Since its inception in 1959, one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world, the Nederlands Dans Theater, has developed an arsenal of over 600 breathtaking ballets choreographed by the likes of Hans Van Manen, Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, William Forsythe and Kylián. Its goddaughter, the Nederlands Dans Theater II, was conceived in 1985 by Kylián as a springboard for young dancers under the age of 23 years and to supply new talent to the parent company. The key to success? The revolutionary language of their dance characterized by a sharp humor to the limits of the grotesque and mixed with the dark and irresistible charm of drama and passion. It’s a combination of classical technique and experimental pieces of contemporary choreography, capable of breaking down the traditional rules of ballet and ridiculing the human condition.
So for one night only in the evocative setting of Villa Adriana a group of sixteen dancers enact with their inexhaustible energy a four-piece reviewed by visionary choreographers Jiří Kylián, Johan Inger, the young and talented Alexander Ekman, and the founding fathers Paul Lightfoot and Sol León.
The evening opens with I new then, a song in which the Swedish choreographer Johan Inger, for the first time in Italy, places the dancers, five men and four women, in front of the challenge of simply being themselves while dancing, freeing themselves from unnecessary actions, movements and structures imposed by the technique of the dance. “It takes courage to take off the mask and to question their very identity,” said Inger, that with the nostalgic music of Van Morrison prepared a choreography of a contagious verve where the smooth movements and the unison of the dancers are able to represent, in an even ironic key, the conflicts of love.
Following are Shutters Shut and Subject to Change, two choreographies created in 2003 by the duo Paul Lightfoot and Sol León. Shutters Shut is an extraordinary piece of four minutes, during which a man and a woman in white and black costumes interpret with the body the poem If I said to him: A completed portrait of Picasso (1912), recited by the recorded voice of Gertrude Stein. The neurotic gestures and movements of the dancers chase different shades of words in a repetitive and distorted dance that opposes the intellectual power of poetry.
In the piece Subject to change, the beautiful music of Schubert extracted from Death and the Maiden, a harrowing two-step between death and a fragile woman leads to the inevitable conclusion. The choreography is dominated by the red carpet on which alternate, and sometimes dive, the duet and four other dancers in a dazzling dance collective. “The piece is inspired by the hardships of real life, the vulnerability of the human in the face of illness and death”, stated Lightfoot Leon.
Cacti, from 2008, closes the evening with a subversive and very original choreography by Alexander Ekman, with the texts of Spencer Theberge, that offers a satirical reflection on the fusion of Eastern and Western dance. Appointed in 2010 to the Dutch Swan award for best dance production, it is a new arrangement of Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen, developed by the Swedish choreographer with the Holland Symphonia. The choice of the type of lighting gives a voluptuous three-dimensionality to the movements of the dancers, dressed as shaolin monks, performing on different platforms before assembling themselves into a ridiculous structure. A voice-over, a string quartet in the background and an assortment of cacti brought on stage towards the end, give the piece an intense and surreal dimension.
Nederlands Dans Theater II
Festival Internazionale di Villa Adriana
Bài viết liên quan
SELECTED BY DROME :: We had a chat with the young illustrator Anna Paolini, who unveiled her style and...
COMPETITION :: Your art valorises the territory? The mountain is looking for art to create a new way to...
SELECTED BY DROME :: The jewelry brand IOSSELLIANI celebrates the relocation of its Roman flagship store
SYNDROME :: Thoughts after watching the documentary The Woodmans, on the family of the artist Francesca Woodman
D-VISIONS :: Mike Leigh brings the “painter of light” Joseph Mallord William Turner on the big screen
The World Cup is over, time to take a look at the Brazilian artists that might give us a...