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Mysterious dance at Korzo and NDT's Spring Awakening

It's dance, but not as we know it. That's the best way to describe the current edition of Korzo and Nederlands Dans Theater's dance festival Spring Awakening. With two wonderful standouts, by choreographers Tom Weinberger and Kenzo Kusuda.

[Tweet "Spring awakening is a festival of opportunity"]

Spring Awakening is a festival of opportunity. You can make a name for yourself as a choreographer there. Like Jan Martens (who just completed a Charlotte Köhler Prize won) did in 2011. Korzo collaborates with Nederlands Dans Theater on this small festival. It starts this time with the short film Slow by Hague-based Karel van Laere. The video artist takes an absurdist approach to rigid reality in Taiwan, as Dom Joly once did in England with Trigger Happy. This will be followed by Nederlands Dans Theater's contribution with Aphasic, a solo by Alexander Anderson and Once Upon a Time by Menghan Lou. Freelancer Rutkay Özpinar also takes a serious stab at choreography with the duet Grip.

Kylián's wake

NDT creators have ambitions to be on a big stage. So it happened with these works during Switch, the benefit programme by and from NDT dancers. In the auditorium of the Korzo theatre, it is striking that while Roger van der Poel and Madoka Kariya's dance is strong, the space around it does not matter. You mainly see dance in a flight forward, a succession of complex mini-movements. The switch to classical music, a shoulder lift and a moment of emotion forms at Once Upon a Time a welcome change. And for those who still want to stay in Kylián's wake: with Korzo as a treasurer of rich and indigenous dance styles, a collaboration with Nederlands Dans Theater could just as well lead to a new Stamping Ground may lead.

Exceptions Occur

The fireworks, however, come from a different quarter: that of L-E-V. Beginning choreographer Tom Weinberger co-founded this dance project by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. The intense Israeli dancer, with hipster beard and tail, fascinates in everything. With dislocated limbs and all, an arabesque with him is not an arabesque but a constructivist diagonal. What he and dancer Milena Twiehaus are doing? Well. It's contact improvisation without contact. Trying and giving up. Walking away or sinking in. Probing and testing. All with unlikely engineering. This is what Korzo is Korzo for, you can hear the director think. Dance with fewer resources but with optimal results. Breaking new ground. Giving opportunities.

Downy hunebed

Japanese animation film director Hayao Miyazaki is praised for creating a wonderful universe. Dutch-based Japanese choreographer Kusuda can do it too and uses dance to do so. His -dressed in golden nightgowns- Indian-trained dancer Indu Panday emerges from a giant bed. I stare at the advertising brochure of a bedding shop. No, it turns out to be a fairy tale of clouds. Then the quilt of stones transforms into a huge train of a wedding gown. The lovely dancer looks at me in the audience. How does she discern me in the dark? Wait, she looks at everyone. I hear sheep mewling and a steamer honking.

Kusuda is ripe for the big time. This slow-motion dance world belongs in the Kröller-Müller sculpture garden. When it's dry.


 The programme of Spring Awakening varies from day to day. Click here for the programme overview.  
(Header photo: Rob Hogeslag)

Ruben Brugman

writing ex-dancerView Author posts

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