Nederlands Dans Theater 2 presents Smoke and Mirrors, a varied programme consisting of 4 fascinating works. Dancers Imre van Opstal and Marne van Opstal created their first work for the company which is presented alongside choreographies by established choreographers, as well as Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot’s first work for Nederlands Dans Theater created in 1994. This way the programme does not just give an overview of the different choreographic styles represented by the company, but also shows how choreography has changed over the years.
After the interval there’s two short but intense choreographies, the first one being Sara by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. The dancers are dressed in skin coloured suits, hiding all body parts and making them totally equal and unrecognizable, almost taking away everything human about them. Movement, sound and lightning stand side by side creating a strong mysterious atmosphere. As a whole the dancers look like characterless creatures, but when they fold their arms around their bodies and playback on the electronic voice of the music they show emotions of loneliness. It is hard to describe this mysterious and unusual work, but it leaves a strong impression.
Marco Goecke’s Midnight Raga is an interesting experiment with dance and music. The first part is set on traditional Indian music, but has nothing to do with Indian dance at all. Instead the choreographer uses his own characteristic dance language with fast-paced shuddering movements. Despite the huge contrast, the combination seems right. His nervous choreography somehow matches the freaky quality of the music. They both have something mysterious and give you the nervous and exciting feeling of walking through India’s bustling city streets. But the experiment does not end here. In the second part, the choreography has the exact same dance movements, but a different soundtrack: I’d rather go blind by Etta James. A different and less intense experience, but it doesn’t make the dance any less fascinating.
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