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Festival Review: Netherlands Dans Theatre--2017 *****

Jo Turbitt reviews 'a fantastic programme of delicious dance'.

Netherlands Dans Theatre (NDT) brought an exquisite programme of work to the EIF this year. With two Sol Leon & Paul Lightfoot pieces and one by Gabriela Carrizo, the company performed with their usual majesty and excellence, as well as showing us their experimental, out there panache.

Shoot the Moon (Leon & Lightfoot) is elegant: incredibly elegant bodies doing incredibly elegant movement. Cleverly using concepts of perspectives integrating live filming, the stage transformed into a periscope of rooms and screens, all instruments of observation, leading us over around and through. It was as if Hitchcock had directed the work; which view were we seeing? What did the fragments accumulate to? The elegance, the shadows, the perspectives, the monochrome design and the longing sorrowful music amassed to a very poignant piece.

Carrizo’s The Missing Door is very clever but totally out there. A post-modern dance theatre piece which draws on concepts of character, fantasy and reality. The dancers became figurines being played with on a film set, placed somewhere between fantasy and reality. It adds a theatrical tone to their repertoire, which dance companies often attempt but few are successful at. Thankfully NDT are the latter.

Leon & Lightfoot’s Stop-Motion closes the evening in the honest, gritty, smoky style that the company have come to be known for. The use of strong visuals and imagery created haunting tension throughout the piece. NDT are a strong company—strong as soloists and strong as an ensemble, and the choreography exhibited their magnitude and their fragility as performers. While the piece was layered like a mille-feuille with juxtapositions, projections and explosive chalk dust clouds, it was also expertly exposing and delicate. With the stage stripped bare and peeled back to it’s natural state, the dancers continued to mesmerise.

A fantastic programme of delicious dance.

Part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Performed at Edinburgh Playhouse. Run ended.

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