Nederlands Dans Theater 2 – Awe Inspiring Dancers

Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Nederlands Dans Theater’s junior company NDT2 is an astonishing company of 18-23 yr olds who almost defy belief in the way they move their bodies to achieve incredibly complex choreography so effortlessly and with such precision. If this is the future of the company, then NDT will remain one of the most innovative and exciting contemporary dance companies in the world.

I’m in absolute awe of the dancers, with complete conviction they threw themselves into the 6 pieces of their UK tour, that ranged from touching emotion, raw expression, humour & hilarity, and sublimely ludicrous scenes of pure physical genius.

Of the programme there were two pieces that stood out but for very different reasons. Firstly, Some other Time literally blew me away – I will never forget this piece and I will follow the careers of these 4 spectacular, unique and accomplished dancers – Madoka Kariya, Xanthe van Opstal, Gregory Lau & Paxton Ricketts.

The choreography by the acclaimed company choreographers Sol León & Paul Lightfoot is absurdly brilliant and created a scene that reminded me of an asylum of dancers who had finally cracked and danced incessantly, unable to stop. Their bodies angular, violent, funny, flailing, bent. They moved so distinctly from each other but came together in perfect unison. The stand out dancing of the evening.

Cacti choreographed by Alexander Ekman was nothing short of pure genius! Using props of blocks, plastic planted cacti and a dead fluffy cat thrown into the stage, the dancers took us on a journey both intensively funny, full of irony and took the piss out of the self indulgent interpretations of contemporary dance and even the dance review.

This piece asked us to laugh, to gasp at the brilliance of the dancers, the intelligent staging, the lighting that framed the dancers, the voice over that narrated as our lens on the dancers were challenged. Cacti is a resounding success of complete ingenuity. Unforgettable!

These two spectacular pieces don’t overshadow the other 4 wonderful pieces of the night, but are complemented by the emotion, the close contact between the dancers, the slower contrasting pace.

The evening opened with a glorious pas de deux in León & Lightfoot’s Schubert and followed by their more cabaret style Sad Case with male dancers all dressed in black who moved with grace, flexibility and power.

Mutual Comfort by Edward Clug saw 2 couples intertwining relationship depicted by their bodies moving fluidly between the pair as they shifted partners, pushed boundaries and pulled together.

The remaining piece of the evening was Solo by Hans van Manen with 3 male dancers who seemed to enter into a dance-off that was both humorous but importantly gave each their own platform for showcasing their unique style, ranging from explosive leaps to complex turns folding into the floor. Quite a simple but effective piece.

NDT dancers are highly trained, they are all unique and I love that they are physically diverse, each with their own signature style, ability and strength. The UK tour is one of the most exciting programmes of dance! A must-see!

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