Tag Archive: Remi Wörtmeyer

Amsterdam’s Dance Students

“Dancers of Tomorrow”
Dutch National Ballet Academy
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
July 10/11, 2021 (video)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2021 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “10 Years Tailor-Made” by I.Lešić, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine End-of-year performances are a highlight for the students of any ballet school. Last weekend, the Dutch National Ballet Academy performed “Dancers of Tomorrow” on the main stage of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet for an empty auditorium due, sadly, to ongoing COVID-19-restrictions. The silver lining: a video of the performance, augmented by footage from backstage, was streamed online for two days, allowing a much larger audience to see the work. I wonder: could we include online streams and video broadcasts as a standard addendum to live performances in the future?

“Dancers of Tomorrow” was assembled from ten pieces geared to the students’ age groups and adapted or created especially for the occasion. All students participated.
2. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Jota” by G.Tchitcherine, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine The younger students from classes 1 thru 4 opened the program with “10 Years Tailor-Made”, a work featuring multi-style choreography by Iva Lešić, the teacher for world dance and creative dance. The piece included an Indonesian sitting dance for the youngest (requiring a comprehensive group dynamic and the courage to sing), a fast-paced Serbian folk dance, a Turkish group dance revolving around two enamored puppets, and a buoyant, free-spirited Hungarian dance.

Students from classes 5 – 7 shone in “Jota”, a snappy character-partner dance with Spanish influence by Grigori Tchitcherine, the teacher for classical ballet and character dance. The only thing missing was the applause that this rousing performance absolutely deserved.

3. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “New Beginning” by R.Wörtmeyer, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine Remi Wörtmeyer, principal dancer and choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet, created “New Beginning” for the students of class 7. Its inventive choreography, set to Camille Saint-Saëns’s “Le Carnaval des Animaux”, combines lightness with brisk-ness. The white, blue, and yellow costumes contrast strongly with the blue backdrop, emphasizing the clearness of lines and the synchronicity of movements. Carolina Ribaldone and Vincent Fell, the central couple, worked together smoothly; Fell later showcased his suppleness and precision in a solo.

4. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Once Remembered And Then Lost” by A.Raymoud, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.DerineThe higher-level professional students performed several works. “Once Remembered And Then Lost” was created by Amy Raymoud (a former soloist of the Dutch National Ballet and Ballet Frankfurt) and the dancers. Five young women and men in blue shorts and shirts walk together, clustered in a blob or stretched out in a line, occasionally breaking free to perform on their own. Their movements fluctuate between fluidity and edgy abruptness; expressive solos and duets intertwine with group sequences, performed in unison or individually. They are accompanied by string music and electronica from Zoë Keating.

5. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “If We Could Only Even If We Could” by A.Leine and H.Roebana, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine In the fragment presented from “If We Could Only Even If We Could”, a piece by choreographer duo Andrea Leine and Harijono Roebana, twenty dancers in casual outfits perform to a percussion-rich soundscape by Han Otten and Wiebe de Boer that includes distorted country music. Their repetitive movements vacillate between jerky and smooth, between slow and lightning-quick, never revealing their intention. Lighting design by Bas de Bruijn does little to hide the fact that the choreography appears to be arbitrary. It’s the kind of modern ballet that sinks into oblivion the moment one leaves the theater.

6. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Wanderer” by J.Arqués, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine The five dancers in Juanjo Arqués’s “Wanderer” reminded me of a scouting party searching for something unknown to us. At times, the dancers prevent one another from storming ahead or support one who leans too far forward or help another to surmount an invisible obstacle. All five dance energetically and expressively: Konosuke Takeoka in his solo; Grace Humphris & Alberto Ortega de Pablos, and Nicola Jones & Guilherme Vicente in their pas de deux. A strong cast!
Sepp Grotenhuis accompanied live, performing serene piano music by David Lang.

7. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Poulenc Suite” by E.Meisner, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine Ernst Meisner, the artistic director of the Academy, challenged his students with an effervescent “Poulenc Suite” that required fine pointe work, plenty of partnering, and clean synchronicity. Jumps – among them a series of tour en l’airs – were abundant. His cast rose to the occasion, delivering a fine classical performance.

Three dancers showcased their talent in solos. In “Conceal”, a contemporary piece by Zoë Greten set to music by Régis Gobe, Nicola Jones contrasted smooth, soft movements with sharp, segmented ones, repeatedly covering her mouth as if to prevent herself from speaking out.

9. N.Jones in “Conceal” by Z.Greten, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine8. A.Erlanson in “Nothing Matters When We're Dancing” by W.Scheele, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine “Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing”
by Wisse Scheele made me think of ballets by Marco Goecke, though dancer Arthur Erlanson neither shivered nor trembled, instead responding with soft sensuality to a corny song for guitar by The Magnetic Fields.

I especially liked Christian Mathot in “Perihelion” because of his panache; he radiated motivation and joy. Choreographer Calista Shepheard chose Fabien Tell’s song “Something just like this” as accompaniment.
Finding joy in dancing, in being on stage, is key to a fulfilling career. The Academy’s dancers had plenty of joy.
10. C.Mathot in “Perhelion” by C.Shepheard, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021 © S.Derine

Links: Website of the Dutch National Ballet Academy
Photos 1. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “10 Years Tailor-Made” by Iva Lešić, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
2. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Jota” by Grigori Tchitcherine, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
3. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “New Beginning” by Remi Wörtmeyer, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
4. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Once Remembered And Then Lost” by Amy Raymoud, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
5. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “If We Could Only Even If We Could” by Andrea Leine and Harijono Roebana, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
6. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Wanderer” by Juanjo Arqués, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
7. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, “Poulenc Suite” by Ernst Meisner, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
8. Arthur Erlanson in “Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing” by Wisse Scheele, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
9. Nicola Jones in “Conceal” by Zoë Greten, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
10. Christian Mathot in “Perhelion” by Calista Shepheard, Dutch National Ballet Academy 2021
all photos © Sjoerd Derine
Editing: Jake Stepansky

A Strong Comeback

Beethoven” (“Prometheus” / “Grosse Fuge”)
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June 08, 2021 (live broadcast)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2021 by Ilona Landgraf

1. S.Yamada, D.Silva, and ensemble, “Prometheus” by W.Kuindersma, E.Meisner, and R.Wörtmeyer, Dutch National Ballet 2021 © H.GerritsenThe Dutch National Ballet’s celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday was, in fact, supposed to premiere a year ago. “We’re a little bit late,” admitted Ted Brandsen, Dutch National Ballet’s artistic director, for reasons dictated by COVID-19. The originally scheduled program would have included Toer van Schayk’s “7th Symphony”. The anniversary program that was ultimately shown on June 8th was an adaption of this program comprised of two pieces: “Prometheus” (a new creation by the choreographer-trio Wubkje Kuindersma, Ernst Meisner, and Remi Wörtmeyer) and Hans van Manen’s “Grosse Fuge”. The break was used for an excursion away from Beethoven to Milena Sidorova’s recently released dance film “Rose”. (more…)

Dancers’ Choice

Spring Special”
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
April 05, 2021 (online)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2021 by Ilona Landgraf

1. N.Tonoli, S.Yamada, J.Spunda, and S.Leverashvili (Peasants), “Giselle“ by M.Petipa after J.Coralli and J.Perrot, production and additional choreography by R.Beaujean and R.Bustamante, Dutch National Ballet 2021 © H.GerritsenFor most artists, the flow of opportunities for performance on home stages or abroad has either thinned to a trickle or dried up altogether since the onset of the pandemic. The Dutch National Ballet filled some of those gaps with a “Spring Special” -gala that featured a selection of ten short pieces in total – eight excerpts from the company’s existing repertory, one new acquisition, and one world premiere. Each dancer was able to choose which piece to perform in (with appropriate attention to pandemic-related restrictions of group size). All of the principals, several soloists, and one member of the corps de ballet participated. The gala was streamed live on April 5th. A second broadcast is scheduled for April 10, 2021 (more…)

Celebrating Hans van Manen

“Ode to the Master” (“On the Move” / “Symphonieën Der Nederlanden” / “Sarcasmen” / “5 Tango’s”)
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
September 17, 2017

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2017 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Hans van Manen at the curtain call, Dutch National Ballet 2017 © M.Graste“Were you asked to choreograph about cheese?” the late Stuttgart dance critic Horst Koegler jokingly asked Hans van Manen in a 1982 interview when discussing Van Manen’s first-ever choreography. This first piece premiered at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam in 1957, was “nationally tinged,” but by no means about cheese, and has been performed more than 350 times. It was a thorough success. Sixty years later Hans van Manen is still choreographing and still successful. His works have won the acclaim of audiences all over the world. (more…)

Wheeldon, Ratmansky, Pastor and a New Dawson

“Made in Amsterdam 2”
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, Netherlands
February 12, 2017

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2017 by Ilona Landgraf

1. N.Yanowsky, R.Wörtmeyer and ensemble, “Concerto Concordia” by C.Wheeldon, Dutch National Ballet 2017 © H.GerritsenThe program “Made in Amsterdam 2” consisted of ballets by four established choreographers. It was the Dutch National Ballet’s second mixed bill of works specifically intended for this company. One piece – a solo by David Dawson – was brand new whereas the other three – Christopher Wheeldon’s “Concerto Concordia”, “Souvenir d’un lieu cher” by Alexei Ratmansky and “Moving Rooms” by Krzysztof Pastor – dated from between 2008 and 2015. (more…)

Well Done Dutch National Ballet!

“Made in Amsterdam 1”
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
February 11, 2017

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2017 by Ilona Landgraf

1. M.DePrince and J.Stout, “Homo Ludens” by J.Arqués, Dutch National Ballet 2017 © H.GerritsenLast weekend was a busy one for Dutch National Ballet. The company premiered two mixed bills of four pieces each, one on Saturday evening, the second in a matinee on Sunday. In addition it held a two-day conference titled “Positioning Ballet” to discuss central topics concerning the art form with international guests on the panels. Clearly a huge effort had gone into its organization. It totally paid off. The weekend was a success and the conference will hopefully lead to regular meetings in the future. (more…)

Van Dantzig, Van Schayk, Van Manen

“Dutch Masters”
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, Netherlands
September 25, 2016

by Ilona Landgraf
copyright © 2016 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Y.Gyo Choi and Q.Liu, “Episodes van Fragmenten” by T.van Schayk, Dutch National Ballet © H.Gerritsen 2016Dutch National Ballet’s latest mixed bill was all-Dutch. It assembled four pieces by three pivotal choreographers of the Netherlands: “Vier letzte Lieder” (“Four Last Songs”) by Rudi van Dantzig (1933 – 2012), the company’s artistic director for twenty years; “Adagio Hammerklavier” by Hans van Manen (born: 1932) ; plus “Episodes van Fragmenten” and “Requiem”, both by Toer van Schayk (born: 1936). This wasn’t lightweight entertainment but a program upon which to ponder. I attended the last performance, the Sunday, September 25th matinée. (more…)

A Bright Opening

“Gala”
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Amsterdam, Netherlands
September 07, 2016

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2016 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Grand Défilé, Dutch National Ballet © M.Schnater 2016Amsterdam’s National Opera House always radiates a light and welcoming atmosphere. This was especially so at this season’s opening gala on September 7th, which saw large crowds, women in evening gowns, flocking into the buzzing foyer amid flurries of camera flashes around the red carpet.

From the start the Grand Défilé, which opened the gala, gained warm-hearted applause. The program of the following three-and-a-half hours had been kept as a surprise. It included three highlights. (more…)