Established Dutch dance Company Introdans recently won two dance audience awards, one for dancer Merel Janssen and one for the overall body of works of artistic director Roel Voorintholt.

Pockets to unfold © Hand Gerritsen
Pockets to unfold
© Hand Gerritsen

The company's repertoire is made up of a wide range of accessible contemporary works by well-known and up-and-coming (inter)national choreographers, often offering audiences invaluable opportunities to see works that are rarely performed by other companies in The Netherlands. The company lives up to the expectation with MODERNlive, a new mixed bill consisting of the world première of Canto Ostinato by renowned choreographer Lucinda Childs, the revival of Ed Wubbe’s De dood en het meisje and two new works L’un différent and Pockets to Unfold by dancers Laurent Drousie and Jorge Pérez Martínez .

Lucinda Childs Canto Ostinato is a minimalistic interplay of lines, set to repetitive piano music of the same name by Simeon ten Holt. The lightning and costumes are grey, and the backdrop shows a vertical line that not only moves but also multiplies itself. Dancers cross the stage hopping and walking in the same speed, performing a short duet when meeting
each other. Both the concept and the movements are of great simplicity, but performing the seemingly endless and repetitive piece seemingly require much focus. The minimalistic character of the work is, alternatively, or at the same time, dull, and fascinating.

Next in the program are the works of two of the company’s dancers. L’un different (Laurent Drousie) features four dancers with their faces hidden behind masks, creating unity and anonymity. When one of them dares to be different and takes off her mask the others slowly follow. Pockets to Unfold (Jorge Perez Martinez) is more romantic and playful. Dancers casually enter the stage with their hands in their pockets, the lights dim and the floor covered with some kind of confetti. Romantic and melancholic duets unfold in this dreamy setting. In both pieces there were some disturbing and unclear moments, especially considering the objects used for the scenes' decoration. But although not very memorable, both pieces certainly showed the potential of these two choreographers.

De dood en het meisje © Hans Gerritsen
De dood en het meisje
© Hans Gerritsen
Ed Wubbe’s De dood en het meisje concludes the evening. The work is remarkably different both, because of its age (created in 1989) and the style / atmosphere of the piece. The choreography shows a girl’s struggle and confusion on her dramatic journey towards death. The dancers are dressed in black and white gowns, and in the middle of the stage stands a coffin. In the first part the girl seems panicked and lonely, while the other dancers are dancing joyfully and going on with their lives. Later on, she meets death - dressed in black,  and the dance dialogue is made up of mostly dramatic classical dance and much gestural arm movements. The work inevitably ends at her funeral. The dramatic choreography and the expressive dancing are beautiful, but the long-windedness sometimes detracts from the emotional
impact.

Introdans once again managed to present a very varied mixed-bill featuring different
contemporary dance styles. Some are more memorable than others, but all are well performed by the dancers and, together, present a great overview of the possibilities
of contemporary dance. MODERNlive makes you want to see more of what the
company has to offer.

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