ND2 and Big Dance Theater Bring Cutting Edge to Jacob’s Pillow

Big Dance Theater (photo Brad Harris)

Big Dance Theater (photo Brad Harris)

(BECKET, Mass.) – Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (ND2), the expertly skilled companion company to the venerable Nederlands Dans Theater, returns to Jacob’s Pillow for the first time since 2007, performing a program of diverse works by Israel’s Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, Swedish choreographer Johan Inger, and two U.S. premieres by NDT house choreographers Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, from Wednesday, July 8, through Sunday, July 12, 2015, in the Ted Shawn Theatre. Also at the Pillow this weekend, genre-fusing Big Dance Theater returns to with the evening-length work Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 8-12.

ND2 is known worldwide for its distinctive versatility and technical prowess, performing the work of the world’s finest contemporary choreographers with ease. Jacob’s Pillow audiences last saw the work of Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar when their Israel-based company L-E-V made its U.S. debut at the Pillow in 2013. Eyal’s dances Love and Killer Pig have also been performed at past Festivals by Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company and Norway’s Carte Blanche. This year, NDT2 will present Eyal’s and Behar’s work Sara, created specifically for NDT2 in 2013 with an original score by musician and collaborator Ori Lichtik.  Dressed in nude bodysuits and moving more as a tribe than as individuals, the dancers embody delicacy, aggression, sensuality, and sorrow.

Prolific choreographic duo Sol León and Paul Lightfoot contribute three works to NDT2’s program at the Pillow. British choreographer Lightfoot acts as Artistic Director of the company, while Spanish-born León takes the role of artistic advisor; together they have created more than 50 works for Netherlands Dans.

NDT2’s Shutters Shut is a short study of the poem “If I told him: A completed portrait of Picasso” by American novelist, playwright, and poet Gertrude Stein. Dancing to a recording of Stein herself reading the work, the two performers embody and illustrate the dynamic cadence of Stein’s voice and words.

Schubert is a romantic pas de deux, choreographed in 2014 and seen at the Pillow in its U.S. premiere, danced to Franz Schubert’s “String quintet in C- Adagio”.

The program closes with the U.S. premiere of Some Other Time, danced to music from composer Max Richter’s album 24 Postcards in Full Color in a wide variety of pas de deux and solo moments. An exercise in juxtaposition, the white floor, black décor, and costumes create both a refreshing and darkly contemplative tone.

Lauded as “a distinct phenomenon, and phenomenal” by Jenny Gilbert of The Independent, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 is the second company to Nederlands Dans Theater one of the world’s leading contemporary companies led by British choreographer Paul Lightfoot. The company houses master choreographers including Ji?í Kylián, Crystal Pite, Alexander Ekman, and Hofesh Shechter among countless others. The younger NDT2 includes 16 classically trained dancers from around the world, and acts as the youthful, exuberant feeder company into NDT. NDT2 boasts an impressive repertory including renowned choreographers to rising talents in a span of styles and genres.

Genre-fusing, deeply insightful, and searingly intelligent, Big Dance Theater returns to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with the evening-length work Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 8-12. Hailed for their “exquisitely constructed collaborations” (Claudia LaRocco, The New York Times), inaugural Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winners and co-artistic directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar pull fragments from iconic films and novels to create new worlds in a unique blend of dance, dialogue, film, scenic design, and music.

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