Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 24

Discover Benelux | Amsterdam Highlights | Rembrandtplein & Amstel

Photo: © Neel Verdoorn

Heritage of international dance and music styles reinterpreted TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: SEBASTIAAN PEELEN

The choreographers and dancers of Amsterdam’s Internationaal Danstheater get their inspiration from traditional dance and music styles from around the world to create revitalised contemporary dance performances. They are currently touring the Netherlands with a theatre performance entitled Silent Songs. Choreographer Neel Verdoorn has compiled three beautiful duets on the melancholic piano and vocal music of the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov and the more expressive music of the Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt.The soft piano play and subdued singing in Silvestrov’s Silent Songs and the piano play in Ten Holt’s Natalon shape an enchanting setting in which the two dancers tell a classic tale of attraction and enticement, intertwined with moments of hesitation and rejection. “This piece is a coproduction with the Doelen Ensemble from Rot24 | Issue 31 | July 2016

terdam,” tells Sophie Lambo, managing director of Internationaal Danstheater. “Composer Maarten van Veen plays the piano and Wiebe-Pier Cnossen sings, while our own William Lü and Francesca Peniguel perform a fairy-like and intense dance.” Choreographer Verdoorn studied the origins of various Ukrainian, Georgian and Russian folk dances to create this piece. “That is what makes Internationaal Danstheater unique. We dive into the history of an ethnic dance or music style and translate it into something people of today can relate to,” says Lambo.

View it at De Parade in Amsterdam Silent Songs is a theatre production of more than an hour, but a short version has also been composed for the travelling arts festival De Parade. From 25 to 28 August, De Parade will be in Amsterdam. In December, the full show will be staged in

theatres in Woerden, Heerlen, Eindhoven and Amstelveen. Previous productions of Internationaal Danstheater were dedicated to folk traditions like the Cuban Danzón, the Argentinian Tango, various Kenyan tribe dances and the Portuguese Fado. Internationaal Danstheater went back to the roots of these music and dance styles and compiled new, prize-winning choreographies. “The tango, for instance, is now associated with men in shiny shoes and half-open shirts and women in high heels and sexy dresses, but it was originally danced on bare feet, in the harbour of Buenos Aires. And people did not just dance in couples; the tango was also danced in trios and quartets,” Lambo explains. That is what Internationaal Danstheater does; with beautiful choreographies it makes people aware of the history of folk dance and music.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.