In the 2019/2020 season, Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) celebrates its sixtieth birthday! For the company, this is the ultimate moment to reflect on its modest beginnings, rich past and impressive present and future. That is why in season 2019/2020 NDT celebrates the work of the great makers who have provided the company with its creative signature, and proudly presents a series of (new) contemporary choreographic voices that make the company what it is today.
The first programme Kunstkamer is a unique collaboration between NDT’s house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, and both associate choreographers Crystal Pite and Marco Goecke, who together will create one piece for all dancers of the company, of both NDT 1 and NDT 2. After a premiere and series of performances in The Hague and Amsterdam, Kunstkamer will go on a European tour to London, Paris, Madrid, Baden-Baden and Berlin!
The programme Soir Historique takes us back to 1970 when Hans van Manen created Situation, a work that set the tone for the more groundbreaking, innovative choreographic voices that made work for the company in the ensuing decades. Strong examples of such innovative voices are, among many others, Gabriela Carrizo whose work The missing door (2010) will be part of Soir Historique, and Edward Clug who will present a world premiere.
It would not be a festive anniversary season if the work of Jiři Kylián would not be performed by NDT after a five-year hiatus. Sometimes, I wonder is a full-length program devoted entirely to a choreographer, who in his many years as artistic director and choreographer has left an indelible mark on the company. Sometimes, I wonder presents Bella Figura (1995), Claude Pascal (2002), and Vanishing Twin (2008).
The Schmetterling programme performs the ballet of Sol León and Paul Lightfoot of the same title. The butterfly symbolizes the transformation that the company undergoes continuously, as well as for Paul Lightfoot, for whom this program is considered the last in his appointment as Artistic Director of the company, and Sol León as they will return to the role of solely the company’s house choreographers at the end of season 2019/2020. For Schmetterling they will present a world premiere. A new creative face at NDT is French choreographer Damien Jalet, who will also present a world premiere for NDT, his debut with the company.
The NDT 2 dancers are heading towards an overcrowded season. In addition to the anniversary programme Kunstkamer they present two more performances. Sierra Oscar Foxtrot Tango offers a surprising mix of four contrasting works: a new creation by Medhi Walerksi, the celebrated Wir Sagen uns Dunkles (2017) by Marco Goecke, Sara (2013) by Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar, and a new version of Fugue Table by Yoann Bourgeois, who presents his work with NDT for the first time. The second programme, Standalone, connects four works by three distinct and independent creative voices: Johan Inger offers a new creation, next to Black Milk (1992) and George and Zalman (2006) by Ohad Naharin, and Postscript (2005 ) by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot.
To illustrate this season, León and Lightfoot were inspired by Albertus Seba’s book “Cabinet of Natural Curiosities” from 1734. A pioneering painted thesaurus of shells, plants, insects, reptiles, flowers and butterflies from all over the world. An original copy of the book is held at the Royal Library in The Hague, hometown of our own ‘Company of Curiosities’.
The new season also offers a series of exciting projects in the context of NDT’s 60th anniversary. In September, the company will unveil its digital archive and also presents a beautiful publication on the occasion of NDT’s sixtieth birthday.