Introdans Ensemble for youth and NDT2

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 24-Sat 26 May / Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 29 & Thu 30 May


Double Dutch usually implies confusion and misunderstanding. But in Edinburgh this month, it means two tasty helpings of dance from the Netherlands. Hot on each other’s heels, Introdans Ensemble for Youth and Nederlands Dans Theater 2 will prove just how pioneering Holland has become in the field of modern dance.

The talented young dancers of NDT2 always cause a frisson of excitement when they perform in Scotland. Their intoxicating blend of youth, athleticism and incredible technique invariably hits the spot. This time around, they’ll be performing works by former NDT director Jirí Kylián, Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin and husband and wife team Paul Lightfoot and Sol León.

It was due to the success of companies such as Hague-based NDT and Amsterdam’s Dutch National Ballet that Introdans came into being. With the East of Holland more than catered for dance-wise, the West felt a little under-represented. Founded in Arnhem in 1971, Introdans has a similar remit to NDT - exciting and innovative contemporary dance based on ballet technique. But in 1989, the company split into two halves - one for adults, one for children.

‘For us the two companies are equally important,’ says Introdans’ artistic director Roel Voorintholt. ‘It’s not that the kids’ one has less budget, they are both the same. And it’s good for young audiences to see a high level of work performed by professional dancers.’ Having gone down a storm two years ago, Introdans Ensemble For Youth is back at the Bank of Scotland Children’s International Theatre Festival, performing Kylián4Kids. Featuring five diverse works by Jírí Kylián, the show introduces young people to a potentially new kind of dance.

‘We always try to make the programmes as different as possible, so that for one hour they’re in a different world,’ says Voorintholt. ‘Why should I only do dances with hip hop and things they see on television every day? I want to show them something else.’

(Kelly Apter)

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