by Sol León, former dancer, house choreographer & artistic advisor

choreography: sigue by sol león & paul lightfoot
photo: joris-jan bos

“if we understand how a tree is contracted into a seed, we understand the future unfolding of the seed into a tree” – The I Ching or Book of Changes

“Life is a constant flux of changes. To me, Safe as Houses, symbolizes those changes – those many little miracles. I just gave birth to my beloved daughter, Saura, and started to continue my career as a dancer and choreographer. At the same time, the company experienced a period of great transitions and uncertainties. Together with Paul, I had serious concerns about the future of the company.

I must admit, I found this inner turmoil, those questions of where we were and where we were going, to be one of the deepest roots of the ecosystem of NDT.

It enabled me, as an artist, to formulate my own philosophy. I was greatly inspired by the beauty and poetry of the Tao, curiously a book given by Jiří Kylián as a toi toi toi for our ballet Singing Apes. I transformed all those new ideas, circumstances and accompanying feelings of sadness, insecurity and hope into expressive movements. It was the first time I fully realised the importance of opposites, dualities, chaos and harmonies.

I cannot imagine sharing Safe as Houses with someone other than Stefan Żeromski – an extraordinary artist and human being.”

“There has always been a lingering path to the authentic thing – by unconformable and passionate artists carrying the seed of this company. I realised this most forcefully through an innocent, yet incredible, peak of my career: the ballet of Sigue.

The collaboration with Philip Glass is another, highly cherished, part of my unfolding as an artist. Every time I wanted to say something I felt embraced by his circular and linear dynamics. Philip is of another generation, another world, yet there exists a strong connection. Working with him on Swan Song was so sophisticated. The way he understands and explains music – it was amazing. I was speechless.

I believe NDT has something mysterious, a combination of elements and people together with A or THE special circumstance(s), like the alchemy of a precious essence. Something which continues to create magic and enchant us.”

Philip Glass, Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, 2010. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

From: Nederlands Dans Theater | 60 – EAN 9789462622425