Dutch National Ballet’s second part of the Amsterdam programmes does not disappoint. The great vocabulary of Christopher Wheeldon in Concerto Concordia, the lyricism and humour of Alexei Ratmansky’s Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher, the well oiled engine that is Krzysztof Pastor’s Moving Rooms were topped off by a touching, driving performance by Edo Wijnen in David Dawson’s new Citizen Unknown based on St Exupéry's The Little Prince – all set to live music played by various gifted musicians and an inspired Ballet Orkest led by Philip Ellis. 

<i>Concerto Concordia</i> © Hans Gerritsen
Concerto Concordia
© Hans Gerritsen
Concerto Concordia is a solid piece, easy to watch and enjoy, set to the snappy and dreamy piano of Poulenc’s Concerto for two pianos in D minor (Olga Khoziainova and Michael Mouratch). It features two principle couples with six additional couples in the background. The first is a happy domestic couple, a technically sound and present Nadia Yanowsky and Remi Wörtmeyer (who has a great jump). The role of Anna Ol (originally choreographed for Anna Tsygankova) is meant to shine the brightest and certainly does so. The dance is controlled and playful thanks to the perfectly timed and seamless partnering of the always elegant Jozef Varga. 

David Dawson’s world première of Citizen Nowhere follows: It is a profoundly lonely piece with just one dancer on stage. Set against two gigantic connected screens we travel through space with the prince: a smart projection of matrixes, of letters, numbers and words. Eno Henze’s visual oomph rushes us past isolated planets of confused thoughts as the prince tries to figure out (his) life. His beloved rose (love) is danced by Sasha Mukhamedov on film (Altin Kaftira) and remains the object of his fascination, even among hundreds roses, to be dearly missed at the end as he stands peering into endlessness alone. You almost physically miss her on stage. Szymon Brzóska’s great score (a regular cooperator of Dawson's) is an apt accompaniment on this travel through thought and space. Edo Wijnen as the little prince, moves increasingly swiftly and graciously as he whips himself into the virtuosity of the demanding overstretched series of poses that feature in Dawson’s choreography.

<i>Citizen Nowhere</i> © Hans Gerritsen
Citizen Nowhere
© Hans Gerritsen
This is a 23 minute tour the force. The effort is convincing and the audience is touched by his journey. With this first major solo role Wijnen comes into his own as a dancer. He remained disappointingly alone in front of the screen embodying the paradox of borderlessness versus his need for a home. The audience rewarded him with a thunderous applause and standing ovation. 

Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher is a great piece to get drawn into both musically (Tchaikovsky, Alexander Glazounov’s adaptation) and choreographically (Ratmansky). You forget that you are sitting there and just watch two couples interact back and forth and between each other, one of the pairs getting along well, the other trying to stay together. It's great piece to dream away with and project your own thoughts into. Hebe Mensinga plays a great violin, Artur Shesterikov does some great fast jumps, Anna Ol moves convincingly light. Vera Tsyganova always moves with clear strength and away from a centrally present Varga who acts, treads and jumps with grace as he chases after her as the relationship contracts and expands. The end of this piece always cheers me up.

The evening ends with Moving Rooms, one of Krzysztof Pastor’s best pieces. It makes fantastic use of light in the space between the dancers. It’s an exciting ride from beginning to end. Vito Mazzeo opens strong, commanding the stage with round and outstretched forms and performs a great short pas de deux with Yuanyan Zhang at the very end. A strong James Stout and Sasha Mukhamedov do a mean tango-inspired dance with fantastic jumps and accented leg work. Mukhamedov brings something extra to it as she marks the end of her lifts and jumps helped by a well tuned-in Stout who allows her to confidently execute.  

<i>Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher</i> © Hans Gerritsen
Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher
© Hans Gerritsen
 Emanouela Merdjanova and Clemens Fröhlich's part is particularly feline and effective as a contrast. The corps de ballet closes the piece in purposeful unison with the soloists, resembling the steadily pumping pistons of an engine at ever increasing speed. This is like driving an expensive two seater car through a Swiss-Italian landscape confidently drifting sideways through hairpin-bends with the passenger serving tea with buttered scones, jam and double clotted cream on fine English china. They steer confidently towards the finish of what is a rather glorious afternoon.