Under our roof: Nederlands Dans Theater
Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies. The group is based in The Hague, but performs for an international audience of 115,000 visitors in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Since its founding in 1959 by Benjamin Harkarvy, Aart Verstegen and Carel Birnie in collaboration with eighteen dancers from the Dutch National Ballet (then known as Nederlands Ballet), NDT has paved its own way in the modern dance field. Choreographers such as Glen Tetley and Hans van Manen have prominently left an avant-garde mark on the artistic face of the company. Their non-conformist, progressive productions put NDT on the national and international map.
Since then, the company has built a rich repertoire, consisting of more than 620 ballets by master choreographers Jiří Kylián and Hans van Manen, Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, Medhi Walerski, Ohad Naharin, Alexander Ekman, Gabriela Carrizo, Franck Chartier, Hofesh Shechter, Edward Clug and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar and many others.
Nederlands Dans Theater consists of two companies. The first company, NDT 1, consists of 28 phenomenal dancers from all over the world, aged 23 to 40 years old. The dancers are world famous for their theatricality, stunning technique and unparalleled expression. Each season, the first company performs four Dutch programs in addition to numerous large tours.
In 1978 the company founded NDT 2 under the leadership of Jiří Kylián. This second company prepares sixteen recently graduated, often classically trained dancers, for the world top. Initially, NDT 2 was considered a talent development program, however NDT 2 has since developed into an independent company with its own repertoire and extensive national and international touring schedule. The collaboration with many (upcoming) choreographers gives dancers the opportunity to quickly assimilate to different dance languages, techniques and working methods.
From their home base in The Hague, both companies work continuously to make a significant contribution to the future of contemporary dance, both in the Netherlands and far beyond. Dance talent, choreographic innovation, experimentation and a high degree of productivity – the company creates an average of 10 new works per season – define NDT since its early beginnings.
“The performers of Nederlands Dans Theater fuse exacting execution and creative ambition to create grotesque, haunting, and sublime images.”
That was the opening line of Broadway World’s review in March 2020, a day after the first performance of NDT 1 in New York City Center. The quote typifies a company that is praised worldwide for dancers who are both as technically gifted as they are exceptionally virtuoso.
The company is led by artistic director Emily Molnar and managing director Willemijn Maas.