NDT 1 presents Michael Schumacher’s creation in Kunstmuseum Den Haag

21 June 2021

COVID-19 brought about a great deal for NDT. Performances were cancelled and tours of the Netherlands and abroad were halted. In addition to the performances the companies presented via livestreams, NDT used the period for experimentation, movement research and reaching new audiences outside the traditional theatre space. Amongst others, choreographer Michael Schumacher was invited to conduct research into improvisation and instant composition over several sessions, in collaboration with the dancers of NDT 1. On Thursday 24 June the results of these sessions will come together at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag with the premiere of Revisitation, a scored improvisation by Schumacher. There will be three presentations at 13:00, 14:00, and 15:00.

Process versus Presentation

'Revisitation' by Michael Schumacher in Kunstmuseum Den Haag (NDT 1)

Schumacher’s work is in line with several projects NDT initiates, in which makers, choreographers, dancers and designers are given the opportunity to create work in which the focus is not on a final presentation, but on the process, collaboration and research, and the findings that arise from this. Artistic director Emily Molnar said the following:

This past season we asked ourselves, ‘what can we do now that we normally could not do?’ We took it as an opportunity to take time, reflect, ask questions, and develop tools that challenged us to think outside of our usual domain. We prioritized research, and the development of ideas, which resulted in projects such as the Shared Platform with Michael Schumacher as one of our first guests. This also made us explore site-specific work, that took us off stage, helping to construct different ways of reaching audiences and creating a dialogue with dance.

Site-specific

Besides research and experimentation, NDT aspires to present work outside the traditional theatre experience. Schumacher’s collaboration with the dancers of NDT 1 and composer, Matt Rogalksy, was created specifically for that purpose. How do dancers react to a different space? How does a work relate to a certain location and to what extent does the absence of a traditional stage change the DNA of a work? Schumacher’s presentation in the Kunstmuseum is in line with this thinking. In the longer term, the work will also be used in other alternative indoor and outdoor public spaces.

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher, based in Amsterdam, is a performing artist with roots in classical and modern dance. He has been a member of several ground-breaking companies, including Ballet Frankfurt (with William Forsythe), Twyla Tharp Dance, Feld Ballet, Pretty Ugly Dance Company and Magpie Music Dance Company. Schumacher was a collaborative figure in several productions by Peter Sellars and appeared in Bible Pieces, Peony Pavilion, El Niño, Bach Cantatas, La Passion de Simone and The Vimalakirti Sutra.

As a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Schumacher has developed a unique approach to the discipline of improvisation. Music is a fundamental part of his process and he has worked with many pioneering musicians, including percussionist Han Bennink, violinist Mary Oliver and cellist Alex Waterman.

Schumacher has created original works with the dancers of Ballet Frankfurt, the former Nederlands Dans Theater 3, the Dutch National Ballet and Dansgroep Amsterdam. In 2008, he received both the Golden Swan and the Jiří Kylián Ring, the first dancer/choreographer ever to receive both awards simultaneously.