NDT dancer for 22 years

Lydia Bustinduy

Lydia Bustinduy danced for the first time with Nederlands Dans Theater in 1999, when she joined NDT 2. She became a NDT 1 dancer in 2001 and continued to dance with the company for no less than 22 years. This summer of 2021, Lydia will say goodbye to the company as a dancer. We ask her five questions.

Why did you decide to leave NDT as a dancer?
There is a moment in a dancer’s life when one gets a feeling of letting go of this precious, unique, beautiful but also demanding career. For each person the time is different. In my case, this feeling came after twenty two years of wonderfully challenging work at NDT. Of course there is also a sense of void, uncertainty and sadness when taking such decision. But all sort of changes bring with them melancholy yet we cannot survive without them.

Lydia in 'Baby don't hurt me' (2021) by Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

What are your future plans?
I believe we go through life picking up new experiences and lessons along the way so that we can share them. I would love to be able to help younger dancers by passing on whatever knowledge they might find useful.

What is your best or funniest memory of NDT?
The best memories are usually the imperfect moments. Exactly what we unsuccessfully tried so hard to avoid becomes the most remarkable experience. I have many of those.

But I remember a funny moment now which it did not feel so hilarious then. I was in my first year of NDT 2 and we were performing a full evening from Kylián called Arcimboldo. Jiří was talking to many people on different occasions about a tower light he got specially for Arcimboldo. It was the latest thing, powerful, beautiful and expensive and he was very excited about it.

During one of the sections of this piece I had to go on stage sliding my feet and one of the cables got caught around my ancle without me noticing. I went on stage and I pull with me the tower light which ended up flat on stage and broken. I was so embarrassed that I danced the whole piece looking at the floor and terrified to be fired right after that show.

Lydia in 'Claude Pascal' (2002) by Jiří Kylián in 2020. Photo: Joris-Jan Bos.

What are you going to miss most of NDT?
I will miss the freedom which only the stage can give, the creation processes, the uniqueness of each day at this profession, the connection beyond words with my colleagues…and many more things.

In your two decades as an NDT dancer you have danced in many different works and worked with a wide scale of choreographers. What work, style or choreographer do you feel have influenced you most profoundly or had a long lasting effect on how you approach(ed) the art form?
I think that every experience is valuable and all of them slowly shape us. Every single choreographer who I worked with has left something special in me. However, Jiří Kylián, Crystal Pite, Gabriela Carrizo and Frank Chartier are probably the most influential in my career.

In 'In The Event' (2015) by Crystal Pite. Photo: Rahi Rezvani


Watch more photos of Lydia in the gallery