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Copy of Nederlands Dans Theater

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Laura Polson

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Nederlands Dans Theater

Nederlands Dans Theater 1959-1999 No Ballet tradition
Close proximity to London and Paris - Dutch cities venues for visiting ballet companies
No good training schools for dancers, no funded companies, no prospects for professional dancers Pre-1959 The creation of NDT Born in Lithuania - an experienced anti-seminist, socialist and zionist
Became fascinated with dance in Paris - took ballet lessons from leading choreographers at the time and was accepted into the circle of artists/choreographers associated with Ballet Russes, who were extremely influential in Paris

Sonia Gaskell moved to Amsterdam with her Dutch husband
She set up her own dance studio
Taught traditional French-Russian style ballet (Ballet Russes Influence)
Her motto was 'Developing creativity in a person- that is the highest goal we can set ourselves'

1954 - Became first Artistic Director of the first subsidised national ballet company - Nederlands Ballet
Gaskell became known as the 'Lady' of Dutch Ballet SONIA GASKELL Hans Van Manen - Early Years Main Choreographers Sonia Gaskell changed the face of dance in the Nederlands Gaskells authoritarian approach at Nederlands Ballet led to a rebellion led by Carel Bernie (NDT Business Manager) and Benjamin Harkarvy (NDT interim artistic director) who led a group of 16 dancers away from the company
These dancers formed NDT in 1959 - a rebellion against the political and media elite who wanted to control the arts
They faced many issues:
politicians tried to destroy NDT - they wanted to merge the companies together to reduce costs
extremely negative newspaper reviews, particularly in Amsterdam
Despite this the group survived and had a goal to 'Dance in Freedom'
The original NDT dancers were trained according to Gaskell's motto and would have been fairly creative Was part of Sonia Gaskell's ballet recital 1951
Joined NDT in 1960 as dancer
In 1961 he became artistic director until 1971 when he left NDT - however he did return in the 80s
Main influences were Balanchine, Nora Kiss, Francoise Adret and Roland Petit from the neoclassical ballet world
Also sites Jerome Robbins as an influence - West Side Story
Eclectic style in early years
Early work showed strong Robbins influence ( Omnibus (1964) and Kain en Abel (1961) - He called his early works Jazz Ballets as they were made for television
Mid 60's - shift towards more ballet like work - traditional ballet movement and costume
In the late 60's his work becomes much more abstract and surrealist
Possible influence from Cunningham who was touring Europe at the time? Hans Van Manen - Later Years Van Manen returns in 1988 as a resident choreographer until 2003.
His work features lots of partner work
He likes to make his audience think particularly in terms of gender
He plays around with placing males and females on stage and letting the audience interpret the possible relationships
Key works in this period - Black Cake (1989) Visions Fugitives (1990) and Deja Vu (1995) Jiri Kylian Czech born Kylian was trained in Ballet, Folk dance and Graham (similar to Christopher Bruce)
He did a scholarship at Royal Ballet School in London before going to dance for Stuttgart Ballet in 1968
Became Artistic Director of NDT in 1975-1999
He had a monumental influence on the reputation of the company
Key features of his work are partner work, display of dancers technique (virtuosity)
His early most significant works are Simfionetta (1978) and Symphony of Palms (1978)
In the mid 80s his style and artistic view changed and became more abstract
This is well illustrated by his series of Black and White choreographies - including No More Play (1988) and Falling Angels (1989) Kylian Continued Whilst at NDT Kylian formed structures within the company that still exist to the current day
In 1978 he formed NDT II - a company for young dancers which then feeds the main company with fresh bodies and creative ideas - NDT II still exists today
In 1991 he formed NDT III which was a company for older, ex-professional NDT dancers who wanted to continue with the art form - NDT III was cut in 2006
NDT Headquarters is in the Hague where the building houses both dance companies and a 1000 seat theatre Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot British choreographer Paul Lightfoot and his Spanish born partner Sol Leon have been resident choreographers at NDT since 2002
Lightfoot was trained at the Royal Ballet School
In 1985 he was invited by Kylian to join NDT II and later NDT I
In 1988, during an annual workshop showed great talent for choreography and soon began creating work regularly for all 3 NDT companies
Since 1991 he has done so with Sol Leon
Some of the their works include Seconds [NDT I] (1992), So Sorry [NDT III] (1994) and Sad Case [NDT II] (1998) The Nederlands was a hub of international creativity, who accepted lots of artists from all over the world
Martha Graham first performed in the Nederlands in 1955 to a rapturous review - unlike her first visit to London in 1954
Glen Tetley - a Graham Company dancer joined NDT in 1962. His collaboration with Van Manen on Mutations (1970) showed a great graham influence on the company
Over in the USA the Judson Dance Theatre debuted in 1962. With few opportunities to dance professionally in the Nederlands many dancers left to go to the US such as dancer Pauline De Groot
Other dancers such as Koert Stuyf also went to the USA. In 1959 he went to train with
Cunningham, Limon and Graham. Upon returning to the Nederlands, Stuyf began creating
work that was very Cunningham in style this may have influenced Van Manen and could
reflect his shift to a more abstract style
In London at this time another form of rebellion was beginning to take place as in 1966 London Contemporary Dance Theatre opened as a breakaway from the more rigid structure of Ballet Rambert, with Robin Howard at the forefront. This may echo the changes occurring more further afield To Put It Into Context...
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