Netherlands Dans Theatre NDT

By: Jozef Varga

Netherlands Dans Theatre NDT
Review (Impression) from performance 31.5.2010

Plot Point - Crystal Pite
Swan Song - Paul Lightfoot, Sol Leon

I am not a writer and I would never call this a review. I just want to share my impression about this wonderfull company and particularly this performance.

Since years I had a chance to see many performances by NDT and rarely I left the theatre disappointed.
Their performances are full of innovation, creativity, artistry and the dancers are just fantastic. There are many kind of spectators some favor Classical Ballet some more contemporary styles.

If you are a skeptic towards new trends in dance just go and see once NDT!  

Curtain up and I could not believe what I saw. A man held back by a red parachute and than titles storyline! Wow what is this a dance performance or a movie plot?
Actually for the first time in my life I was looking at both joined in one perfect unison.
A full story of a movie plot incorporated to a single dance performance it was fascinating.
Love, Betrayal, Homicide, Revenge it was all there supported by  contemporary dance language and simple but very claver lighting, costumes and sets. I always thought that this combination was impossible but I am glad to be wrong.
One person from the audience told me it reminded him of ‘Sin City’ the movie!
But don’t think it’s a dark piece. Rather it’s full of surprises and humor.
By this work Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite created a new genre I feel. Taking the way recent thrillers are filmed with jumps in time frame yet perfectly clear for the audience  and without a word.
What an achievement!
And music? Well off course it was original film music from movie PSYCHO by Bernard Herrmann.
Well and the dancing just perfect musicality, movement, precision some wonderfull solos and pas de deux. I was blown away.
Well to be fair some people thought it was too long but honestly I could watch it a lot longer.
I really hope I will have the chance to see this piece again!

Swan Song by Paul Lightfoot, Sol Leon was pleasure to watch from beginning till the end.
The set of the ballet were two big staircases moving true stage. Often creating smaller confined spaces for dancers usually highlighted by lights. This intention of controlling the audiences focus really was  nice and relaxing. You don’t need to fight to capture the moments you don’t want to miss.
Yet again the dancing was marvelous very fluent, exactly mirroring the new score by Phillip Glass.
I was particularly impressed  by the  six men who all performed great as individuals and as a group.
The pas de deux were beautiful often using the staircases as an additional dimension. I just wished to sit a little closer to appreciate it fully.

Swan Song is an idiom referring to a final theatrical or dramatic appearance. This ballet was dedicated to Stefan Zeromski who after 17 years with NDT is leaving the company  and has been a muse for Paul and Sol’s creations. Unfortunately  there are 8 other members of NDT laving this season so these performances were very emotional on many levels. Many of those dancers were part of the company for many years. I want to wish them good luck in their future!

Have you ever seen NDT perform? What are your impressions?
Rehearsel - Swan Song - Sol León & Paul Lightfoot - NDT I
Rehearsal, Swan Song

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