by Hofesh Shechter, choreographer
choreography: Clowns by Hofesh Shechter
photo: rahi rezvani
“In 1992, while I was a young dancer in the school of the Academy in Jerusalem, we were amazingly lucky to be sent to a choreographic competition in Groningen. We were even more lucky that our head of faculty knew someone that knew someone in NDT… and so a day trip was arranged for us to come and see rehearsals at the main studio of NDT.
I remember vividly that day – the unassuming entrance to the building, the vast greenroom, the generous studio. We sat and saw a bit of class, we then saw Jiří Kylián cross the corridor (I joined the high pitched shriek with my fellow teenage class mates as he left…) and then we went back into the studio to see rehearsals.
I can’t remember what was it exactly that was rehearsed, nor the names of the dancers… But there was one male dancer, wearing a burgundy colour tracksuit bottom, which I just couldn’t stop watching. The skill, the passion, the commitment – it just left me in awe. That moment in time, instilled in me such a seed of inspiration, one so powerful that held me high and pushed me like an inner motor for at least a whole year. The memory, on a chemical/cellular level, of that drive and passion, that life and euphoria and openness sensation that was transmitted and received was so powerful. NDT therefore always stayed a place of inspiration for me, and that day literally changed my life and gave me something so powerful, in a blink of an eye.
In 2014 I set foot again in the NDT building, through that same unassuming entrance… To come and stage my first work here… That spark of inspiration was unsurprisingly still there. I got to meet, and was privileged to get to know all these endlessly talented dancers, which in years to come shared with me their talent in our creations together.”