris-Jan Bos

View more photos in the gallery

Rehearsal trailers