Programma V: Spiritwalking

World premiere

León & Lightfoot, Nederlands Dans Theater 1, Kronos Quartett

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The Nederlands Dans Theater conclude the season with the premiere of their fifth programme. Programma V is NDT’s innovative format, giving shape to the future of modern dance. Five world class artistic voices have joined forces for an evening long choreographic and musical journey through time. The international top dancers of the first company are accompanied live by the superb Kronos Quartet from San Francisco, one of the most renowned and influential ensembles today. The string quartet will perform existing and new work by the composer Philip Glass, icon of modern music. Resident choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot designed the gripping, unpredictable physical language accompanying the dancers on their journey. Programma V will be performed in the listed Market Hall of 1934.


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Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is one of the leading contemporary dance companies in the world, based in The Hague, The Netherlands. The company originated in 1959, when 22 people broke free from Nederlands Ballet. These rebels were impassioned by dance and by the desire to give it a style all their own. Through the years NDT has done pioneering work in contemporary dance, building up a rich repertoire of over 600 ballets. These include masterpieces by Jiří Kylián and Hans van Manen, as well as the work of house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, associate choreographers Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman and Marco Goecke and pieces by guests such as Gabriela Carrizo, Hofesh Shechter en Cayetano Soto.The company contributes to various art forms by involving visual art, music composition and innovative light and set designs, all the while developing new talent. At NDT’s home base in The Hague (The Netherlands), all this comes together daily in surroundings that are regarded as a breeding ground, constantly moving ahead to let the future of dance take shape.

NDT consists of two companies, with two generations of classical trained dancers recruited from all over the world. NDT’s dancers are renowned for their virtuosity, technique and unparalleled expression. NDT 1 consists of 30 dancers varying in age from 23 to 40. Each one of them excels in their solo qualities. The multifaceted repertoire they bring to the stage, attract full houses all over the world. The junior company NDT 2 was founded in 1978 en consists of 19 dancers between the age of 17 up and 23. The initial aim of NDT 2 is to feed the main company with young talents. It serves as a bridge, to mature freshly graduated dancers from various classical conservatories and schools, and to prepare them for a professional career in dance. NDT 2 works with established choreographers but also, more importantly, with upcoming choreographers like Jiří Pokorný and Menghan Lou. Through the years NDT 2 has developed into a top quality, internationally-recognized company performing all over the world.

Sol León (Cordoba, Spain) and Paul Lighfoot (Kingsley, Great Britain) create work together since 1989. In 2002 they were appointed resident choreographers for the company exclusively. Up till now, they have created almost fifty pieces exclusively for NDT. Over the years the choreographer duo has won several award, such as the Dutch Dance Prize Zwaan for Shutters Shut, Subject to Change and Shoot the Moon, the Benois de la Danse for Signing Off and the Herald Archangel at the Edinburgh International Festival. Their most recent creation Stop-Motion for NDT 1, premiered in Programme III on January 29 and received raving critics by press as well as the audience.

Sol León joined NDT 2 after graduating from the National Ballet Academy of Madrid in 1987. In 1989 she joined NDT 1 and danced masterpieces of Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. She continued to dance up until 2003, when she decided to devote herself fully to choreography. León became artistic advisor of NDT in 2012. Paul Lightfoot was educated at The
Royal Ballet School in London. He joined NDT 2 and after two years he moved to NDT 1, where he danced until 2005. During his dancing career Lightfoot started choreographing as well. Lightfoot became artistic director of NDT in 2011.


For 40 years the Kronos Quartet - David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) - has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 800 works and arrangements for string quartet.

The Quartet spends five months of each year on tour including BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, WOMAD, UCLA's Royce Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Shanghai Concert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings. The ensemble's expansive discography on Nonesuch Records includes collections like Pieces of Africa (1992) and Nuevo (2002). Among the group’s latest releases are Rainbow (Smithsonian Folkways, 2010) and Uniko (Ondine, 2011).

In 2011, Kronos was awarded with the prestigious Polar Music Prize and Avery Fisher Prize. The group’s numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and Musicians of the Year (2003). The group’s numerous awards include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and Musicians of the Year (2003). In 2011, Kronos was awarded with the prestigious Polar Music Prize and Avery Fisher Prize.


The American composer and pianist Philip Glass (1937) is widely regarded as the founder of minimal music. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Glass studied at the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School in New York. In the early 1960s he lived in Paris for two years in order to study with Nadia Boulanger. Whilst there he earned a little extra money by transcribing Ravi Shankar's Indian music into Western notation. Back in New York, he started to incorporate these Eastern elements in his own music. In 1974, Glass set up a number of significant, innovative projects, writing a large collection of new music for his own Philip Glass Ensemble and for the Mabou Mines Theatre Company, culminating in Music in 12 Parts (which was performed at the Holland Festival in 2007) and Einstein on the Beach, the groundbreaking opera he wrote with Robert Wilson in 1976. Since Einstein on the Beach, Glass has expanded his repertoire with chamber music, orchestral works and music for opera, dance, theatre and film. In the 1990s he created a trilogy of pieces for music theatre based on Jean Cocteau's films Orphée, La Belle et La Bête and Les Enfants Terribles. Glass has received many prizes in his career and is still productive, having recently composed his Symphony No. 10 and the opera The perfect American. He still travels around the world, lecturing, giving workshops and performing both solo and with his Philip Glass Ensemble.


Sol León & Paul Lightfoot
Philip Glass
Sol Leon, Paul Lightfoot
Tom Bevoort
Joke Visser, Hermien Hollander
music performed by
Kronos Quartet
David Harrington (violin)
John Sherba (violin)
Hank Dutt (viola)
Sunny Yang (cello)
Nederlands Dans Theater
made possible by
Ammodo, The Brook Foundation, Vrienden Stichting Nederlands Dans Theater
with thanks to
Food Center Amsterdam en BOEi, exploitant van de Markthal

This performance was made possible with support by