Nederlands Dans Theater

The Hague Netherlands

20:00h | Sava Centar

Sad Case



choreography, set, costumes: Sol León & Paul Lightfoot
music: Pérez Prado: Mambo no. 8, Muchachita, Always in my heart; El Vengador; Caballo Negro; Alberto Dominguez: Frenesi; Ray Barretto: El Watusi; Trio Los Panchos: Perfidia; Augustin Lara: Maria Bonita. © Peer Music Classical, Hamburg / Albersen Verhuur B.V., ‘s-Gravenhage
lighting design:Tom Bevoort
duration: 22’
premiere: Lucent Danstheater, The Hague, 1998


The work was created when Sol León was seven months pregnant with their daughter, and acts as one of the main pillars of León & Lightfoot’s oeuvre. Surprising movements on Mexican mambo music show a continual search for the tension between satirical and classic moments.


“Sad Case“ is actually a rather happy case. The five white-faced, red-mouthed dancers in Lightfoot Leon’s creation twitch, curl, and swing cartoonishly to crooner tunes and Latin beats as they contort their faces into hyperbolic expressions. Their clownish faces and manic gestures are spicy and refreshing… It’s light. It’s fun.”
© The Brooklyn Rail
Funny, theatrical and touchingly human!


Wir sagen uns Dunkles



choreography, set, costumes: Marco Goecke
music: Franz Schubert: Trio, Nocturne in e flat, opus 148, D. 897; Placebo: Song to Say Goodbye, Slave to the Wage, Loud like Love. © BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd.; Alfred Schnittke: Piano Quintet, part 2: In tempo di Valse © Peters Edition, Leipzig / Albersen Verhuur B.V. ‘s – Gravenhage
music advisor: Jan Pieter Koch
lighting design: Udo Haberland
duration: 29’
premiere: Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague, 2017


Goecke’s new creation for NDT 2 begins with encounters in the studio between the choreographer and the dancers. Their meetings appear unimportant, yet simultaneously they are more important than anything else; young, naughty and evil, playful and punky. “Today, my feelings belong to the dancers, more than ever before”, says Goecke. A blink of the eye, a glance, a seemingly fleeting gesture. Just a moment or a story? What remains is a tear on an eyelash that is fanned away. How do we get closer? A butterfly that remains a second before it flies away. The sounds of Schubert and Schnittke… Then there are the rattling pants, its sound interfering with the music. Goecke: “The dancers understand me immediately. There is no limit, they want to be challenged.” They move fast, virtuoso, gesticulate in peculiar ways, unconscious yet self-assured, and – whether solo, in a pas de deux or larger group – they communicate in Goecke’s language, as if they had never learned another. Darkness Spoken, without words.


Nadja Kadel


In 1988, German Marco Goecke has completed his ballet education at the Munich Ballet Academy, and in 1995 he graduated at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Goecke worked together with the Berlin State Opera and the Theater Hagen. Since 2005, Goecke is resident choreographer at the Stuttgart Ballet, between 2006 and 2011 with Scapino Ballet and since 2013 he is associate choreographer with NDT. In 2015, with his piece “Thin Skin” made for NDT 1, he was nominated for a Swan Award for the ‘most impressive choreography’. In 2018, he received a Benois de la Danse nomination for “Wir Sagen uns Dunkles”, created for NDT 2.


The silver-colored tassels, waving from almost all pants, refer to angel wings and enhance the intoxicating atmosphere.
© de Volkskrant
What a fascinating piece yet again.


Subtle Dust



choreography, decor: Sol León & Paul Lightfoot
music: Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata #12, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen – BWV 12; Cantata #150, Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget, Mich – Sinfonia – BWV 150; Toccata in C Minor – BWV 911; Prelude & Fugue in D Minor – BWV 851; arranger Alexander Raskatov ©Internationale Musikverlage H. Sikorski, Hamburg/ Albersen Verhuur B.V., ’s-Gravenhage; Cantata #152, Tritt Auf Die Glaubensbahn – Concerto – BWV 152; Violin Concerto #2 In E. Adagio – BWV 1042-2; Bach Goldberg Variations Aria – BWV 988; arranger Victor Kissine © Schott Music International, Mainz/AlbersenVerhuur B.V., ’s-Gravenhage. Sleep Whales by Nature Sounds
lighting design: Tom Bevoort
costumes: Joke Visser, Hermien Hollander
video work: Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, Rahi Rezvani
duration: 28’
premiere: Zuiderstrandtheater The Hague, 2018


We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.




2001 was the last time we worked with the infinitesimal music of J.S.Bach. His influence for a period of our oeuvre was impactful, therefore it was a clear and conscious decision on our part to revisit him now in our journey. Nearly all of the pieces of Bach we have collected for this ballet are transcriptions or interpretations of his magnificent music. His source remaining intact, and yet altered, transformed. Transformation plays a crucial role in all our lives on many levels, be it physical, emotional or spiritual. Our work remains abstract, yet what purer way to compare our choreographic duality to the concept of both manual instinct and intellectual thought transmuting to produce a third element made of both in part. A Symbiosis. We wanted that this work should be firmly about quality with these young and talented artists. To hopefully enable them to grow and change by returning to the roots, swimming with the cycles, reconnecting with nature where we will all encounter the source which is patiently waiting.


Sol León & Paul Lightfoot


It is all extremely skilled, virtuoso and aesthetic.
© de Volkskrant


Sol León (Spain) and Paul Lightfoot (England) started creating as a duo for Nederlands Dans Theater in 1989. Since then they have created more than fifty pieces for the company. In 2002 they were appointed house choreographers for NDT. Together they have won prestigious awards, such as the Benois de la Danse and the Herald Archangel. Sol León joined NDT 2 after graduating from the National Ballet Academy of Madrid in 1987. Two years later she joined NDT 1 and danced masterpieces of Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. She continued to dance up until 2003, when she decided to fully devote herself to choreography. León became Artistic Advisor for NDT in 2012. Paul Lightfoot studied at the Royal Ballet School in London. In 1985 he joined NDT 2 and moved to NDT 1 two years later, where he danced until 2008. During his dancing career, Lightfoot started choreographing and together with Sol León he created many pieces for NDT. Lightfoot became NDT’s Artistic Director in 2011.


Nederlands Dans Theater originated in 1959, when 22 people broke free from the Nederlands Ballet. Impassioned by dance and the desire to move away from an omnipresent ballet style, the company took shape under the direction of Carel Birnie and Benjamin Harkarvy. Steadily, they built a different modern dance repertoire. Almost sixty years later, NDT has become one of the leading dance companies in the world. A rich repertoire has been established with works from master choreographers Jiří Kylián and Hans van Manen, as well as from house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, associate choreographers Crystal Pite and Marco Goecke and many other renowned guest choreographers like Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, Edward Clug and Sharon Eyal. Through the years NDT has done pioneering work in contemporary dance. Works originally made for this company are still danced all over the world. Numerous dancers and choreographers that once started with the company have set up their own dance companies world-wide, spreading NDT’s influence further and further. Under the artistic direction of Paul Lightfoot, since 2011, NDT continues attracting full houses globally.


Nederlands Dans Theater 1
NDT 1was founded in 1959 and consist of 28 dancers. They vary in age from 23 to 40, each one of them excelling in their solo qualities. In this company, the dancers get the opportunity to further develop their artistic personalities on the highest possible level.


Nederlands Dans Theater 2
NDT 2 was founded in 1978 for young, upcoming talents with an astonishing technique and currently consists of sixteen dancers up to the age of 23. NDT 2 is a revolutionary breeding ground for young talent and dances repertoire of established choreographers and new creations by upcoming choreographic talents.


20:00h | Sava Centar

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