Kylián calls time out at NDT

In a surprise move, Jirí Kylián and Nederlands Dans Theater have announced that the company will not perform the works of Kylián from September 2014 until the northern autumn of 2017.

The three year time-out period was initiated by Kylián who was NDT’s artistic director for almost 25 years (1975-1999) and resident choreographer for 35 years until 2009.

Kylián said that “there is no conflict, but with this decision I force the company to innovate”.

NDT had become great “because I was not bothered by tradition. Everything was possible, anything allowed. Now Paul feels the freedom to present themselves [NDT] with new work and new names”.

Lightfoot said he was shocked at first by Kylián’s proposal but “after a year of conversation I get it and I stand behind this ‘time out’. He forces us to fill the empty space with something new.

“Kylián does not punish us, he challenges us”.

NDT’s next season will begin with An Evening With Jirí Kylián.

“This is not a goodbye-festival”, Lightfoot said.

Australian audiences will see NDT dance Kylián’s works for the last time before 2018 in the season at the Sydney Opera House next month. The company will present two of his works and two by Lightfoot and his wife, Sol León.

Kylián has not retired but is making a major film about his own life, editing a shorter film and creating a new dance/theatre production for the Aichi Triennial festival in Nagoya in Japan. The festival is entitled “Awakening – Where Are We Standing? – Earth, Memory and Resurrection”.

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