Residencies

Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, and Diana Vishneva

4 – 24 Oct 2021

"SLEZA"

A ballet dedicated to a Woman
Daughter of her father
Mother of her son


"The vision of creating with Diana Vishneva is a journey which began some years ago, yet has been realized only now, through the pandemic… that destiny allowed us to make this a true reality.

The perfect autumnal colors of the fall and the warmth existing within this sanctuary of dance at Orsolina28 were our creative home base to forge this world premiere in their studios.

Together with the incredible artistry of Stefan Zeromski, Jorge Nozal, and Roger van Der Poel, it has been a beautiful gift for the creation, full of sensitive qualities.

Combining the different roots of the artists; their techniques and cultural backgrounds, ensures that this ballet will have its own unique color made by the spirit of all of us assembled together.

The life experiences we are all traveling with the movement of changes; the cycles of loss and gain became the clear and common source for our expression in the work which we have named “Sleza,” a Russian word translating as “Una Lagrima” in Spanish, “A tear” in English.

The feminine figure of Diana and her inner force, held together by the hand of the inevitable changes and transformations; between beginnings and ends she is shaping her own spiral… opening the vulnerable truths, and personal realizations of love and continuity.

Like the eternal food for poets, I ask myself: can I witness and touch the space of infinity when we lose a dear one?

Can I feel the other side through my love?

The speeds and patterns will define the Spiral, like the many times we see it imprinted in nature; I love to observe it in shells for example. Within this spiral we can envisage time and space; imagine the visible and the invisible embracing each other continuously…. and then a tear will become an ocean of eternity."

Sol León

Biographies


Sol León (Cordoba, Spain) joined NDT2 in 1987 after graduating from the National Ballet Academy of Madrid.

Two years later she moved into NDT1. León continued to dance up until 2003, when she decided to fully devote herself to being the house choreographer of NDT together with Paul Lightfoot. From 2012 until 2020 León was also the artistic advisor for the company.

Paul Lightfoot (Cheshire, England) graduated from the Royal Ballet School in London before joining Netherlands Dans Theater in 1985.

Lightfoot began as a dancer with NDT2. Two years later he moved into NDT1, where he danced until 2008. Early in his career Lightfoot began choreographing together with Sol Leon. From September 2011 until August 2020 Lightfoot was the artistic director of NDT.

Diana Vishneva, prima ballerina at the Mariinsky Theatre and principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre (2005-2017), was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

She graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in 1995. In 1994 Vishneva won the International Young Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Lausanne where she took both the Gold Medal and the Grand Prix. Diana Vishneva has performed lead roles in the international ballet repertoire including works by Marius Petipa, Michael Fokine, George Balanchine, John Neumeier, Kenneth MacMillan, Yury Grigorovich, Maurice Béjart, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Carolyn Carlson, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Martha Graham, and many others at the world’s great theatres. She has had several solo programmes choreographed for her. Diana Vishneva is the founder and driving force behind the international contemporary dance festival Context.

ARTISTS

  • Diana Vishneva

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    Diana Vishneva, prima ballerina at the Mariinsky Theatre, and principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre (2005-2017), was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). She graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in 1995.

    In 1994 Vishneva won the International Young Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Lausanne where she took both the Gold Medal and the Grand Prix. Diana Vishneva has performed lead roles in the international ballet repertoire including works by Marius Petipa, Michael Fokine, George Balanchine, John Neumeier, Kenneth MacMillan, Yury Grigorovich, Maurice Béjart, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Carolyn Carlson, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Martha Graham, and many others at the world’s great theatres. She has had several solo programmes choreographed for her. Diana Vishneva is the founder and driving force behind the international contemporary dance festival Context.

  • Jorge Nozal

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    Jorge Nozal was born in San Sebastián, Spain. He received his dance training at the Conservatorio Municipal de San Sebastián and the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany. He worked for the Stuttgart Ballet (1998-2004) and the Netherlands Dance Theater (2004-2020).

    Throughout his career, Jorge performed works by many acclaimed choreographers, such as William Forsythe, Medhi Walerski, Crystal Pite, Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. Jorge has staged works by Marco Goecke and León&Lightfoot in Netherlands Dance Theater, Wiener Staatsballett, Staatstheater Nürnberg Ballett, Juilliard Dance School and dancers of the Bolshoi Theater.

    He has been awarded the Premio Revelación by the Asociación de Danza de Guipuzcoa in 2007 and the 'Zwaan– Most Impressive Dance Performance 2015′ for his part in Marco Goecke’s Thin Skin.

    Jorge is currently a freelance artist based in the Netherlands.

  • Roger Van der Poel

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    Roger Van der Poel is a Portuguese-Dutch award-winning dancer. Started his dance education at the National Conservatory of Lisbon at the age of eighteen. His dance career includes Ballet Gulbenkian (2003-2004), Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève (2004-2006) and, for the last fourteen years, the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater. Roger’s performance repertoire includes existing works by & creations with Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, Crystal Pite, Jiri Kylián, Gabriela Carrizo, Franck Chartier, Marco Goecke, Hans van Manen, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe and Mats Ek, among many others.

    Roger has staged the work of Sol León & Paul Lightfoot and Crystal Pite internationally (Zurich Ballet, Oslo Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, and dancers of the Bolshoi Theater) and guest teaches for dance companies, schools and programs around the world. He has been on regular faculty at NDT Summer Intensive and chuthis. Movement Intensive (educational program from Peter Chu’s chuthis.)

    Roger was awarded the Dutch Zwaan for best dance performance of 2008 for his role in Hans van Manen’s Simple Things and the Encouragement Prize 2007 by the Stichting Dansersfonds’79 in Amsterdam.

    In August 2020, Roger embarked on a new journey as a free-lance artist and educator.

  • Stefan Żeromski

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    Stefan Żeromski has been working as dancer and ballet master with the Nederlands Dans Theater, where he participated in creating many original works by choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, Paul Lightfoot, Sol León, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Johan Inger, Ohad Naharinand, and he assisted choreographers such as Marco Goecke, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Hofesh Schechter, and Mats Ek. Currently, he works as a freelance dancer and ballet master staging works of Jiří Kylián and Sol León/Paul Lightfoot at companies such as the Zurich Ballet, Vienna State Opera, New Zealand Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, Berlin State Opera, and the Joffrey Ballet amongst others.

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