Young toptalent on tour
The Junior Company has became a fixture in the Dutch theatre firmament. This season they’ll once more be touring the whole country to showcase a cross-section of the ballet repertoire. Unboxing Ballet 2, with creations of Hans van Manen and other leading choreographers, is sure to delight both die-hard dance fans and first-time audiences.
The programme includes the Junior Company premiere of Hans van Manen's unsurpassed In and Out - which was received by the dance press as a 'direct hit' - and the world premiere of GRIT by the young and successful Charlotte Edmonds. The young top talents also will dance the Valse Fantaisie by George Balanchine, Ballet 101 by Eric Gauthier and Concerto by Kenneth MacMillan.
In and Out
Hans van Manen is famed as a master of minimalism. Metaphorically, because he strips dance of all superfluous frills: dance in its purest and cleanest form is his trademark, ‘less is more’ his motto. But also literally, because Van Manen creates within self-imposed limits. In In and Out, those limits are spatial, with a set consisting of three wardrobes in and out of which 12 dancers continually disappear and reappear: all of them cramming into one wardrobe, then separating to dangle, climb and crawl across all three, then storming back across the stage. From playful, light-hearted and sexy at first, when singer Nina Hagen takes over from Laurie Anderson the mood darkens to become calculated, aggressive and even vicious.
The 1967 rendering of Valse Fantaisie was originally presented as the second section of Glinkiana, which was choreographed to four different compositions by Glinka. The music, roughly contemporaneous with the waltzes of Frederic Chopin, is fast and light, although it was popularly called “the Melancholy Waltz.” Attended by the male dancer, the ballerinas move together in a whirl of perpetual motion.
Eric Gauthier's Ballet 101 is a solo for a boy about the basic ballet positions, which is both funny and technical very challenging. At the initiative of King Louis XIV, the basic positions of classical ballet were written down at the French Académie Royale de Danse in the seventeenth century and they are still taught worldwide. Eric Gauthier uses these basic positions as starting point for a humoristic ‘crash course’ in classical ballet. In the first part of his choreography he shows them in the usual order. After that he mixes them with a wink. The part ends in a very surprising way
When MacMillan (1929-1992) became director of the ballet at the Berlin Opera House, he made Concerto. He wanted to both technically challenge and develop his new group. For this choreography he used dancers from all grades. Macmillan used for Concerto -like he did for his choreography Symphony- a composition of Shostakovich. The composer wrote this exuberant second piano concerto for his son’s 19th birthday. Concerto contains three movements and there is a different pair of soloists for each part. The Junior Company will dance the famous Pas de deux from the second part.
Charlotte Edmonds' new work is about resilience, a concept that is becoming increasingly important for young people - and certainly for young dancers. She chose DJ Kaytranada's electronic music, a montage of tracks in hip-hop style, which beautifully reflects that resilience. In GRIT, Edmonds wants to investigate how individuals and groups react to adversity. She shows the roller coaster of emotions that a person can experience when dealing with challenges.