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World premiere Ekman and three Lightfoot León hits in True to II

03 Feb 2010

Nederlands Dans Theater II’s  new programme ‘True to II’ has three acclaimed pieces by resident choreographers Paul Lightfoot and Sol León on the menu: Shutters Shut (2003), Subject to Change (2003) and Skew-whiff (1996). In addition to the proven choreographies of these figureheads of the Hague dance company, the audience gets to see the latest work by  25-year-old multi talent Alexander Ekman. The programme is accompanied live by Holland Symfonia.

‘True to II’ is going to premiere in Lucent Danstheater, The Hague, on 25 February, after which it will tour the Netherlands until 10 April.  


World premiere           Alexander Ekman       

The Swedish choreographer Ekman (1984) has made his third piece for Nederlands Dans Theater with this world premiere. Ekman calls himself a ‘rhythm freak’ and one of his trademarks is designing contemporary ‘soundscapes’. Thanks to the creative process with Holland Symfonia, this new choreography – the first for which he is only using classical music - has resulted in a new arrangement of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’. The dancers become the orchestra’s instruments. Ekman has broken his tradition of making predominantly theatrical pieces this time. The Swede believes that the present Nederlands Dans Theater II world premiere is his most ‘dansante’ piece so far. In his new creation Ekman has deployed all dancers while challenging the audience to reflect on the way in which they observe ‘Art’.

 “Modernist Alexander Ekman gets the audience to laugh and think. The 24-year- old choreographer has quickly become a hot name in Europe” (Svenska Dagbladet, 2008)

Shutters Shut              Paul Lightfoot, Sol León

With their choreography Shutters Shut in 2003, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León made a short study on the surrealistic poem “If I told him: A completed portrait of Picasso” by Gertrude Stein, written in 1912. 

In Shutters Shut two dancers interpret Stein’s continuous musically assembled stream of words in four minutes. This results in a razor-sharp, hilarious dialogue with strong kinetic and sign language.

‘one of the loveliest and shortest choreographies ever made’ (NRC Handelsblad, 2006)

Subject to Change       Paul Lightfoot, Sol León

We know nothing stays the same

 But we just can’t be sure

When it will happen

This was written by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León in 2003 for the premiere of Subject to Change. Six dancers portray the tragedy of death to Mahler’s arrangement for string orchestra of the ‘Andante con moto’ from Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’.

Subject to Change won the Zwaan award for best dance production 2003.

‘Beautiful, terrifyingly beautiful’ (Trouw, 2003)

Skew-whiff                   Paul Lightfoot, Sol León

Skew-whiff premiered in 1996 and instantly became a huge success. It is a dance piece full of humour and irony to the ouverture La Gazza Ladra which, at the time in 1817, was composed by Rossini under great time pressure (on the day of the premiere). Lightfoot and León recognised working under pressure all too well and therefore picked Rossini’s theatrical music for Skew-whiff. Their ingenious choreography is full of volcanic dance energy that erupts within a tightly maintained design.  It has a series of solos and duets that are performed by four dancers with all of their personality and with the use of all possible muscles from top to toe.

“…one suddenly says to oneself, about two minutes from the end, “Oh please! Don’t let it be over yet!” (Dancing Times, 1997)

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