5 STARS

In five-star choreographies, created by five star choreographers, Introdans gives its dancers the chance to shine like stars in the dance heavens. The programme 5★★★★★ shows the richness and diversity of contemporary ballet, ranging from dreamy lyricism to scintillating virtuosity. In addition to Mauro de Candia’s beautiful La Morte del Cigno, the show contains no less than four new works for Introdans, created by Jiří Kylián, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Robert Battle and Ben Van Cauwenbergh – four choreographers who each, in their own way, challenge their dancers and move their audiences.

Introdans premiere Dream Time by Jiří Kylián

When it was given its world premiere at the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1983, Jiří Kylián’s Dream Time permanently imprinted itself in the memory of Introdans’ artistic director Roel Voorintholt. So Voorintholt is delighted that he can now make this moving ballet from Kylián’s lyrical period accessible to new generations. The master choreographer set his work to music by Toru Takemitsu and also drew inspiration from a statement by the composer. Takemitsu said that his method of composing is comparable to walking through a Japanese garden: “The garden might not have such a large surface area but it offers all the more in terms of height and depth.” Or in other words: there is always more than you see. As Kylián himself says, after seeing Dream Time you don’t know whether you have watched a ballet or have been dreaming for a while.

Dutch premiere Loin by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

The Flemish-Moroccan, internationally celebrated Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui created Loin in 2005 for the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Introdans is the first other company to receive permission to perform this choreography. Loin is about distance: distance between individuals, countries and cultures, but also – a favourite theme of Cherkaoui’s – about what connects us as people and how we can overcome distance. Japanese, Chinese and Moorish elements are effortlessly combined in the stage design and costumes of Loin, and within this multicultural setting Cherkaoui creates diverse and changing atmospheres. One moment meditative and hallucinatory, the next down-to-earth and sometimes – thanks in part to text and song – humorous as well. The connecting factor is Cherkaoui’s flowing, organic dance language and his characteristic, dizzyingly fast arm movements. ‘The dance idiom is an eclectic mix of classical steps, acrobatic partner work and vogue-like hand choreographies. But the nice thing here is that the stylistic variations never clash,’ wrote NRC Handelsblad after the Dutch premiere.

Dutch premiere Les Bourgeois by Ben Van Cauwenbergh

In Les Bourgeois (The Middle Class) Jacques Brel sings about how he and his youthful friends, after a night on the town, insult the notables of the village and how many years later, now that they themselves belong to the notables, they in turn are insulted by drunken youths. The ‘drunken man’s song’ inspired Flemish choreographer Ben Van Cauwenbergh, former star soloist of the Royal Flanders Ballet and the London Festival Ballet, to a delightful, playful male solo that has become a popular number at international ballet galas and competitions. Van Cauwenbergh’s choreography looks ‘casual’ and nonchalant, but in terms of virtuosity, acting skills and bravura it demands the maximum of the male soloist. So it’s no surprise that world-format stars such as Carlos Acosta, Sergei Polunin and Daniil Simkin have added Van Cauwenbergh’s little jewel to their repertoire in recent years.

* During the show in Leverkusen on 29 May 2018, we will perform Sortijas instead of Les Bourgeois. 

Dutch premiere Unfold by Robert Battle

Artistic director Roel Voorintholt already noticed the American Robert Battle while the latter was still dancing at David Parsons Dance and had just begun making his own choreographies. Now Battle is the artistic director of the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and his work is internationally in demand, but he seldom accepts other commissions. Introdans has no less than nine of his works in its repertoire and Unfold now moves the total up to ten. This duet sketches a picture of fresh love, but instead of frisky puppy love these feelings are intense, passionate and maybe also fraught. While Battle has previously shown a strong preference for robust percussive music in his work, for Unfold he has now chosen a classical aria from Gustave Charpentier’s opera Louise, and this has a striking effect on his dance idiom.

La Morte del Cigno by Mauro de Candia

In La Morte del Cigno the Italian choreographer Mauro de Candia presents an outstanding contemporary male interpretation of The Dying Swan, the short solo made immortal by the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. De Candia retains the overfamiliar music, Le Cygne from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Le Carnival des Animaux. But in contrast to the fragile, vulnerable bird from the original choreography by Michel Fokine (1905), this ‘dying swan’ is a self-willed, proud beast that tries to find a way to freedom with huge animal power, passion and suppleness. 

Dream Time

 Choreography Jiří Kylián

La Morte del Cigno

 Choreography Mauro de Candia

Les Bourgeois

 Choreography Ben van Cauwenbergh

Unfold

 Choreography Robert Battle

Loin

 Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Dream Time

choreography Jiří Kylián | music Toru Takemitsu, Dreamtime for Orchestra, 1981 | set and costume design John F. MacFarlane | lighting design Jiří Kylián (concept), Kees Tjebbes (re-design) | set thanks to The Tokyo Ballet | costumes thanks to Ballet Zürich, Merel Kaspers, Joke Visser | rehearsed by Elke Schepers | repetiteur Diane Matla | duration ± 16 minutes | world premiere 5 May 1983, NDT 1, Scheveningen | Introdans premiere 16 February 2018, Arnhem

La Morte del Cigno

choreography Mauro de Candia | music Camille Saint-Saëns, le Cygne (uit Le Carnaval des Animaux | costume and lighting design Mauro de Candia | costumes made by Merlijn Koopman | repetiteur Diane Matla | duration ± 4 minutes | world premiere 5 January 2009, Giovane Balletto Mediterraneo, Massa (it) | Introdans premiere 26 December 2009, Arnhem

Unfold

choreography Robert Battle | music Gustave Charpentier, Louise Act. III, Depuis le jour, executed by Leontyne Price | costume design Jon Taylor | lichtontwerp Lynda Erbs | costumes made by Merlijn Koopman | rehearsed by & repetiteur Marlena Wolfe | duration ± 6 minutes | world premiere 2007 Alvin Ailey Company, New York (us) | Introdans premiere 16 February 2018, Arnhem

Les Bourgeois

choreography Ben van Cauwenbergh | music Jacques Brel, Les Bourgeois | costume & lighting design Ben van Cauwenbergh | costumes made by atelier Introdans | rehearsed by Ben van Cauwenbergh | repetiteur Diane Matla | duration ± 4 minutes | world premiere 8 February 2003, Ballett des Hessischen Staatstheaters, Wiesbaden (d) | Introdans premiere 16 February 2018, Arnhem

Loin

choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui | assistant to the choreographer Elias Lazaridis | music Henrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Extraits des Sonates sur les Mystères du Rosaire pour violon et basse continue: Sonata XVI, Sonata I, Sonata IV, Sonata IX, Sonata XIII, Sonata XVI | costume design Isabelle Lhoas, Frédéric Denis | set and lighting design (concept) Wim van de Cappelle | lighting design (re-design) Philippe Duvauchelle | set & costumes Grand Théâtre de Genève | rehearsed by Elias Lazaridis, Manuel Vignoulle, Qing Wang, Tsubasa Hori | Romanian song rehearsed by Roger van der Poel | singing coach Jolande Geven | translation texts Aymeric Aude, Nienke Wind | wall construction Vorm & Decor | repetiteur Marlena Wolfe | duration ± 45 minutes | world premiere 14 April 2005, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Gèneve (ch)| Introdans premiere 16 February 2018, Arnhem