Choreographies by Jiří Kylián, David Dawson and Ohad Naharin
In the autumn of 1980 the Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián set off on a journey to meet Australian aborigines and came into contact with their concept of »Dreamtime«. This is the idea of a universal world which on the one hand our current reality as we know it emanates from; on the other hand the events and occurrences of that reality affect the Dreamtime. This is the concept which Jiří Kylián draws upon when he explains his »Bella Figura« choreography by saying »Imagine you have had a dream in which you fell out of your bed. And the next morning, when you wake up, you notice that you have a broken rib«. »Bella Figura« was created in 1995 for Jiří Kylián’s home company, the Nederlands Dans Theater, to go with a musical collage of works by several Baroque musicians – Pergolesi, Marcello, Vivaldi and Torelli – and with a suite by the American composer Lukas Foss based on Renaissance music.
This abstract, extremely emotional choreography which, apart from a gently billowing curtain, does not have any stage elements, is a feast for the eyes in every respect. In this work of 2002 Dawson proves his talent for modern, athmospheric ballet, free from its classical ties yet never lacking emotional depth. The dance follows the lineal architecture and deconstructivism of the 20th century. Here, gracefully paired, soft meets hard in a wonderful fashion. Two strong men and three women with driving, classically-aligned movements in a flowing, striking geometry. Weightless beauty and timelessness.
The style of dancer Israeli Ohad Naharin is characterised by exceptionally flexible movements, explosive outbursts and extreme vitality. He uses a special technique he has developed, which he calls »Gaga«. Another aspect which is typical of Naharin is that he uses long sections from his previous choreographies as the basis for new creations, to »create the possibility to look at it from a new angle«. »Minus 16« is made up of sections from »Sabotage Baby«, »Anaphaza«, »Mabul« and »Zachacha«. The choreography, set to a rousing soundtrack of South American and Israeli pop music, was produced in 1999 for the junior company at the Nederlands Dans Theater, NDT II.