A new choreographer with NDT: Alan Lucien Øyen

Creates with NDT 1 for the first time

Season 2021-2022 will engage in deepening its relationships with longtime collaborators such as Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke and William Forsythe, but it will also be presenting a wide range of new dance makers to the company. For the first programme of the new season, titled Skin of the mind, new guest choreographer Alan Lucien Øyen will debut his work with the NDT audiences with a world premiere in collaboration with the dancers of NDT 1. “It’s a big honour for me to be invited to create a work for legendary NDT. I wish I could go back in time and whisper it to my younger self. He would not have believed me.”

Øyen (Norway) is one of the most exciting artists in the international dance scene today whose work has been performed by companies around the world. As a choreographer, writer, and director, he can best be described as a unique story teller always in pursuit of a sincere and human expression. With an emotional and dramatic drive, Øyen ambitiously combines music, movement, opera, theatre and dance. He was trained as a dancer at the State School of Art in Oslo and danced with The Norwegian National Contemporary, and Amanda Miller’s Pretty Ugly Dance Company in Cologne before founding his own multidisciplinary company, winter guests in 2006. Øyen: “As an artist today, I constantly oscillate between work with actors and work with dancers, and sometimes juxtapose the two.”

The creator’s complex and technically challenging choreographic language is informed by the world around him which allows him to draw inspiration from a myriad of sources including popular culture as well as personal conversations and experiences. For his debut project with NDT, he says he will be “searching for an exaggerated performative expression, and take outset in the concept of ‘Death.’’’ For this, the choreographer will be looking at its symbols and rituals, as well as the fear and terror we attribute to death. Øyen: “I’m eager to challenge the dancers to work with acting, to explore words through writing, as well as engage physically with text through their own movements.”

Foto: Massimo Leardini

NDT & Øyen

Donnie Duncan Jr. and Lea Ved, two dancers with NDT 1 are excited to work with the choreographer in the upcoming season. Donnie: “As a dancer, one of the most exciting things is to work with a new choreographer / theatre maker… especially one with a reputation like Alan. We could potentially have a lot of agency over what it is that we might do or present in the piece. This is very exciting and not the most common way of working in dance, but it means that he will trust us to bring our own creative choices into the world he creates on stage and in the studio.”

Lea: “I think Alan will add another layer of richness and depth to the NDT dance idiom, one that has a different background and therefore a different value system. I think it is very important for us dancers and the NDT audience to continue to appreciate different perspectives on what dance can be and how we can relate to it. This inevitably exposes other sides of ourselves and makes us pose questions we have not yet asked.”

NDT is very excited to welcome this new voice to the company.

Podium Dans

Rarely does the audience get an intimate look at the work and think process of great choreographers. What happens in a studio? How are certain choices made? What is the artistic process between choreographer and dancer, and between dancer and music? The program Podium Dans, a series of interviews made by Manon Lichtveld and Bas Westerhof (Beat the Dutch Films) for NPO Cultura, is dedicated to uncovering these apparent mysteries. Watch the episode they made with Alan Lucien Øyen below.