Nederlands Dans Theater 2
- Kelly Apter
- 19 June 2008
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Fri 20 & Sat 21 Jun
Given the enormous influence Jirí Kylián has had over Nederlands Dans Theater during the past 30 years, it should come as no surprise that even when he’s not there, his presence is felt. Kylián’s style has been evident in the work of Paul Lightfoot and Sol León for some time, and now it can be detected in upcoming choreographer, Medhi Walerski. All three have created work for this diverse triple-bill, touring exclusively around Scotland.
Which is not to say their work isn’t original, just that it’s easy to see which stable they tether to each night. The common denominator in all the works performed by NDT2, the younger wing of Nederlands Dans Theater, is the quality of movement. The group of 16–to-23-year-olds never fail to excite with their strong classical technique and energetic contemporary style, which, on this occasion, was used in a number of different ways.
Lightfoot/León’s Sleight of Hand is typical NDT territory – in the best sense of the word. Dark, mysterious, physically challenging and utterly engaging, this is the undisputed high point of the evening. The mixed bill filling comes from ex-NDT1 dancer, Johan Inger. His Dream Play is an off-kilter narrative dance that responds almost note for note to Stravinsky’s score.
Walerski’s Mammatus closes the show, yet feels like the weakest piece. Relatively new to the choreographic game, Walerski clearly has a talent for dance at the extreme end of the scale. Which obviously has its place, but does little to show what these dancers are capable of.