The Nederlands Dans Theater distributed another film last Sunday (Nov. 25) and Tuesday (27th) in theaters across the country. It is a rare opportunity for those who cannot hop on a flight to Holland to see this amazing company in a live performance, so needless to say I’m grateful for these opportunities. It is not easy to film dance without loosing so much of it’s essence, but the videography and editing is very thoughtfully executed.
What I found profound was the impact of Kylian’s work from over 20 years ago; each choice of choreography and gesture, clearly made with a great deal of care and integrity. I never sensed a frivolous statement or a meaningless movement, and moreover, what came across from the artists performing the works, was nothing but sincerity and devotion to the work and to their craft. It was transcendent, poignant and purposeful.
Unfortunately, in the west, the identity of the craft is increasingly being whittled down to a perception through the eyes of a toddler. Marketing campaigns of many companies demonstrate an incessant need to be accessible to all, rather than upholding the great mysterious esoteric beauty it intrinsically holds. I fully understand our economic situation and the importance of keeping our companies going, but I feel more and more we are extracting it’s dignity and watering down the sophistication, as though these are the “problems” with dance.
I came away from the film uplifted, as though importance and purpose was once again bestowed on the craft through the maturity of the work and dancers. I saw the great deal of care used in each choice, and the sophisticated science accessed through their bodies. I saw the mind at work in dynamic, free and organized ways, demonstrating rich educated skills in dancing.
I felt similarly when seeing a week of performances by the Paris Opera Ballet in Chicago this summer. I share these thoughts only to inspire research. Humility is the flame that can reignite the motivation to continue searching on with ernest devotion. I’m humble and motivated…