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Digital program book ‘Now here, Now always’

Digital program book

Now here, Now always

Welcome

Dear friends,

Welcome to Now here, Now always, the first NDT 2 program of this season, accompanied live by musicians of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra, that highlights three distinctive makers who are offering original perspectives in dance.

Marco Goecke’s The Big Crying is a compelling and personal work that was created for NDT 2 following the passing of Goecke’s father. Highly charged and vulnerable, the work penetrates the space and the bodies of its performers, leaving its audience unmistakably moved by Goecke’s urgent comment on loss and the celebration of being alive.

Alexander Ekman’s critically acclaimed Cacti, created in 2010, is a witty commentary on contemporary art and the role of the critic. Ekman crafts a vibrantly percussive world where the dancers’ expressions embody a human orchestra as a metaphor for the vulnerability of the artist.

With this program, we are delighted to introduce a new face to NDT, Andrew Skeels. Inspired by Johannes Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody and Winter Journey in the Harz by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Brocken Spectre, with an original composition by Julien Tarride, is an intimate reflection on grief, transcendence, and the paradox of the human experience.

A heartfelt thank you to our inspired collaborators, the Dutch Ballet Orchestra and the fantastic team at NDT for their hard work, care, and creative courage in realizing this program.

We look forward to seeing you throughout the season. Thank you for joining us. Enjoy!

Emily Molnar
Artistic Director

'Brocken Spectre' by Andrew Skeels. Dancers: Ivo Mateus, Samuel van der Veer, Demi Bawon, Casper Mott. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

The Big Crying

Marco Goecke

Dancers: Conner Chew, Samuel van der Veer. Photo: Sacha Grootjans.

STAGED BY
Lydia Bustinduy

MUSIC
Rorogwela: Death Lullaby; Electricity feat. Fire Eater: Indlela Yababi; Extreme Music From Africa (Susan Lawly, 1997).
Tori Amos: Beauty Queen, Marianne (arranged by John Philip Shenale), Blood Roses, In the springtime of his voodoo, Bells ‘For Her’. Published by Downtown Music Publishing. (P) Atlantic Recording Corporation, A Warner Music Group Company. Losing my Religion. Published by Night Garden Music.

SOUND EDITING
Jesse Callaert

DRAMATURGY
Nadja Kadel

LIGHT
Udo Haberland

DECOR & COSTUMES
Marco Goecke

NDT ASSISTANT
Ander Zabala

WORLD PREMIERE
March 18, 2021, Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague

DURATION
30 minutes

Dancer: Samuel van der Veer. Photo: Sacha Grootjans

Dancers

Rui-Ting Yu
Ivo Mateus
Barry Gans
Demi Bawon
Samuel van der Veer
Nick Daniels
Ricardo Hartley III

 

Nova Valkenhoff
Omani Ormskirk
Conner Chew
Casper Mott
Viola Busi
Rebecca Speroni
Gabriele Rolle
Zoë Greten

“Those who know Marco Goecke’s works know that they always have to do with himself and with the time in which they were created. Perhaps The Big Crying is Goecke’s most personal piece, begun in Autumn 2020, shortly after the death of his father. It is a piece about parting and about everything we have to burn, says the choreographer, speaking of bodies that are like broken engines and of costumes that resemble the curtains of a hearse. It is not surprising that his choice of music includes a Death Lullaby; Blood Roses by the American singer Tori Amos whose music – sometimes confusing and not always comprehensible poetry is very close to Goecke’s dance – hits the mark. The fact that this piece nevertheless comes along with the tremendously fiery power of an entire company, fifteen outstanding dancers, is perhaps due to the fact that, despite all transience, the dance and the choreography celebrate the joy of life and the urge to be alive.” — Nadja Kadel

Read the choreographer’s biography

Barry about The Big Crying

“Through ballistic movement and powerful images, we see the underlying truth of grief. Something raw and ugly, grief follows us like a dense cloud. Do we keep moving forward or do we let it consume us? Perhaps it is about dividing ourselves into so many pieces that our grief could never find us whole. Or maybe the mere attempt to escape the inevitable is reality coming to fruition.

Performing this piece requires us to ask this question, to continue attempting an answer, and to learn what it means to hold something so precious. When something so vast and heavy is stacked on top of you, does your flame go out.”

Barry in 'The Big Crying'. Photo: Sacha Grootjans.

Rui about The Big Crying

“Embracing and departing.
I scream but I feel extremely calm.

My body
My skin
Disintegration inside composition,
Innermost breath.

Intense bursts of humanity and expression spread through the air.

Indulge
in the uncontrollable suffocation.

Taste the darkness
occupy the body; longing burns with desolation, and sorrow.

I feel my soul being pulled by something, and it takes me to a place I don’t know.

The most potent voice with explosiveness and warm interpretations.

Experiencing all the layers of my inspiration (colleagues)
can’t wait to perform this ballet, again and again.”

Rui in 'The Big Crying'. Photo: Sacha Grootjans

Brocken Spectre

Andrew Skeels

Dancers: Ivo Mateus, Gabriele Rolle. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

ASSISTANTS TO THE CHOREOGRAPHER
Marilyne Cyr, Danny Morrissette

MUSIC
New composition by Julien Tarride.
Johannes Brahms: Rhapsody for Alto, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op. 53, performed by Christa Ludwig (Wiener Philharmoniker) and Karl Böhm (Wiener Singverein). Published by Deutsche Grammophon GmbH.

MUSICIANS
Accompanied live by musicians of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra
LIGHT
Lisette van der Linden

DECOR & COSTUMES
Marija Djordjevic, Michel Ostaszewski

NDT ASSISTANTS
Ander Zabala, Lydia Bustinduy

WORLD PREMIERE
October 27, 2022, Amare, The Hague

DURATION
25 minutes

Dancer: Ivo Mateus. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

This creation was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Dancers

Gabriele Rolle
Ivo Mateus
Demi Bawon
Samuel van der Veer
Conner Chew
Barry Gans
Rui-Ting Yu
Casper Mott
Nick Daniels

“In April 2020, I lost Anne. She was my mentor, teacher, and friend of 25 years.  We had an incredible shared history.  When I lost her it was a shock, it was as if I had lost so much of who I was, so much of what my life meant to me.

A year after her death, I found myself called to listen to Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, I spent 6 months with the music before beginning to explore the meaning of the lyrics. For the lyrics, Brahms used verses from Goethe’s poem Winter Journey in the Harz, a poem that was inspired by the poet’s ascent of the Brocken in the Harz mountains during the winter of 1777.  The poet ascends the mountain with his grief and isolation as companions, to consult the oracle about his fate, whether he is to live the existence of the unfortunate or the redemption of the loved. Coming through the fog, he is wrapped in golden clouds as he reaches the summit and gazes in gratitude towards the overarching spectacle of nature.

It is by asking the question, and being willing to go all the way through the fog, that his fate is transformed. It is in the asking, not the answering that a question’s answer is revealed. In the paradox and circular nature of the human experience, to fall all the way through sadness is to witness a beauty that can only exist on the back of sadness itself.

There is a chance in despair for transcendence. Loss never really leaves us, but rather becomes a part of us, weaving itself through the tapestry of our spirit. If one can move through grief, gratitude oftentimes lies on the other side; if one can ascend past the mist and fog, the arrival at the summit is oftentimes filled with joy and reverence.

Brocken Spectre is a reflection on my own ascent through grief.” – Andrew Skeels

A heartfealt thanks go to Marilyne Cyr, Danny Morrissette, Silvia Sanchez, Charles Brecard, Cynthia Dragoni and Robert Vezina.  

Read the choreographer’s biography

Demi about Brocken Spectre:

Brocken Spectre is a work in which deep sorrow and distress live together with feelings of nostalgia, gratitude and love. These raw, unfiltered emotions are carefully curated into a piece full of soft, organic yet precise movements, contrasted by waves of uncontrollable gestures, mirroring the many faces of grief.

During this process Andrew wanted for us to look deep within ourselves and find those true, often hidden and ignored emotions. I respect Andrew for entrusting us with telling a story that is so vulnerable and close to his heart. I hope we are able to convey it in a way full of sincerity and integrity.”

Demi in 'Brocken Spectre'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Samuel about Brocken Spectre:

“A lifeless body, its head wrapped in fabric.
I have been dragging it through a world that too, is wrapped in fabric.
As if dragging it around with me will help bring back to life what once was.
I plow through, unaccepting.
From the collapse into madness that follows, to the realm of intangible remnants, where only memories remain.

It is not my own journey through grief, but I am humbled to help shape a translation with my art.
I give thanks to Andrew.
For his unparalleled optimism and his courage to entrust us with something so personal.”

Samuel in 'Brocken Spectre'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Cacti

Alexander Ekman

Dancers: artists NDT 2. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

STAGED BY
Nina Botkay

MUSIC
Franz Schubert: Symphony in D minor Death and the Maiden IV: Presto, arr. and adapted for orchestra by Andy Stein.
Joseph Haydn: sonate no V “Sitio” from Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze, Hoboken XX, 1B; Allegro from string quartets Opus 9, no 6 in A major.
Ludwig van Beethoven: stringquartet no. 9 in C, Opus 59, section from: Andante con moto quasi allegretto.

MUSICIANS
Accompanied live by musicians of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra
LIGHT
Tom Visser

DECOR & COSTUMES
Alexander Ekman

LYRICS
Spenser Theberge

NDT ASSISTANTS
Lydia Bustinduy, Ander Zabala

WORLD PREMIERE
February 23, 2010, Lucent Danstheater, The Hague

DURATION
27 minutes

Dancers: Nick Daniels, Samuel van der Veer. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Dancers

Group A

Rui-Ting Yu
Ivo Mateus
Barry Gans
Demi Bawon
Samuel van der Veer
Nick Daniels
Ricardo Hartley III
Nova Valkenhoff until November 2 / Rebecca Speroni from November 9
Omani Ormskirk
Conner Chew
Viola Busi
Gabriele Rolle

_

Group B

Rui-Ting Yu
Ivo Mateus
Barry Gans
Zoë Greten
Samuel van der Veer
Nick Daniels
Joey de Koning
Nova Valkenhoff
Omani Ormskirk
Casper Mott
Viola Busi
Gabriele Rolle

As a choreographer Alexander Ekman is interested in humor and its effect on an audience. What do we consider to be funny? What makes us laugh and why? With Cacti (2010) Ekman amusingly challenges the audience to reflect on modern dance as a higher art form. Sixteen dancers stand, seemingly trapped, on oversized Scrabble tiles. They run, fall, writhe and try to escape their invisible prisons. Eventually they each acquire a cactus. But what does it all mean? Cacti is a gleeful parody of the art form’s greater excesses. A string quartet performs the music by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert live on stage, while the dancers become the instruments of the orchestra, resulting in a rhythmical ensemble.

In 2010 Cacti was nominated for a Dutch Swan Award for ‘most impressive dance production’.

Read the choreographer’s bio

Conner about Cacti:

“As we emerge from the darkness, she’s as stunning as ever
Just a bit pretentious…

It builds until the first exhale
Sending playful exuberance into the air

Voices, eyes, and ears allow us to connect
As we build these connective layers, we build the stage we stand on

The bliss and rhythm fuel my steps
On and off these white pedestals
Everything that happens in between creates a conversation

Our conversations get louder as time passes
But what is the real conversation about?
Cacti, cats, critiques?

Seriously serious, but not…”

Conner in 'Cacti'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Omani about Cacti:

Cacti is an absolute joy to dance and equally as enjoyable to watch. The music is so melodic, energetic and vibrant. The musicians are on stage with us and move around, which is unlike any other piece I have ever performed. They give us the extra push of energy we need in order to explode on stage. When the string quartet plays, we are in constant conversation with the melody. Us dancers are in turn responsible for part of the sounds which makes it a spontaneous and seamless dialogue.

Rehearsing this piece was a lot of fun and gave us the opportunity to really come together as a group and actively listen to each other. As you are watching this piece, I hope you will feel our energetic spirits and be energized. I invite you to lean into your playful side and join us on this exciting journey filled with music and dance.”

Omani in 'Cacti'. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Photo gallery

'The Big Crying' by Marco Goecke. Dancers: Ricardo Hartley III, Viola Busi. Photo: Sacha Grootjans.
'Brocken Spectre' by Andrew Skeels. Dancers: Rui-Ting Yu, Casper Mott. Photo: Rahi Rezvani
'Cacti' by Alexander Ekman. Dancers: Nick Daniels, Rui-Ting Yu, Gabriele Rolle. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

View more photos in the gallery

Rehearsal trailers

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