New collaboration: Crystal Pite and Simon McBurney

30 March 2022

Crystal Pite, associate choreographer to Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) since 2008, will extend her commitment to the company through a unique, four year-long collaboration with director, playwright and actor Simon McBurney and his company Complicité. 

Crystal Pite and Simon MC Burney. Photo: Dauphine Stofberg

Crystal and Simon coming together to join their creative forces is an extraordinary privilege and pleasure for us as a company. This exchange is exemplary of our new direction and vision, which is rooted in research and experimentation that extends space for cross-disciplinary approaches. We are deeply grateful to Crystal for extending her commitment to NDT and inspired by what this new chapter with her and Simon will open in us creatively.

Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of NDT

Methods of exchange 

We are living in an age of extinction: of animals, of language, of our connection with nature and of age-old ways of knowing. Can we ever hope to give a name to what we are losing? What does it mean to bear witness to a violence in which we are both perpetrators and victims? 

Across continents, choreographer Crystal Pite and director Simon McBurney have exchanged ideas reflecting on their fears and cautious hopes for the age we are living in, and how artists can meaningfully create in the face of mass destruction.  

Now NDT and Complicité present a major new collaboration that will see these world-renowned artists work together over three years to create three new works, each developed in response to the last. Their process draws on a rich and surprising array of source materials, from the sound of ice-caps melting and tree roots growing to the clarion calls of climate change deniers. Together, Pite and McBurney will nurture a new method of exchange, embracing uncertainty and looking for sparks in the darkness.  

Simon McBurney and dancers of NDT 1. Photo: Dauphine Stofberg

We have been trying to RE-CONNECT for so long and have been cut off from our sense of being ‘home’ since we left the world of animals and began to make this earth in our own image.

Simon McBurney, Artistic Director Complicité


At the heart of NDT is a commitment to collaboration, curiosity, innovation and community. This includes the way the company operates as a collective; how it approaches artistic projects; the way it elevates the creative process; and enriches collaborations with international choreographers and artists that connect audiences and communities in the Hague, the Netherlands, and all over the world.  

The piece that will premiere on May 6 as part of Dreams 360 is the first of a triptych of collaborations between these artists to be presented between 2022 and 2025. 

Crystal Pite, Simon McBurney and dancers of NDT 1. Photo: Dauphine Stofberg


Complicité is an international touring theatre company based in London. Complicité works across art forms, believing theatre, dance, opera, film, installation, publication and participatory arts can all be sites for the collective act of imagination. Founded in 1983, the Company has won over 50 major theatre awards worldwide. This is NDT’s first co-production with the Company.

Read more on the website of Complicité