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Digital program book ‘Traces left within’

Welcome to 'Traces left within'

Dear audience,

Welcome to Traces left within by NDT 1!  We are delighted to be opening the eighteenth Holland Dance Festival with the premiere of this programme on February 3.

It continues to be a complex time for the world and the performing arts. A year ago, who would have imagined the pandemic would continue to challenge our daily existence to such a degree. It has been inspiring to see how artists and arts organizations around the world have adapted to the difficulty with courage and creativity, including NDT, where the resilience and generosity of our members and collaborators has been incredibly moving to witness. As a company, we are grateful that we can continue to bring our art to the stage and into your homes via our digital theatre and that you, our audience, continue to be there with us with support and interest. Instead of asking when we will be back to where we were, we are using this moment to focus on the possibilities the time brings and how they can shape our future.

Traces left within presents a return of Jiří Kylián’s exquisite Toss of a Dice (2005) and two world premieres by Marina Mascarell and Marco Goecke. The programme is a collection of distinct works that find a connection in their authenticity and uninhibited approach. It has been a pleasure and privilege for us to work with these remarkable makers and to dive into their poetic imaginations. With each step, we have been invigorated to learn and discover.

We are proud of the work, care and support that has been poured into this program. A very special thank you to Jiří, Marina and Marco, to our wonderful collaborators and our dedicated team at NDT.

Thank you for joining us tonight. It is a pleasure to have you with us!

Emily Molnar
Artistic Director

'How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled' (2022) by Marina Mascarell. Dancers: Tess Voelker, Jon Bond, Paxton Ricketts, Nicole Ishimaru, Boston Gallacher, Lea Ved, Donnie Duncan Jr., Conner Bormann. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Toss of a Dice

Dancers: Yukino Takaura, Scott Fowler, Thalia Crymble, Chuck Jones. Photo (2022): Joris-Jan Bos.
Choreography by JIřÍ KYLIÁN

Dedicated to Walter Nobbe

Lorraine Blouin, Ken Ossala

Composition by Dirk Haubrich

Aurélie Cayla, poem by Mallarmé, Un coup de dés

Kees Tjebbes

Jiří Kylián

Susumu Shingu

Joke Visser

Tamako Akiyama

April 28, 2005 Lucent Danstheater The Hague

28 minutes

César Faria Fernandes, Yukino Takaura, Thalia Crymble, Scott Fowler, Chuck Jones, Aram Hasler, Charlie Skuy, Nicole Ward, Chloé Albaret, Madoka Kariya, Jianhui Wang, Theophilus Veselý, Amanda Mortimore, Luca Tessarini, Alexander Andison

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Dancer: Aram Hasler. Photo (2022): Joris-Jan Bos.

“Many components of this work are as unstable and unpredictable as the poem “Toss of a dice” by Stéphane Mallarmé (“Un Coup de Dés”) which was my major source of inspiration.  The poem was written in 1897 and it is remarkable in every way. It is a unique and visual poem using seemingly unrelated words and ideas, blank spaces and different lettertypes. It introduces completely new literary aspects and can be read in every direction the reader wishes: from top to bottom or vice-versa, sideways or in any other way. It has a very specific rhythm and musicality and its meaning gives endless possibilities of interpretation. And in fact, it is a riddle in itself. I cannot pretend to understand it, but somehow it touches me deeply.

The moving sculpture by Susumu Shingu is just as unpredictable. Susumu and I decided that the sculpture should have two major qualities: danger and playfulness. It is ironic because eventhough it is a moving sculpture, it moves only because of other forces influencing it.

The music by Dirk Haubrich is based on the sound of one single drop of water. This small drop causes a barely audible sound and creates a tiny “tsunami”. But since some time we know that every minimal disturbance has a certain influence on the rest of the world….

A “dice” is an ancient device designed to help us predict our future, our chances and our fate. But later it became an object used in hazardous games which were often forbidden because of their destructive influence. We all are products of millions of chances and sometimes we wish to look into our future by some very simple means. We like to gamble and play dangerous games, like the tossing of a “dice” – the symbol of chance, uncertainty and unpredictability.”

Jiří Kylián – June 6, 2021

How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled

Dancers: Conner Bormann, Jon Bond, Tess Voelker; Donnie Duncan Jr. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.
BY marina mascarell

Marina Mascarell

Nina Botkay

Jon Bond, Conner Bormann, Donnie Duncan Jr., Boston Gallacher, Nicole Ishimaru, Paxton Ricketts, Lea Ved, Tess Voelker.

Riikka Laakso

Richard Wagner: Das Rheingold, WWV 86A: Vorspiel written by Richard Wagner, played by Vienna Philharmonic & Sir Georg Solti.
John Cage: Eight Whiskus (Version for Violin) written by John Cage, played by Irvine Arditti.
György Ligeti: Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet: III. Allegro grazioso, written by György Ligeti, played by Albert Schweitzer Quintet.
Jean Sibelius: 2 Pieces from Kuolema, Op.44: No. 1, Valse Triste, played by San Francisco Symphony & Michael Tilson Thomas

Jan Pieter Koch

Leticia Skrycky

Ludmila Rodrigues

Nina Botkay

Lucas Crandall

February 3, 2022 Amare The Hague

25 minutes

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Dancers: Donnie Duncan Jr., Nicole Ishimaru, Conner Bormann, Tess Voelker, Paxton Ricketts, Boston Gallacher, Lea Ved. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Four musical pieces, dated from mid XIX to late XX century, create a varied melodic scenery for How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled. The assemblage of compositions — by four white male referents of western music – is no means following an aesthetic or historical line, but rather constructing a dissonance of styles. The poetic motivation is to enter into a collision between the music and the dancers’ bodies: to resignify our relation with the music, with our referents, not to illustrate given narratives or predictable emotions. The dancing body resists automatisms.

At a time when the great stories that gave meaning to our world are collapsing, and millions of minor but singular stories float looking for their place, the presence of moving bodies claim to reconsider other paths. The practices to subvert our relation with past certainties are indispensable.

How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled emerges from the pleasure of composing with bodies, exploring the changing nature of light, cohabiting an ephemeral construction. Lines that fade, horizons that disappear, in an arid world full of constantly transforming filters.

I love you, ghosts

Dancer: Theophilus Veselý. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.
ChoreograPHY BY marco goecke

Nadja Kadel

Harry Belafonte: Try To Remember & Danny Boy. Sony Music Entertainment.
Alberto Ginastera: Concerto per Corde, Opus 33: IV, finale furioso (for strings). Licensed by Chandos.
Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Chamber Symphony No. 2 op. 147: I. Allegro molto. Performed by Gidon Kremer (Principal Violin), Andrei Pushkarev (Timpani) & Kremerata Baltica.Used by arrangement with ECM Records.
Einojuhani Rautavaara: An epitaph for Bela Bartok (for strings). Licensed by Ondine.

Jan Pieter Koch

Udo Haberland

Marco Goecke

Francesca Caroti

February 3, 2022 Amare The Hague

30 minutes

Chloé Albaret, Alexander Andison, Thalia Crymble, Chuck Jones, Madoka Kariya, Charlie Skuy, Yukino Takaura, Luca Tessarini, Theophilus Veselý

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Dancer: Charlie Skuy. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

“It is Marco Goecke’s eleventh creation for Nederlands Dans Theater, but the first in the recently opened Amare. There is a new smell in the huge building, heavy doors connect the countless rooms with the long corridors, and construction pits are still being filled in here and there. Impressed, you look into the light-flooded studios on the second floor and of course, at the same moment, you remember the old rehearsal rooms in the Lucent Danstheater, the familiar dark Studio 5 in the basement that had no windows, the many impressions that remain even after the demolition. What may have happened to the good house spirits? Have they also moved to the new building? Nine dancers go in search of them with Marco Goecke. “Try to remember”, sings Harry Belafonte. The dancers move to this song at a rapid pace, using Goecke’s language of movement to track down not only the dark and unknown, but also many memories: familiar gestures that are evoked from earlier spaces and earlier pieces, like protective ghosts.

One dancer brings another one to the front of the room, carefully grasps her wrists. “Somebody plays you,” Goecke says to her in a rehearsal. And later to another dancer: “It’s a bit like what is said in Das Geisterhaus: ‘Don’t touch her, she’s dead'”. Like when Goecke conjures up ghosts. And when the dancers whisper something that sounds like “I love you…”, you are no longer sure whether they are quoting the phrase “I love you so” from Belafonte’s Danny Boy or whether they are saying “I love you, ghosts” in order to connect with the invisible.” – Nadja Kadel


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. To this day, Kylián’s masterpieces are frequently performed by numerous dance companies and schools around the world.

Kylián has received many prestigious, international awards and honours, among which the inauguration as member of the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris. This highly prestigious recognition was complimented with the Academy’s decision to change its statutes and add a special seat for ‘dance’.

Read the full biography

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. How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled is Marina’s first work with the dancers of NDT 1.

Read the full biography

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.

Read the full biography

'I love you, ghosts' van Marco Goecke. Dansers: Yukino Takaura, Charlie Skuy. Foto: Rahi Rezvani

Chloé on Toss of a Dice:

Toss of a Dice for me is a very sensitive and somewhat magical piece. In it, I find not only the representation of group structure, but also the beauty of individualism. It gives me a feeling of being in a defined place and yet simultaneously looking for some place else.

It was such a pleasure and privilege to have Jiří in the studio with us adjusting and reworking Toss of a Dice from within. He gave us space and inspiration to find our own voices in it. A big thank you of course goes to Lorraine  Blouin and Ken Ossola for passing on the piece and sharing their knowledge and wisdom with all of us.”

Chloé in 'Toss of a Dice'. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Thalia on I love you, ghosts:

“When I am dancing Marco’s work I feel a great sense of relief. It’s almost like my body breaks down into many little pieces. I am no longer fully formed, everything has been altered or disturbed. As if this reality goes blank and I am completely uncertain of what I will experience, what will come to the surface, and what I will eventually show you. The inner sensation make its way through my body to find its form that the audience is able to read.

In the end, I hope that when people watch this piece they can feel the struggle, the darkness, and the love that creates it.”

Thalia en andere dansers in 'I love you, ghosts'. Foto: Rahi Rezvani

Boston on How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled:

“I have always felt disenchanted with the spaces humans’ design for themselves. Floors below flat ceilings, connected by four corners. White walls with square windows and doors in that shape that also has four corners. It feels like everything about the way we move and live is in relation to the famous angle: 90 degrees.

However, when I spend time here, it’s hard not to fall in love with the shapes. My body rearranges as a playground. I get to relate myself in new ways to the environment. The objects, like us, are varying degrees of squishiness and they all offer a different perspective. The grey rubber coating is freckled like my arm and creates friction and static, making my hair stand on end. Colours are huge in this world, they exist on a scale that is not only stimulating, it’s satiating. It’s a remedy for normalcy.

We are guided by Marina to value the unexpected, to channel experience and find harmonious autonomy. We also bounce around like kids a lot. It feels important to mention that this creative team consists solely of people of female experience and it feels like home. Between that and the shapes, I wish I could live here.”

Boston in 'How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Scott on Toss of a Dice:

“As a young dancer I remember watching online excerpts of Jiří Kylián’s Toss of a Dice, and being captivated by the distinct atmosphere of the piece. The music by Dirk Haubrich, based on a single drop of water, has always stuck with me over the years. There is something so constant yet unpredictable about it, and I have remained moved by the beauty of its ominous suspense. Diving into the work all these years later feels like a dream, since I can embody it with the inspiration of its impact on me. The refined craft of the movements and the concepts behind them allow for a balance of rigour and freedom within artistic interpretation.

It has been a pleasure to get to work with Kylián himself, who shares the depth and complexity of his ideas with such beautiful clarity. The movements explain themselves to you on their own, but having Kylián speak about them brings an even stronger purity and significance to the experience of dancing the work.”

Scott in 'Toss of a Dice'. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

Paxton on How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled:

“Something present in the space that Marina creates is respect. It fills the room. Everyone in this process respects and cares for each other, which is rare and beautiful. It affects every choice, every word, and every movement. It is the foundation upon which ideas are built.

One of the ideas that Marina has been building is our relationship with authenticity and play. She says that when we learn movements, material, or steps… we kill them. We suck all of the life out of them, leaving them as a husk of the original idea. But this is the nature of defining something. Of putting words to feelings. Our job then is to breathe life back into it. To find qualities and nuances. To play in the little spaces between the definitions. That way, as we are revisiting some movements, we never feel as though we are. We are experiencing them as genuinely as possible, just as we did the first time. This practice is a state of mind. It is so easy to fall back into a rhythm of repeating. But if we strive for that authenticity and play in our being, it brings us somewhere new every time.”

Paxton in 'How to cope with a sunset when the horizon has been dismantled'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Charlie on I love you, ghosts:

“I have seen ghosts all my life. They have no form, as if made of gas. I can see them best in the dark.

-I run out of darkness into darkness, where you can see me but I can’t see you, I am terrified, formless, I take shape, and I vanish-

And so in this, Marco has founded an exercise for anyone who wants to dissolve into that same formless state that haunts them- run into a field at night as fast as you can, and when the terror of what’s behind you and what you are fearing makes you unable to bare it any longer, dance, and when you dance in pure terror, you are a ghost!

To say I “enjoy” this piece is a flat sentiment, as I am scared the entire time and want to either explode or buckle.”

Artistic staff NDT 1

Tamako Akiyama

Rehearsal director NDT 1

Francesca Caroti

Artistic advisor & rehearsal director NDT 1

Lucas Crandall

Artistic Administrator NDT 1 & Rehearsal director NDT 1

Videos & photos

'Toss of a Dice' by Jiří Kylián. Dancers: Aram Hasler, Charlie Skuy. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.
'How to cope with a sunset when a horizon has been dismantled' by Marina Mascarell. Dancer: Lea Ved. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.
'I love you, ghosts' van Marco Goecke. Foto: Rahi Rezvani.

Photo gallery

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