Nederlands Dans Theater 2
Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is one of the most productive dance companies in the Netherlands, if not in the world. With eight world premieres in season 2018/2019, NDT shows an unprecedented number of new ballets. Artistic director Paul Lightfoot has deliberately chosen only a few revivals: "It's about artistic creation, not just choreography."
The company has always been ambitious and idiosyncratic. Since its founding in 1959 by Benjamin Harkarvy, Aart Verstegen and Carel Birnie in cooperation with eighteen dancers from Het Nationaal Ballet (The National Ballet), NDT has tried to pave its own way in the modern dance field. Glen Tetley and Hans van Manen prominently imprinted NDT with an avant-garde aesthetic and their nonconformist, progressive productions put the company on the national and international map.
The idea to divide the company into one that focuses on talent development (NDT 2) and one where the more mature dancers (NDT 1) can fully grow into their artistic personalities, was developed forty years ago. Dancers of NDT 2 join NDT 1 under the condition that they meet the expectations of the artistic direction. The high requirements that must be met result not only in appreciation by the public, but also in international dance prizes. Dancer and choreographer Medhi Walerski won the prestigious 2013 Swan for 'most impressive dance performance'. "With his impressive appearance and theatre sensitivity his presence never loses meaning and he holds the audience’s attention by continuously fixating them. Walerski is a master magician in time and space " according to the VSCD jury report.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the second company to NDT. Originally brought to life with the purpose of feeding the first company with young talent, NDT 2 was founded in 1978. It has, however, shaped itself into an entirely independent division throughout the decades, attracting renowned choreographers from all over the world that come to create especially for NDT 2 to contribute to its extensive, own repertoire. What hasn’t changed is the company’s focus on the development of the artistic personality of its young dancers.
In a time span of three years, NDT 2 prepares sixteen classically trained dancers by offering a varied repertoire consisting of works. This season, those will be made by established choreographers like Alexander Ekman and Bryan Arias, as well as a new generation of talents such as Felix Landerer. One of the objectives of NDT 2, is to acquaint the dancers with a lexicon of dance languages. Working together with diverse creators, provides the dancers with the opportunity to learn to react quickly to different dance languages, techniques and working methods.