Mensen > Choreographers > Sol León en Paul Lightfoot


Sol León en Paul Lightfoot

Resident choreographers Nederlands Dans Theater

Everyone Choreographers
Nationality: Brittish & Spanish

The hugely productive Paul Lightfoot (1966, Kingsley, Engeland) and Sol León (Córdoba, Spanje) started creating together 25 years ago. Since then the inseparable duo created fifty pieces for NDT. In 2002 they were appointed house choreographers for the company exclusively. Together they won prestigious awards, such as the Benois de la Danse and the Herald Archangel.


Sol León joined NDT 2 after graduating from the National Ballet Academy of Madrid in 1987. In 1989 she joined NDT 1 and danced masterpieces of Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. She continued to dance up until 2003, when she decided to devote herself fully to choreography. León became artistic advisor of NDT in 2012.
Paul Lightfoot was educated at The Royal Ballet School in London. He joined NDT 2 and after only two years he moved to NDT 1, where he danced until 2008. During his dancing career, Lightfoot started choreographing as well and together with Sol León he created many pieces for NDT. Lightfoot became artistic director of NDT in 2011.


In season 2013-2014 León & Lightfoot have created the new work Stop-Motion for NDT 1, which premiered on January 29, 2014 in The Netherlands. Also in their hands is this season’s finale; the full evening work Programme V for NDT 1 with the famed Kronos Quartet, which premieres on June 6, 2014 during the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. In 2013-2014 NDT also performs their work in Los Angeles, Berkely, Baden Baden, Paris and London.


Their dance language looks musical, capricious and grotesque, often with a cartoonish slant and a tragic undertone: sharp humor with spicy drama and flamboyant passion. Rapid movements are accompanied by grimaces, faces and limbs. Dancers appear and disappear in fog or get buried under flour. Not uncommon, the duo makes use of slow motion and freeze. Lately, their work becomes more theatrical and emotional. Generational and love conflicts shine through; decors impress, huge movie screens and floors enclose dancers. Many of their choreographies titles start with an S, inspired by their daughter Saura and Sol, Paul’s muse.



Awards and honours
Incentive Prize for Choreography of the Amsterdam Art Prize for Seconds (1992)
Nomination Laurence Olivier Award for Best Dance Production for SH-Boom (1994)
Lucas Hoving Prize 1994 (Paul Lightfoot)
Incentive Prize Choreography 1997 of Stichting Dansersfonds ’79  (Paul Lightfoot)
VSCD Golden Theatre Dance Prize 2002 (Paul Lightfoot)
Merit Award 2003 of Stichting Dansersfonds’79 (Sol León)
VSCD Dance Award Zwaan 2003-2004 for Shutters Shut and Subject to Change
Benois de la Danse 2005 for Signing Off
Herald Archangel, Edinburgh International Festival 2006
VSCD Dance Award Zwaan 2005-2006 for Shoot the Moon


The Bard of Avon (NDT2, 1989)

Spilt Milk (NDT Workshop, 1990)

Step Lightly (NDT2, 1991)

Satchinananda (NDT Workshop, 1992)

Seconds (NDT1, 1992)

Sigue (NDT Workshop, 1993)

Solitaire (NDT2, 1994)

Susto (NDT3, 1994)

SH-Boom (NDT Workshop, 1994)

So Sorry (NDT3, 1994)

Softly, as I Leave You (NDT1, 1994)

Syllabus (NDT Workshop, 1995)

Skew-Whiff (NDT2, 1996)

Start to Finish (NDT1, 1996)

Shangri-La (NDT1, 1997)

Stilleven (NDT1, 1997)

Sad Case (NDT2, 1998)

Singing Apes (NDT1, 1998)

Small Moves (NDT3, 1999)

Speak For Yourself (NDT1, 1999)

Squeaky Wheel (NDT3, 2000)

Said and Done (NDT2, 2001)

Safe as Houses (NDT1, 2001)

Subject to Change (NDT2, 2003)

Shutters Shut (NDT2, 2003)

Signing Off (NDT1, 2003)

Source of Inspiration (NDT1, 2004)

drawn onward (NDT1, 2004)

SH-BOOM! (adapted version, NDT1, 2004)

Postscript (NDT2, 2005)

Silent Screen (NDT1, 2005)

Shoot the Moon (NDT1, 2006)

Sleight of Hand (NDT2, 2007)

Sooner or Later (NDT1, 2007)

Same Difference (NDT1, 2007)

Passe-Partout (NDT2, 2009)

Sehnsucht (NDT1, 2009)

Limbo (NDT1, 2009)

Studio 2 (NDT2, 2009)

Swan Song (NDT1, 2010)

Schmetterling (NDT1, 2010)

Skipping over Damaged Area (NDT1, 2011)

Short time together (Nationaal Ballet, on the occasion of the Jubilee, 2012)

Shine a Light (NDT1, 2012)

School Thought (NDT 1, 2013)

Stop-Motion (NDT 1, 2014)

Spiritwalking (NDT 1, 2014)