News & Media > Zwaan award for Kylián's 'Gods and Dogs'


Zwaan award for Kylián's 'Gods and Dogs'

04 Feb 2010

Ji??í Kylián has been awarded the Zwaan (Swan) for ‘most impressive dance production 2009’ on account of his choreography Gods and Dogs for Nederlands Dans Theater II. This was announced by the Dance Panel of the Dutch Theatre and Concert Hall Management Association VSCD during the Dutch Dance Gala. According to the dance panel Kylián puts his finger on the back of reality and the universe he creates on stage is stimulating with a sharp and discerning stratification. The 2009 dance award ceremony took place at Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht on 10 October.  

 The VSCD dance panel says about Jirí Kylián’s Gods and Dogs (Nederlands Dans Theater II): ‘In this wonderfully balanced work, Jirí Kylián makes the young dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater II shine in a hallucinating world, to music by Beethoven and Haubrich. This impressive total theatre unfolds into a mysterious and dark story; Kylián puts his finger on the back of reality. The new universe that is created on stage, is stimulating and has the sharp and discerning stratification that is so characteristic of Kylián. This manifests itself not only in the special kinetic language; what he creates on stage, with an ingenious eye for detail, is a distinctive mix of design, music and choreography. Gods and Dogs is Kylián’s one hundredth production for Nederlands Dans Theater and proves that the choreographer is still going strong.

 Gods and Dogs was not only the grand master’s hundredth choreography, but also his last for Nederlands Dans Theater II in his capacity as Nederlands Dans Theater’s resident choreographer. It premiered at Lucent Danstheater The Hague in November 2008.

Kylián on Gods and Dogs: ‘It is this border, between “normality and insanity”, between “health and sickness” and all the norms which determine the one or the other, which interest me. It can be diagnosed at any moment of our life. But where is exactly this moment, which will ultimately push us over the invisible border into the dark world of insanity and illness, is very difficult to determine. It is more than clear to me that I am not the first or the last person to ask these questions, and I think that every emerging generation should re-examine and redefine the borders and the twilight zones of such condition. But regardless of the borders in which these human conditions will be confined, surely no positive developments can ever be accomplished without the help of a healthy portion of madness’.

Other nominees for the Zwaan for ‘most impressive dance production 2009’, besides Kylián’s Gods and Dogs, were I Solo Ment (Ann Van den Broek) and Thoughts unsaid then forgotten (Bruno Listopad). Kylián dedicated the award to Gerald Tibbs, Nederlands Dans Theater II’s artistic leader.

The VSCD Dance Panel 2009 consists of: Gemma Jelier; Mirjam van der Linden; Roland Helmer; Simone Mager; Tim Persent; Karin Schnabel;Jasper Weck; Hildegard Draaijer.  See for further information on the dance awards.

For further information on the Dutch Dance Days see