For Immediate Release

Welkom! Introdans Makes U.S. Debut at Joyce Theater, May 1-6

Program features New York Premieres by Nils Christe, Ed Wubbe and Gisela Rocha

Photos By Hans Gerritsen

While Introdans is one of The Netherlands three national dance companies, it is the only one that has never performed in the United States. This will be rectified on May 1-6 when the company makes its U.S. debut at the Joyce Theater with “Heavenly,” a program featuring premieres by Nils Christe, Ed Wubbe and Gisela Rocha. The Joyce engagement is part of the company’s 40th anniversary worldwide celebration.

Using selections from Händel’s “Messiah,” Wubbe’s ballet of the same name, which premiered in 1988 and became a staple in the Dutch repertoire, brings new meaning and compelling visual complexity to the eighteenth century oratorio. Its large, sweeping choral sections–with the dancers swirling and turning across stage–visually echo the passionate call of the music. In contrast are the delicate sensual duets that celebrate love between men and women, and friendship among the sexes, while celebrating the communal humanity of the music.

In “Fünf Gedichte,” Nils Christe uses Wagner’s “Wesendonk Lieder,” five songs set to the poetry of Mathilde Wesendonk and sung by Jard van Nes, to create his poetic suggestion of the transition from life to death. In contrast, Brazilian choreographer Gisela Rocha’s “Paradise?,” created in 2006, brims with urban cool. Full of wit, sexy moves, and integrating hip hop and tap into the work, “Paradise?” uses a score by Michael Sauter and choreographic input from its 15 dancers.

Founded 40 years ago by Ton Wiggers and Hans Focking, Introdans is well-known for its pioneering work in bringing dance to new audiences of both young people and adults. Its repertory evenings are thematic–Old Masters, Contemporary Partners and New Talents–and include works by American choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Alwin Nikolaïs, David Parsons, Daniel Ezralow, as well as European artists including Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Hans van Manen. In addition to its performances in Holland and its international touring that has taken the company from Bangkok to Cape Town to Germany to Buenos Aires, the company has two major educational components. The Introdans Ensemble for Youth presents special dance performances for children (the only contemporary dance company in Europe to do so) and Introdans Interaction collaborates with public schools and senior centers to present a broad range of educational activities including day projects and interactive workshops. Roel Voorintholt, who joined the company as an apprentice in 1983 and went on to become one of its leading dancers, was appointed Introdans’ Artistic Director in 2005. Ton Wiggers has been the company’s General Director since 2005.

Performance Time

The evening curtains for Introdans’ Joyce Theater season are May 1 and 2 at 7:30pm, and May 3, 4, and 5 at 8pm. There is a 2pm matinee on May 6. A post-performance “Dance Chat” will take place on Wednesday, May 2.

Where To Go

Tickets are $49, $35 and $19 and can be purchased online at www.joyce.org, by calling 212-242-0800, or at The Joyce Theater box office located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street. A limited number of $10 tickets are available by calling 212-242-0800.

Artist Bios

Roel Voorintholt first joined Introdans as an apprentice in 1983. Over the next ten years, he became one of the company’s leading dancers. In September 1989, he was asked to create an independent department to produce work for children and young adults, which evolved into Introdans Ensemble for Youth and Introdans Interaction. In recognition of his work for the city of Arnhem, he received an Arnhems Meisje award in 1993, and in 1997 was awarded the Perspektiefprijs (Perspective Prize). In October 2004, he was made a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau. In June 2008 he published his book Of ballpits and Bolshoi en Bolshoi in which he recounts 25 years of touring internationally with Introdans. Voorintholt received the 2008 Critic’s Award from the Dutch Theatre Critics Association for his efforts to promote dance for youth. In addition to his responsibilities as Artistic Director of Introdans, a position he assumed in 2005, he oversees the company’s sponsorship policy and is treasurer of Stichting Hans van Manen.

Ton Wiggers is the co-founder of Introdans. In the company’s early years Wiggers served multiple roles: dancer, artistic director and choreographer of many dances. His goal has been, and continues to be, to make dance accessible and familiar to a large and diverse public, using non-traditional and unorthodox methods. On the 25th anniversary of Introdans in 1996, he was made a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. He received the Arnhem- Lorentz Penning in 2005. He has been the General Director of Introdans since 2005. Recently, on the occasion of his 65th birthday, Ton Wiggers was awarded the Silver City Metal by the city of Arnhem for his work with the Zilveren Stadspenning. In 2011 Dutch filmmaker Bas Berkhout made the documentary “Recognition at Last,” a revealing and intimate portrait of Wiggers.

Nils Christe (Choreographer) created his first ballet for Nederlands Dans Theater in 1974. Since then, he has choreographed 78 works for 66 dance companies in 25 countries including “Quartet 1,” for which he won the first prize in the Choreographic Competition in Cologne in 1979. In The Netherlands he has created dances for the famous dance couple Alexandra Radius and Han Ebbelaar, and for companies such as Introdans, Het Nationale Ballet and Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. Nils Christe has worked with many internationally renowned companies in Europe, North and South America. Besides his work with ballet companies, he has also created choreography for the operas “Dido and Aeneas”, “Aïda” and “Achnaten.” In 2005 Nils Christe received the Merit Award of the Dancers’ Fund ’79. In 2011 his “Le Sacre du Printemps,” performed by Introdans, was nominated for a Dutch Swan, for most impressive dance production. Introdans has had his work in its repertoire since 1982.

Gisela Rocha (Choreographer) began her training in classical and modern dance in her native Salvador de Bahía. At the age of 18 she continued her studies at the University of Bahía and at the Limón Institute in New York, where she studied classical ballet, improvisation, choreography, and the Graham and Limón techniques. She created her own company, Companhia Sete, in 1990, while teaching at the University of São Paulo. She has received several awards for her work “DAS” (1994), which was performed at the Equitable Theatre on Broadway in New York City. Since 1997, Gisela Rocha has been living and working in Switzerland. Appointed a ‘New Partner’ by Introdans in 2006, she collaborated with the company’s dancers to create the world premiere of “Paradise?” Following its success she was invited to create a series of new ballets including “Disclose” (2007), “Pictures on Stravinsky,” and “Walk of Fame,” and “Four” for the company’s 2011/12 40th anniversary Jubilee Season.

Ed Wubbe (Choreographer) studied at Scapino Dansacademie. He was a member of the original Nederlands Dans Theater II, from 1978-1984. A close artistic relationship developed between Wubbe and Introdans after Wubbe’s first creation for the company. As a guest choreographer, and then as Introdans’s house choreographer from 1987-1990, Wubbe contributed a great deal to the size and quality of the Introdans repertoire. In 1986, Ed Wubbe received the Perspektiefprijs (Perspective Prize) and in 1989 he received the Dutch Choreography Prize for his “Messiah” and “The light of the sun,” both of which were created for and with Introdans performers. He became Resident Choreographer at the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam in 1990, and since 1992, its Artistic Director. His work for Introdans is now in the repertories of many international dance companies.

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Photo by Hans Gerritsen.