NDT2 Nederlands dans Theatre Truro Hall for Cornwall March 2012
‘Gods and Dogs ‘ choreographed by Jiri Kylian
This first dance was fast moving, the performers using strange ungainly attitudes and unusual movements with amazing skill, fitting the melody and rhythms of the Beethoven based soundtrack. There were also unusual additions such as a twitchingcurtain of long strands and a projection of the vivid image of a wolf or dog above the dancers’ heads. I hadn’t the least idea what it was about. I’d decided to watch the whole program and see what I thought before reading the notes, only to find no explanations at all in the notes. It was a great display, received with enthusiasm by Truro’s audience. The screamers were here in the back row which makes it sound very exciting and I thought the dancers looked almost surprised by the wild enthusiasm.
‘Deja Vu’, Hans van Menen, followed. My companion asked me if we’d seen it before.
The music, by Arvo Part, was again the focus, with dancers often mirroring one another, more fluidly this time.
‘Solo’, also choreographed by van Manan, was the most beautiful of the works, 3 men appearing by turns, each with their own style of movement, dancing closely with the Bach violin suite, and at the end all on stage together. They were all marvellous dancers but Jianhu Wang was my favourite, there was something so infectiously bouyant and easy about his jumps and twizzles.
Lastly came ‘Cacti’ by Alexander Ekman, also danced to lovely classical pieces by Haydn, Beethoven and Mahler. In this the dancers had square plinths to move on and around and to move the positions of, which they did, wittily appearing from behind them so we saw a head or arm etc. They also had cacti of various shapes,which they moved about, the word cacti was used in lights at the sides and a voice made statements about the post modern which also conveyed the pretentiousnous of the art world. Men and women wore similar costumes, very simple as in all the pieces NDT2 danced in this program. The dance was witty and the whole thing was absurd in a lovable, zany way.
As so often in dance I was left very impressed by the level of performance and the number of inventive ideas. In the non dance visual arts there is often so very little to see as if artists have not put in the effort or actually seek to bore the audience.
In dance it is still sufficient to move to music in a way that totally absorbs the audience in a delightful collaboration, a total concentration of audience and performer that leaves me refreshed and invigorated despite my arms aching from applauding. Also I find myself still wanting to wonder about the meanings. I find ideas for ballets as yet unformed are germinating in my mind. There’s a lot choreographers could use, I’d love to colaborate with one, or I might just use the ideas in my paintings.
I’d love to see the other repertoire of NDT2 and hope they visit us again soon.