inSing caught up with NDT’s artistic director Jim Vincent who tells us more about the upcoming performance.
In your own words, how would you describe Mémoires d’Oubliettes / Sehnsucht to the audience?
Both works exemplify the depth and versatility of the NDT dancers as well as the scope of the company's repertoire. The two works are similar in that they require purity of line and articulation of ballet technique and yet push the limit of the body's capacity. Both are theater-dance works -- that is to say that although they are non-narrative, yet each take place within environments which give them context and substance.
Please tell us a little bit about your favorite people to work with in all your years of experience?
I have had the pleasure of working with many choreographers, composers, conductors, musicians, designers, collaborative partners and artists throughout my career. It is impossible for me to say that one or a few of those experiences are of more value than another... as that would require me to compare them and they are simply incomparable. There is no question that Jiří Kylián has been my mentor and, along with many of my friends and peers, I have found clearer focus in my career both as a dancer and artistic director.
How would you describe NDT’s brand of contemporary dance to a first time theater goer?
It is as the name suggests: Dance-theater. The extreme physicality of the movement is given a similar value to the context or atmosphere within which it takes place.
How do you find the dance and choreography scene in Asia, and how, if at all, is it difference from the industry in the Netherlands?
In my view, the dance scene in Asia is very rich and often demonstrates its specific cultural heritage with more clarity than in many other parts of the world... including the EU. Granted the world has become a much smaller place than it was just 25 years ago, the globalization of dance has as much negative influence as it does positive.
Can you tell us a recent performance you’ve seen that has inspired you greatly?
I would prefer to cite an exhibition I saw, rather than a performance. It was some time ago but the exhibition by Olafur Eliason at the Art Institute of Chicago still resonates with me today.
Lastly, what are you looking forward to when you come to Singapore?
We are looking forward to sharing our work with the local practitioners and audiences. I look forward to visiting a few of the city's temples (again) and of course enjoying the wonderful restaurants and foods of the region.
Mémoires d'Oubliettes/Sehnsucht: A Double Bill – Dance is on Jul 8-9, 8pm, Esplanade Theatre. Tickets $20, $40, $70, $100 available from Sistic.