Los Angeles

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nederlands Dans Theater 1 at the Los Angeles Music Center

By Heather Toner

Nederlands Dance Theater
Fernando Hernando Magadan and Danielle Rowe, Shoot the Moon, Nederlands Dans Theater, photo © Prudence Upton

This past Friday, the boy and I saw Nederlands Dans Theater 1 perform at the Music Center and it was perhaps the most thrilling evening of dance I've seen in a great long time.  The boy agreed - And he's actually quite the connoisseur, as I've taken him to nearly every dance show that traipses through the LA borders.  

Considered THE premiere contemporary company of Europe, NDT doesn't make it out to LA all that often.  The last time they were here was in 2011, when they performed just two shows mid-week.  Because of their rare appearances on the west coast, I had never actually seen the company live, and to be honest, I was ok with that.  

Now that I've seen them, I'm determined to see them again every time they come to our neck of the woods.  They were glorious, and the work they performed was beautifully brilliant, surreal and cinematic.  It was a thrill to watch.  

The evening was comprised of two works choreographed by Artistic Director Paul Lightfoot and resident choreographer Sol Leon - Same Difference, and Shoot the Moon.  Both were set to haunting music from Phillip Glass, and dealt with the turmoil of relationships and the ego; each exploring new ways to communicate these universal human struggles.  

And there was a third new work from company dancer Medhi Walerski, Chamber.  This work, co-commissioned by the Music Center, was inspired by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, as was the music composed by Joby Talbot.  It was at once fluid and intense, at once a homage to the ritualistic choreographic patterns of Nijinsky's original Rite, and a totally new imagining of the concept.  

All in all, it was an incredible evening of dance, one that the boy and I will always remember, or one we would never want to forget.  


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