Deliciously fresh

Now, 40 years after Jiri Kylian founded NDT2 next to his illustrious NDT, the young ensemble is as fresh as a spring daisy.

NDT2 IN action (photo credit: RAHI REZVANI)
NDT2 IN action
(photo credit: RAHI REZVANI)
The memorable visit of NDT (the main company), NDT2 (for the young dancers) and NDT3 (company for dancers over 40), which took place in Tel Aviv in 1995, left a strong impact on the local dance scene. Batsheva Ensemble, for instance, was molded after the younger NDT2 company. Regretfully, a long time passed since any of those companies returned to perform here.
Now, 40 years after Jiri Kylian founded NDT2 next to his illustrious NDT, the young ensemble is as fresh as a spring daisy, with an incredible group of young dancers loaded with impressive technique, incredible energy and unmatched stage skills, as fine as one could hope to meet in a young company, but rarely does.
The evening’s repertoire included four creations: two choreographed by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, the current artistic directors; “Simple Things” (2001), a refined creation by the older master Hans Van Manen; while the current prolific golden boy Marco Goecke created the mesmerizing “Midnight Raga.”
No wonder “Sad Case” (1998), though an older piece by Leon and Lightfoot, opened the program. It turned out to be a powerful and humorous affair, which left viewers gaping with delight, as the talented and sparkling ensemble unfolded. So fresh, so spicy, touching perfection and synced like a handcrafted Swiss watch.
The work premiered over 20 years ago. Although, stylistically, it does belong to different times, its chic elegance, mixed with sassiness and chutzpah, makes it relevant as well as fresh entertainment with quick-witted virtuosity.
The bright jewel of the evening was a rather new work by Marco Goecke, “Midnight Raga,” set to worlds-apart musical inspirations by Ravi Shankar on the sitar and Etta James.
The Indian string instrument suited the choreographer’s way of perceiving the dancer’s body as serial reconstruction of deconstructed body particles, dealing in details which echoed an inherent will of their own. The choreographer’s unique approach found its match in Shankar’s string music, as he developed his obsessive attention to each joint, muscle or ligament and their particular mode of independent motivation and action.
His singular style defies the conventional approach to the human body and challenges previous expectations from the dancer. Yet he maintains a human spirit which in the end holds together the entire body, safe and sane.