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Subject: "NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000" Archived thread - Read only
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07-04-00, 01:17 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Lynette Click to send private message to Lynette Click to add this user to your buddy list  
"NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000"
   NDT 2, the junior wing of Netherlands Dance Theatre for dancers under 22, can boast eight different nationalities among their fourteen dancers. They are a remarkably diverse bunch, with a range of physical types, yet they are clearly a company, not a collection of individuals and move with a remarkably coherent style and pace. It was a fast paced evening, at times frenetic, which celebrated their energy and good humour, and was very popular with a packed house.

The programme at Sadlers opened with a Kylian work, Indigo Rose, made for NDT2 last year. This was for me the most satisfying piece from a purely choreographic point of view. It was a coherent and carefully structured work. The designs are attractively and elegantly simple: a white curtain across part of the stage gives plenty of opportunities for playing with the silhouettes of dancers both in front of and behind it, and the relative sizes of shadows and actual bodies. The lighting was by Michael Simon, and framed the piece very nicely. The dance seemed more unified than the music which jumped around from Bach, Cage, electronic noise and a syrupy version of Iím a fool to care. This did seem somewhat perverse: perhaps Kylian was just having fun illustrating that a coherent dance and performance can work against the most perverse background, or perhaps an NDT audience is expected to have a short musical attention span. The ending also seemed rather contrary: after assembling all nine dancers on stage, they remain frozen for a number of moments as a series of black and white images play on a screen at the back of the stage. It was a curiously downbeat ending to a lively and vigorous piece put across with great energy and charm, especially by the man in red (who I think was Mario Zambrano - pictures in the programme would be a help).

The second work was Mellantid, made in 1995 by Johan Inger, who has made other works for the company. NDT2 performed his Sammanfall here in 1997, which I found rather uninvolving at the time. This earlier work - his first - is much lighter in tone. Itís an affectionate evocation of a group of people in late adolescence and their pairings and departures, and sits well on the company. There are a number of neatly sketched vignettes - various adolescent fumblings, and a disco scene complete with glittery ball which evoked an atmosphere of sweaty tension. The six dancers presented an authentic evocation of energy, confusion, and the occasional hint of regret. The women (Rani Luther, Natasa Novotna) were particularly impressive.

I have rather mixed feelings about the final work on the programme, Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin: mainly because the work itself is a mixture, made up of sections of four of his previous works (Zachacha, Anaphase, Sabotage Baby, Moshe) put together to form a new one. It didnít really hang together in a satisfactory way. The joins were very visible, and earlier sections of the dance didnít seem to relate to later ones. Again the music is an eclectic mishmash, chopping up bossa nova, Israeli music and some throbbing electronic stuff into a multicultural soup. But what this work does have going for it is the full company of fourteen dancers - somehow they seem like more - gathering together to really let rip and let their hair down, and have a damn good time.

After a rather repetitive section with the company gathered in a semi circle of chairs, the dancing continued to a series of voice overs from various members of the company describing themselves and sometimes their attitude to dance. This was toe-curlingly embarrassing stuff for the most part, and I really dreaded that weíd have to hear from all of them. They should stick to dancing: itís where their talents lie, and they really are very strong, confident and exuberant dancers, full of vitality and charm. After this, the potential for embarrassment increased with audience participation time: yes, you have been warned. The dancers leap into the stalls and select a partner each. Some of these just had to be plants, because they were just too good, but not all were. Anxious giggles all round gave way to warm applause, as a good time was had by all. They should really have ended it there with the audience in a particularly happy and relaxed mood, but there was another, more frenetic section to come before the curtain. It was fun crowd pleasing stuff, performed with great verve and style, but the work itself seemed more fast food than real nourishment in dance terms. But NDT2 are a hugely likeable company with a great sense of fun, and got a wild response from a packed house at Sadlerís.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000 caroliner 08-04-00 1
     RE: NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000 Lynette 10-04-00 2
     RE: NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000 alison 10-04-00 3

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08-04-00, 07:12 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail caroliner Click to send private message to caroliner Click to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000"
In response to message #0
   Hooray for NDT2! It has been a really buzzy week at Sadler's Wells, with such a talented and energetic company in residence.

Lynette's review suggests that there were 'plants' in the audience for Minus 16. This is absolutely not the case. The dancers are given a few general guidelines about who to look for (some of them have to look for older people, audience wearing bright colours may be more extrovert, etc) but otherwise it is up to luck and discretion. The absolute rule is that they cannot pick anyone who they know - so choosing a friend or colleague in the audience is out. Also, they may have to try several people before they find one who will agree - on the first night in the row in front of me, two grey-haired ladies were asked three times if they would come up and refused, before the dancer made the inspired choice of an elderly gentleman a few rows further forward and produced a couple of the most memorable moments of the evening!

There was an insightful and lively interview between Gerald Tibbs (Artistic Director of NDT2)and Alistair Spalding (new Director of Programming at Sadler's Wells) after the performance on Friday night. Gerald fielded some awkward questions about money and lack of performances in the UK with skill, but I was particularly reminded of one answer looking at your site today. There was a recent poll of what qualities were most valued in a dancer, and last night, a dance student asked Gerald Tibbs what qualities NDT looked for at an audition for new company members. Gerald's reply was that there were four qualities: Musicality, Personality, Technique and Physicality. The poll voters are obviously in tune with this...........

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10-04-00, 09:01 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Lynette Click to send private message to Lynette Click to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000"
In response to message #1
   Well, if they weren't set up, then I must say, the dancers have a knack of finding some good dancers - the guy in the orange T-shirt on the 5th was really excellent...

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10-04-00, 01:12 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: NDT2, Sadler's Wells, 5/4/2000"
In response to message #1
   If I'd known in advance, I'd have dressed all in grey!

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