World-class dance company enchants its audience

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CONTEMPORARY dance can, on occasion, be regarded as a little po-faced, as an artform that takes itself a little too seriously.

Not so Nederlands Dans Theater 2. The youth arm of the national dance company, one of the world’s most highly regarded, features dancers who are aged between 17 and 23. Their youthful playfulness was on show in abundance in the mixed programme that came to Bradford for two performances this week.

From the bravura opening of Studio 2, which features typically inventive set design, to the hilarious melee of Minus 16, the company demonstrates why, as one very-much-in-the-know audience member said to me, NDT is the “Rolls Royce company of the dance world”.

Studio 2, the opening piece from Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, was a beguiling and mesmerising piece which played with mirrors and perception. Here the dancers display a power, but also a surprising grasp of technique that wasn’t necessarily on show throughout the evening.

Two shorter pieces followed, Deja Vu feeling overlong even at 13 minutes, but the cheeky Solo, which features dancers trying to outdo each other was a lot of fun and set the scene the hilarity of Minus 16, the final piece.

To have a whole audience in stitches with contemporary dance is an impressive achievement and with a piece that poked fun at dancing and then spun on a sixpence to be beautiful and display depth was a demonstration of why NDT2 is world class.