I recently went to see a performance of Nederlands Dans Theater 2 at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. I had no idea what to expect, but I was absolutely blown away by the quality of dance that I saw there.
Nederlans Dans Theater 2 are the 'junior division' of Nederlans Dans Theater, with dancers aged 18 - 23. The dancers come from all around the word and are all classically trained. They are currently touring in the UK, but only until the 20th May, so if you only listen to one thing I say:
Go and see them if you can!
They are touring a selection of works, performing slightly different programs in each location. At the performance I went to they performed:
I New Then - Johan Inger
Mutual comfort - Edward Clug
Solo - Hans van Manen
Cacti - Alexandder Ekman
The first piece, I New Then, was a very joyful introduction to the program. The dancers seemed very childish (but with exceptional technique) and they looked like they loved being there every minute of the piece. It was set to music by Van Morrison, and it is described in the program as 'fresh and optimistic' which I think sums it up brilliantly.
Next was Mutual Comfort, by Edward Clug. Although I enjoyed this piece, I felt that it was a bit overshadowed by the pieces that came before and after it. Again, the dancers' technique was amazing and shone clearly through, with a very minimalist approach to the lighting and design, and only 4 dancers onstage. However, it was less captivating than some of the other pieces and as an audience member it was a little unclear what was supposed to come across from it. That being said, it definitely showed off the incredible dancers NDT2 has to offer.
On the subject of showing off, next came Solo by Hans van Manen. Despite the name this wasn't a solo, but a trio of 3 young men. It was 7 minutes long and seemed to have about 7000 steps in it, which were all performed beautifully by Benjamin Behrends, Guido Dutilh and Paxton Ricketts. This was the piece that seemed the most like watching a ballet to me, a lot of technical steps, almost as if it was a race to get as many in as possible!
Finally came Cacti, choreographed by Alexander Ekman. This was my personal favourite piece of the evening.
It was a crazy combination of athletic dancing, lights and effects and some hilarious moments. One of the best bits was a duet between two dancers with a voice over of their thoughts / conversation. It reminded me of the whispered conversations that happen in rehearsals, such as "Don't drop my head!" and really felt authentic, like the dancers were actually talking to each other onstage. The dancing was incredible yet again but the combination with the sound, visual and lighting effects was truly amazing.
I left the performance feeling energised and excited, but more than a little bit nervous. The youngest performers were only 18 and therefore only three years older than me. If I can come anywhere near to achieving a performance like the ever, then I'll be very, very happy.
Contemporary dance student and food-lover, sharing tips and tricks, recipes and my journey through the amazing worlds of dance and food.