Narnia: The lion, the witch and the wardrobe Ernst Meisner/Junior Company and Marco Gerris/ISH
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Hiphop meets ballet
Narnia is an exciting collaboration between the Junior Company and ISH Dance Collective, and is thus an encounter between ballet and other dance forms, like hiphop. The two dance styles complement one another in a spectacular way in Narnia: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Four children find themselves in a magical wardrobe that leads to a mysterious, white world. The premiere of Narnia, in April 2015, was a resounding success with audiences and press alike. ‘It. Is. Fan-tas-tic’. *****, wrote De Telegraaf. Choreographer Ernst Meisner says, “It’s a magical fairytale that includes everything: good and evil, family relationships, sacrifice, excitement and adventure. And of course lots of imagination. Things that are impossible in reality become possible”.
Ernst MeisnerChoreographer and artistic coördinator Junior Company
Ernst Meisner is choreographer and since 2013 the artistic coordinator of Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. He danced with The Royal Ballet and Dutch National Ballet.
Choreographer Marco Gerris (1975, Philippines) is the artistic director of ISH, the cross-over dance company he founded in 2000. Ernst Meisner and Marco Gerris will collaborate again in 2014-2015 for 'Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'.
Choreographers Ernst Meisner and Marco Gerris took the power of both dance styles as their starting point, and Narnia became a real mix of ballet and hiphop. The ‘good’ armies and the ‘evil’ legions are also made up of mixed casts of dancers from both companies. For example, the Queen is danced by a ballerina, but the role of the Lion is given to a dancer from ISH. It was a unique experience for the dancers to become acquainted with a different discipline. Marco Gerris says, “There was a special chemistry right from the start. And however different their origins and experiences, the dancers have a huge amount of respect for each other”.
Narnia is a timeless story that is told with modern means. The music was composed especially for the piece by the British composer, sound artist and DJ Scanner (Robin
Rimbaud). Aitor Biedma created ingenious film projections that help clarify the story full of scene changes, in sets designed by Rene van der Leest. Narnia turned out to be a very cinematic production, with the atmospheric lighting designs of Mike den Ottolander.
Narnia: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe is based on the classic book by C.S. Lewis. While playing hide and seek, four brothers and sisters find themselves in a wardrobe that leads into the fairytale world of Narnia, which is full of witches, fauns, lions, beavers and other magical creatures. Here, they are confronted with the battle between the ‘good’ armies, led by the outcast lion, Aslan, and the ‘evil’ legions, led by the present ruler, the White Witch. In Narnia, impressive group dances alternate with solos and duets, which demonstrate not only hiphop and ballet, but also tap, modern dance and breakdance.
Narnia: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe
‘A clever staging with ingenious video projections and music composed precisely on the beat contribute to the total experience’.