Online programme book ‘In the Dutch Mountains’ 25 april

Digital programme book

In the Dutch Mountains

25 april


Dear viewers,

We are thrilled you are able to join us at home, welcome!

Welcome to In the Dutch Mountains, Marco Goecke’s first full-length work for NDT, this performance was accompanied live by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra!

The title itself immediately sparks our imaginations with its contradiction, the movement of water in contrast with the immovability of imaginary mountains. The transformation of this tension lies within the essence of this new full company work. As with many of Goecke’s works, there are signposts to comprehending our world in ways unknown to our everyday experience. In the Dutch Mountains is both a tribute to the Netherlands and a retrospective of Goecke’s previous work. It is an ode to the choreographer’s relationship with the Netherlands, which has welcomed his creativity for the past 17 years. Nadja Kadel, Marco’s long-time dramaturge, eloquently writes about this intimate relationship in her extended program note found in this booklet’s QR code.

We hope to see you again at our (online) performances this coming year!

Emily Molnar
Artistic Director

Information about watching from home

For more information about casting, watching and other technical questions, we would like to refer  you to our FAQ.

On the 24th and 25th of April we are available via the helpdesk in the digital theater between 09:00 and 17:00 (CEST). Outside these hours you can reach us via and we will do our best to respond to your query within 24 hours.

Do share your set-up with snacks and drinks with us and the other viewers via Instagram and Facebook.

Artists of NDT 1. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

In the Dutch Mountains

Marco Goecke

Nadja Kadel

Udo Haberland

Marco Goecke

Marco Goecke, Nadja Kadel

Ennya Larmit

Béla Bartók: Dance Suite, BB 86, Sz. 77: Allegro molto. Performed by London Symphony Orchestra (UMPG).
Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116: Part 1. Introduzione (Andante non troppo – Allegro vivace), Part 3. Elegia (Andante, non troppo), Part 4. Intermezzo interrotto (Allegretto). Performed by London Symphony Orchestra (UMPG).
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: 1. Allegro con brio – Un poco sostenuto – Tempo I, 3. Poco allegretto. Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker (UMPG).
Nits: In The Dutch Mountains, Composer & lyrics: Henk Hofstede; Rob Kloet; Robert Jan Stips. (Nitsongs VOF, (P)1987 Sony Music Entertainment Netherlands B.V.).
This Mortal Coil: Song to the Siren (Beggars Group, Round Hill Carlin), Nature’s Way – remastered (Jocelyn Pook) (Beggars Group, UMPG), I Come and Stand at Every door (Beggars Group, Harmony Music Ltd.).

Accompanied live by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra*

*Performances in Amare, The Hague only

Martin Georgiev

Matthew Rowe

Jan Pieter Koch

From: Nooit meer slapen by Willem Frederik Hermans.
© 1966 Erven W.F. Hermans.
English translation ©Ina Rilke 2006.
Beyond Sleep by Willem Frederik Hermans was first published as Nooit meer slapen by Uitgeverij De Bezige Bij in Amsterdam, 1966. First published in English by HarvillSecker in 2006. First published by Pushkin Press in 2020.
Quote by Sir Isaac Newton.

Tamako Akiyama, Francesca Caroti

February 9, 2023, Amare The Hague

±70 minutes

Charlie Skuy. Photo: Rahi Rezvani


Alexander Andison, Fay van Baar, Anna Bekirova, Jon Bond, Conner Bormann, Pamela Campos, Emmitt Cawley, Isla Clarke, Thalia Crymble, César Faria Fernandes, Scott Fowler, Surimu Fukushi, Boston Gallacher, Aram Hasler, Rebecca Horner, Nicole Ishimaru, Chuck Jones, Genevieve O’Keeffe, Kele Roberson, Charlie Skuy, Yukino Takaura, Luca Tessarini, Lea Ved, Theophilus Veselý, Tess Voelker, Jianhui Wang, Nicole Ward

Chuck Jones. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

About the work

In The Dutch Mountains is Marco Goecke’s new world premiere for NDT, a title some may recognize from the song by the Dutch band Nits, and others from Cees Nooteboom’s novel of the same name. Goecke moved to the Netherlands when he was 17, where he lived for two years. He has created at least one choreography here every year since 2006. In that sense, you could almost call him a Dutch choreographer. In the Dutch Mountains is both a tribute to this country and a retrospective of his previous work.

“The choice of the title has little bit to do with the song I used to listen to,” Goecke says, when asked about the reason for the title of this work. “When I was young, I used to get heart palpitations when I heard a phrase I didn’t quite understand.” And really, there is something enigmatic about the combination of ‘the Netherlands’ with the idea of ‘mountains.’ The expression comes close to being an oxymoron, its components in stark contrast. What does a country, as Willem Frederik Hermans writes in his novel Beyond Sleep, that “actually belongs to the fish”[1] have to do with mountains? And “where is the natural familiarity with the great questions and their deep penetration when someone is educated in a flat little country of mud and clay, without a single mountain?[2]

Even if one leaves these big questions for what they are, the puzzle still tempts one to search for connecting elements. Extremes, such as those evoked by the virtual juxtaposition of mountains and dikes, are certainly to be found in Dutch nature: the strong sea winds, thunderstorms, the dramatic sky, the sea with its tides and wave crests. A landscape that never stands still, is always in motion, demands or threatens movement, and which, in order to live with it, makes the interaction of people as necessary as in few other places on the planet. Movement, as it could also be driven out by the extreme tension inherent in the combination of mountains and seascape.

Indeed, this work – like all of Goecke’s works – is about pure movement and the encounter with and between the dancers. In the music of Bartok (Concerto for Orchestra) and Brahms (3rd Symphony), performed live by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra*, Goecke weaves in two songs by This Mortal Coil that have a close connection to the sea and nature: Song to the Siren and Nature’s Way. In the first song, a passage reads “I’m as riddled as the tide.” The movement of water, its contrast with the immovability of imaginary mountains, the transformation of this tension into the movement of dance – Goecke reformulates the riddle without pretending to be able to solve it, and finally moves it to the interior of the theater: “For me the real Dutch mountain is theatre. The stage floor, that’s the ‘Dutch Mountain’ that you always have to climb when you make a work.”
– Nadja Kadel

[1] Paraphrased from the original quote: “…een stuk grond dat eigenlijk aan de vissen toebehoort” from: W.F. Hermans, Nooit meer slapen, Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij 1966, p. 19.

[2] Paraphrased from the original quote: “…En “waar blijven het diepe inzicht en de natuurlijke vertrouwdheid met de grote problemen, als iemand zijn opleiding krijgt in een laag landje van modder en klei, zonder één berg?” from: W.F. Hermans, Nooit meer slapen, Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij 1966, p. 18.

*Performances in Amare, The Hague only

Artists of NDT 1. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Emmitt Cawley about In the Dutch Mountains:

“Of what we feel, of what we have felt. Should I dream of something familiar? Or are my wonders, imaginations, hopes and dreams, all mountains of uncertainty? To want to feel something unexpected I cannot trust on the feelings of that which I know or understand. To know nothing, perhaps, is the only way to begin understanding everything.

With Marco, it is often a sharing of memories and experiences. Relations between yourself and him. A conversation created from what is said yet more so from what it is not. Our privacy bordered by these mountains which create the reality of our own experiences and truths. To share it is to journey further into the unknown. A place that perhaps doesn’t even exist. A space of harsh and uncomfortable truths yet concealed familiarity. To wish that there is something beyond our own fragile existence and not know or understand it, but to embrace its uncertainty.

This process has shaped a reflection of my own time in this place, with its certainty of change.

I hope for this work to bring the feelings of introspection to those who have a relationship with this ever-changing place. So much that is felt and understood is tethered to this place for the brief amount of time which they lived here. To understand these feelings, one must know nothing.”

Emmitt Cawley. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Stage trailer

Rebecca Horner about In the Dutch Mountains:

“This is the second time I have the chance to create with Marco. From a dancer’s perspective the process starts with instant high intensity, but without knowing what exactly you are aiming for. One is thrown into ice water. All senses are awake, limbs are vibrating, shaking, and fluttering.

An atmosphere is created and with each ingredient that Marco feeds us, suddenly a whole picture reveals itself.

— intimidating darkness, thunderstorms, lit matches, restlessness, a mouse, seagulls, a lonely voice, intimate encounters between two people, the sea —

Marco‘s language is raw. It is both very physical and can be mentally demanding. He invites you to immerse into his unique world. He is interested in every individual, their stories and intentions, but it is up to every person how much they want to expose themselves.

If you are ready to fully dive into this universe, it becomes very personal, you become very vulnerable- I think this is the beauty of Marco’s work.”

Rebecca Horner, Charlie Skuy. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Rehearsal trailer

Tess Voelker about In the Dutch Mountains:

“I feel Marco’s work, much like his process, deals with the extreme polarity lying within everything. One second the movement feels so fast whereas a dancer I don’t know if my mind can’t keep up with my body or vice versa, while immediately the next second we transition into a sensationally slow pace. This echoes into his rehearsal process. Before I ever worked with him, I was ready for an all-inducing, anxiety-driven space; thinking if that’s what’s felt within the movement language then that must stem from the creation of it. This couldn’t be more wrong. Marco has a contagiously light spirit while always staying true to those dark corners inevitably sitting in all of us. He’s always encouraging us to not take anything too seriously.

Along this theme of polarity, Marco’s vision requires us to feel calm when moving wildly hectic, to feel anxious when standing still, to frown within romantic melodies, and to laugh in dramatic ones. Throughout the creation, it feels as though Marco is constantly trying to balance everything while pushing it further to its unknown extreme.

Every time I perform Marco’s work, it is always its own unique experience. As much of what is known to be revealed each performance, just as much remains unknown.”

Tess Voelker. Photo: Rahi Rezvani
Thalia Crymble, Emmitt Cawley. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Luca -Andrea Lino Tessarini about In the Dutch Mountains:

“The first time I encountered Marco was backstage at The Stuttgart Ballet in 2010. It was the premiere of his second ever full-evening work on Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’. To this day, Marco says that I stood there, in the side wings, and he couldn’t really figure out what I was all about – I was a student at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart and my heart was probably skipping multiple beats just trying to blend into the black curtains. I remember meticulously observing the dancers and Marco, too, but I simply could not follow. Watching his work by myself excited me tremendously and I could not imagine what it must feel like to dance his pieces and what it would ultimately do to me on both a physical and psychological level. Now, thirteen years, six pieces in total, four creations and a beautiful private friendship later, I believe I am just starting to grasp a fragment of what ‘Goecke’s World’ entails. With no other choreographer I have ever experienced this pure sense of self and freedom on stage and in the studio, all while trying to chase perfect execution. We say that no performance can ever be repeated – and that’s precisely what Marco encourages us to do with every creation. His works are filled with and solely based on emotions; don’t be fooled by speed and sharpness only. I find myself getting the most out of every moment shared with him when I consciously level with him. Marco, in every way imaginable, is a person of extremes.

Bear with me as I fall into a cheesy choice of words, but with this first ever full-length for NDT 1, little sixteen-year-old me checks a big box off my bucket list.

As Margo Channing, played by Bette Davis in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’ All About Eve, said: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

Luca Tessarini. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.
Aram Hasler. Photo: Rahi Rezvani
Boston Gallacher. Photo: Rahi Rezvani


Marco Goecke (1972, Wuppertal) joined NDT as an associate choreographer in season 2013-2014. Earlier, he created Nichts (NDT 2, 2008), Garbo Laughs (NDT 1, 2012), Hello Earth (NDT 1, 2014), Thin Skin (NDT 1, 2015; Nominee Dutch dance Zwaan Awards ‘most impressive choreography 2015’), Woke up Blind (NDT 1, 2016) Midnight Raga (NDT 2, 2017; winner Dutch Zwaan Awards ‘most impressive choreography 2017’), and Wir sagen uns Dunkles (NDT 2, 2017).  During the sixtieth anniversary season, Goecke created Kunstkamer (2019) together with Paul Lightfoot & Sol León and Crystal Pite. His most recent works are The Big Crying (2021) for NDT 2 and I love you, ghosts (2022) for NDT 1. In the Dutch Mountains (2023) is his first full-evening work for the company.

As of season 2019-2020 Goecke leads the ballet direction at State Ballet Hannover.


Emmitt Cawley. Photo: Rahi Rezvani
Chuck Jones, Jon Bond. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

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
Theophilus Veselý, Emmitt Cawley. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Made possible by

Mrs Ettjen Modderman most enjoyed dance performances accompanied by live classical music. In accordance with her wishes, part of her legacy will be spent on preparing and performing the musical accompaniment for this production In the Dutch Mountains.

Charlie Skuy. Photo: Rahi Rezvani