BWW Reviews: Ballet in Cinema from Emerging Pictures Presents Nederlands Dans Theatre
By Jennifer Fried
Contemporary Ballet powerhouse, Nederlands Dans Theatre, captured live the May 8th performance of four ballets. The resulting film is a magical mixture of live performances, complemented with interviews from dancers and choreographers, creating an intimate and intellectual viewing of the ballets.
The first ballet, Studio 2, was choreographed by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nederlands Dans Theatre. Both choreographers worked for over 20 years in Studio 2 and created more than 40 works. This ballet focused on the image of a mirror as it traversed the stage, symbolizing the complicated relationship dancers have with it. While the mirror assisted dancers to correct and observe themselves, it can also serve as a hindrance to true creative movement and expression.
Next, Johan Inger's Dream Play, set to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. While the ballet was primarily abstract, the narrative of a crazed, yet ritualized, and at times rough, or even erotic daydream of six dancers emerged. The choreography was fresh, exhilarating and beautifully contemporary, perfectly suited for the Nederlands Dans Theatre's aesthetic.
Israeli choreographers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar created Sara in conjunction with composer Ori Lichtik. The simple costumes-skin colored body suits-and staging allowed the theme of sad and lonely memories to emerge, which resulted in emotional daydreams that fueled the creative artistic process.
The performances concluded with the world premier of May Two, choreographed by Alexander Ekman. The piece examined the ups and downs of relationships and the thorny pain and exhilarating joy they bring. Ekman noted that he desired to create a piece with pairs of two, but instead utilized the whole company in a jaw dropping stunning manner. The heavy rhythms of Birdy's Skinny Love and Ravel make the piece relatable to a diverse audience without becoming commercial.
Nederlands Dans Theatre never disappoints with its diverse and distinct, yet stylistically consistent pieces. The company consistently delivers magnificent, larger than life movement with precise technique. Contemporary dance seeks to create novel movement that any audience member can enjoy and relate to, while remaining grounded in a firm commitment to artistry, a fine line which Nederlands Dans Theatre has mastered.
Photo courtesy of Nederlands Dans Theatre