Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (NDT2) - The Big Crying/Simple Things/IMPASSE seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
NDT 2 is the part of Nederlands Dans Theater which concentrates on young and emerging talent. It is some six years since the UK was last treated to an NDT2 tour so I was delighted to be part of the large and appreciative audience in Plymouth last night for the three short pieces of this tour.
The Big Cry by Marco Goecke is the first piece, one borne out of the death of Marco's father. Nineteen dancers perform this piece and the style is angular like a slightly too fast old movie or machines slightly out of control. It is a story of coping with grief, both alone and through the attentions of others - the opening sequence is particularly effective with dancers approaching and "supporting" the grieving central character. Lighting changes are used sparingly but to excellent effect and the overall result is extremely effective and uplifting. It is supported by a superb soundtrack with songs by, amongst others, Tori Amos. I was totally engrossed, couldn't rake my eyes off this mesmerising piece.
Simple Things by Hans van Manen is a much smaller and lighter piece with four dancers telling tales of relationship and friendship. To me, it seemed that this was the story of two really close friends living through those experiences when they "lose" each other to relationships outside their friendship but whose closeness survives all those encounters. A thought provoking and intelligent piece that had an easy lightness to it.
IMPASSE by Johan Inger is a much more fun piece that attempts to put over the idea that we are subject to too many external influences and, in the end, we are driven by these into trying to do more with less time. The dance space reduces in size as the number of dancers, each representing some external pressure on their lives, increases. Here is a dance that made the audience think, but also laugh out loud at times. Witty and fast, this clever piece was a genuine delight and left us smiling as we departed.
What a ridiculously talented group of dancers we were treated to in a programme that explored a range of emotions, each distinct and confident in itself but all carrying the thread that is NDT2.