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Nederland Dans Theater 2: UK Tour 2016


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Three great days of dance in three great cities by three fine companies on three consecutive nights:

  • the opening night of The Sleeping Beauty by the Hungarian National Ballet in Budapest last Sunday;
  • The Royal Ballet's excellent performance of The Winter's Tale at Covent Garden the next night; and
  • The Nederlands Dans Theater 2's mixed bill at the Lowry on Tuesday.

I enjoyed them all tremendously but for me the piece de resistance was van Manen's Solo in the mixed bill by three remarkable young make dancers. One of them stood out for me: the young American Gregory Lau though I admired the other young artists too.

 

The programme consisted of works by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, Edward Clug, Alexander Ekman and, of course, Solo.

 

The company is touring the UK and has just finished performances in Edinburgh, Woking and Southampton as well as at The Lowry. It is going on to Newcastle upon Tyne, Birmingham, Bradford, Plymouth, Brighton, Nottingham and London. I plan to see it again this Saturday in Bradford.

 

I spotted Janet_McNulty in the audience and judging by her posts to Facebook she was at least as impressed with the performance as I was.

 

If anyone is interested I have written a short review of the performance in Terpsichore.

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Gregory Lau has a very nice quality of movement but lacks the feet and legs work required for a piece such as Hans Van Manen's Solo.

 

Alice Godfrey is the jewel of the company, wonderful body, extensions, technique. She has it all !

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I was at the Lowry on Tuesday night and enjoyed the programme tremendously.

 

Looking at the cast sheet it looked as though there were three short pieces in the first act but in fact all three pieces (Schubert, Sad Case and Some Other Time) ran together as a whole.  I very much liked the opening duet and the final section, which were both quite stark.  The middle section was based around mambo music and was fun but, in my opinion went on too long.  Like Terpsichore I felt that Gregory Lau stood out amongst a company of  wonderful dancers - he's got terrific stage presence.

 

Clug's Mutual Comfort was the least satisfying piece for me but it was still good to watch.

 

Solos could only be described as sensational!  I agree again with Terpsichore that it was the outstanding piece of the evening.

 

The evening ended with Cacti.  I can't find the words to describe it except to say that it was tremendous fun and a real crowd pleaser on which to finish.

 

This company is so worth seeing - you must get to one of their tour dates if you can! 

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I saw the company again yesterday at Bradford and enjoyed their performance even more than the one in Sheffield.

 

As before, my favourite was van Manen's Solo but I was again dazzled by Gregory Lau but appreciated the other pieces and also the other dancers more this time. I particularly liked Sad Case, Mutual Comfort and Cacti.

 

I have reviewed the work if anyone is interested.

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I saw them in Birmingham last night, as part of the IDFB 2016. They are touring two different programs, so we saw a slightly different show to that seen in Salford Quays and London.
 
Opening with I New Then by Johan Inger, I found it quite dull, with a lot of running around in circles, shuffling up and down the stage and hiding beind some sticks. It's not all bad though; it is danced to Van Morrison tracks and I'm a bit of a fan. Not obvious Van The Man tracks either!
 
Next came mutual confort by Edward Clug. I liked this a lot with it's obvious classical ballet roots. It's nice to look at,
 
This was followed by Solo by Hans Van Manen. Unlike other columnists, I found this piece very repetitive, being just endless pirouttes. I'm not denying the skill of the dancers, but I think it needed more. It's a pity, as I normally like Van Manen's work.
 
Finally Cacti by Alexander Ekman. Top tip if you're seeing this - don't sit in the front row. The stage lighting is quite dazzling. It's a fun piece, and they use the blocks well. Not sure of the cactus's though!
 
The last time I saw NDT2 here in Brum was September 1999. Most of the then BRB dancers where in watching. Last night, I only spotted one. Perhaps the youtube generation find it easier to keep up with other dance companies and styles.
 
Sadly, audience numbers was quite thin last night. There are loads of excellent looking shows coming up in IDFB and I'm seeing several. As far as I can tell, only Carlos Acosta is sold out (not that wanted to go - far too many other things to see).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw Schubert/Some Other Time/Mutual Comfort/Solo/Cacti last night which was the first time I have seen this Company and was very impressed, Some Other Time and Solo were my favourites, I didn't like Cacti, not much real dancing although it looked stylish, the dance for the couple in black was funny as their thoughts were spoken on the soundtrack, in general the men seemed better, very expressive and supple, the women less so, perhaps I missed pointe shoes, and unfortunately the lighting level was low so couldn't see faces. One dancer stood out, by a procress of elimination I think it was Gregory Lau in Some Other Time, also liked Guido Dutilh, Benjamin Bedrends and Paxton Ricketts in Solo.

 

Well done NDT2 for providing free cast lists, Brighton Dome was well sold but not full, would recommend seeing them at Sadler's Wells!

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NDT2 are at Sadlers Wells Theatre - the three pieces at the rehearsal were "Schubert", "Sad Case" and "Some other Time". Here are some pictures including the now highly popular black on black with low lighting.

 

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Katarina van den Wouwer and Alexander Anderson in "Schubert"
 
NDT%2B2%2B-%2BTriple%2BBill%2B-%2BSWT%2B

 

Benjamin Behrends and company in "Sad Case"

 

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Paxton Ricketts and Madoka Kariya in "Some other Time"
 
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I saw this bill this evening. The short duet entitled Schubert was nice enough but then things went rapidly downhill (for me) with Sad Case, which I largely disliked with its juvenile grimacing, silly prancing around and ugly costumes which could certainly be strong contenders for a 'Worst. Costume. Ever.' competition. I was beginning to lose hope when the next piece, Some Other Time, started with two women sweeping the stage with soft brooms/mops. This was too reminiscent of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's recent outing to the Wells when a man spent about 20 minutes raking a huge quantity of (uncooked) rice on the stage into a spiral design. Happily this turned out to be a lovely piece, and I liked the use of the moving black screens which had also been deployed in the two previous works.

 

Mutual Comfort, an Edward Clug piece for two couples, had some very good choreography including some interesting partnering work. It was followed by Van Manen's virtuoso piece Solo which was actually danced by three men. It received huge applause.

 

Cacti, a large company piece, was quite witty but, along with other pieces which use gimmicks or an extended conceit - in this case a lot of sounds made by the dancers themselves plus a lengthy voice over - I do wonder whether it would repay repeated viewing.

 

There was some marvellous dancing, particularly by the men. Gregory Lau was heavily featured and he certainly impressed me.

 

The theatre seemed to be very full this evening.

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