NDT 2, Brilliant Younger Company of Nederlands Dans Theater, Returns to White Bird Long Absence.


When: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 7:30 pm
Where: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, Portland
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.
Sponsors: West Coast Trust/ Columbia Bank
Media Sponsor: The Oregonian
Info: www.whitebird.org

“Every time NDT 2 hits our stages, the usual superlatives fall flat in speechless admiration at 16 dancers, who can handle anything the top-ranking choreographers care to task them with.” The Herald (Glasgow)
The White Bird Dance Series is excited to present the long-awaited return of NDT2, the brilliant younger 16-member company of Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), led by Artistic Director Paul Lightfoot and based in The Netherlands that is renowned for its bold choreography and exceptional dancers. NDT2 was founded in 1978 to feed the main company with young gifted dancers and has established itself as an exciting ensemble on its own, with a distinct repertoire by world-acclaimed choreographers. Last presented by White Bird in 2003, NDT2 returns with a wide-ranging program of dances by Sol León & Paul Lightfoot from Holland, Johan Inger and Alexander Ekman from Sweden, and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar from Israel.


The White Bird program will begin with Johan Inger’s I NEW THEN (2012). Inger has created a frolicsome yet poignant piece involving four young women and five young men, set to songs by Van Morrison. One loner rebels against the group, and the results are comical, theatrical and surprising. Lightfoot/Leon’s short piece Shutters Shut (2003) follows, a remarkable piece of four minutes during which two dancers visualize the words of Gertrude Stein reciting her poem If I told him. The body language blends seamlessly into the whimsical poem.


Choreographer Sharon Eyal and her partner DJ Gai Behar created the compelling work Sara (2013) specifically for NDT 2. The choreography and composition of electronic sounds were created simultaneously. Sara revolves around memories, dreams, emotions, inspiration, loneliness, sorrow, caring and sharing, about life. “It springs from the subconscious, but is very humane at the same time”, says Eyal.


The evening culminates with Alexander Ekman’s Cacti (2010) which showcases the razor sharp timing of the NDT 2 ensemble. Alexander Ekman calls himself a “rhythm freak,” and uses classical music in new arrangements to develop movement that is unique and unpredictable. The dancers act as instruments for the orchestra and in so doing challenge the audience to reflect on the way art is perceived. The Guardian’s Judith Mackrell states, “The whip-smart timing of this piece as it juggles these incongruous elements is pure pleasure. I can’t remember the last time one of the NDT companies made me laugh out loud.” A special bonus of this piece is the text written and spoken by Spenser Theberge, former NDT company member, who was a graduate of Vancouver School of Arts and Academics as well as New York’s Julliard School.


Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies, under artistic guidance of choreographer Paul Lightfoot. The Dutch troupe is based in The Hague, but performs on a yearly basis for an international audience of 115.000 visitors in Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. Since its foundation in 1959, this pioneering company has built a rich repertoire of over 600 works. by master choreographers such as Jiří Kylián and Hans van Manen, renowned house choreographers Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, associate choreographers Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman and Marco Goecke and high-profiled guests such as Gabriela Carrizo, Hofesh Shechter and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar.


Of the choreographers, Alexander Ekman, after a dance career with Royal Swedish Ballet, Cullberg Ballet and NDT 2, decided to solely focus on choreography. During the NDT workshop Switch he was noticed for his talent and individual and original style. For NDT 2 Ekman created Flockwork (2006), the international hit Cacti (2010, nominated for the VSCD Zwaan Award 2010), Left Right Left Right (2012) and Maybe Two (2013). Alexander Ekman works worldwide with companies such as Cullberg Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza, Goteborg Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, Royal Swedish Ballet and the Norwegian National Ballet.


Former NDT 1 dancer Johan Inger has been an associate choreographer at NDT since 2009. As an associate choreographer Inger has made various works for NDT such as Dissolve in this (2009), Tone Bone Kone (2010), I New Then and Sunset Logic (2012). Inger was artistic director of the Cullberg Ballet from 2003 to 2008 and made various choreographic work for this company. Inger’s work is in the repertoire of many leading dance companies all over the world. Recently he created the successful Rain Dogs, based on music by Tom Waits, for the Basel Ballett in Switzerland.

Sharon Eyal danced with Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company from 1990 until 2008 and began choreographing within the framework of the company’s Dancers Create project. Eyal served as Associate Artistic Director of Batsheva in 2003-2004, and as House Choreographer from 2005 to 2012. In 2009 Eyal began creating pieces for other dance companies in the world: Killer Pig (2009) and Corps de Walk (2011) for Carte Blanche Dance of Norway, Too Beaucoup (2011) for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Plafona (2012) for Tanzcompagnie Oldenburg, Germany. In 2013 Eyal launched L-E-V with her long-time collaborator Gai Behar.


Paul Lightfoot and Sol León started creating together 25 years ago. Since then, the duo have created more than fifty pieces for Nederlands Dans Theater. In 2002 they were appointed house choreographers for the company exclusively. Together they have 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. Two years later she joined NDT 1 and danced masterpieces of Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. Paul Lightfoot studied at the Royal Ballet School in London. He joined NDT 2 and moved to NDT 1 two years later, where he danced until 2008. During his dancing career, Lightfoot started choreographing and together with Sol León he created many pieces for NDT. Lightfoot became artistic director of NDT in 2011.


White Bird’s 2014-15 season is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, Ronni Lacroute/ WillaKenzie Estate, Work for Art, Oregon Arts Commission, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), The Autzen Foundation, Trust Management Services, The Jaffe Foundation, The Boeing Company and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition.

NDT 2, Brilliant Younger Company of Nederlands Dans Theater, Returns to White Bird Long Absence.