by Fiona Lummis, former dancer
Photo Carel Birnie and fiona lummis: sven ulsa
“This photo of Carel Birnie and myself captures a very lighthearted moment but was taken during a transitional time in NDT’s history – the opening of the ‘new theatre’. I was just about to run over the wavy Rem Koolhaas rooftop of the theatre to the finale of Janáček’s Sinfonietta. This was for a film that NOS and the dancers put together to celebrate the feat of NDT having their own ‘designed for dance’ theatre, a project that Carel worked on for many years. Carel Birnie was the most unorthodox financial director one could wish for and in reflection, I’d like to celebrate his venturesome spirit that made so much possible at NDT.
One pivotal moment in my career at NDT was being a part of Kylián’s Kaguyahime. Jiří created Kaguyhime using every aspect of NDT’s new home. The creation process took many months and much exploration, discovering what our theater had to offer and how to combine this with Maki Ishi’s incredible music. I was able to travel many miles within myself and geographically as the moon princess. I continue to be grateful for this.
For twenty years at NDT, I was surrounded by creativity and a wonderfully intense, mad energy. I was humbled by it and at the same time felt completely a part of it. It was like entering a time warp. I experienced worlds and worlds within worlds. I was inspired by generations of incredible dancers, artists, people, souls. We were vulnerable together, we were amazing together and we were fearless together. When I think back I remember a free, creative, wildness present at NDT. It continues to be, and I hope always will be, a place that brings together formidable artists that dare and inspire.”