STOP PRESS – NDT production wins Olivier Award in London

LONDON, 14th April 2024. Nederlands Dans Theater’s production of Gabriela Carrizo’s La Ruta tonight won the prestigious Olivier Award for best new dance production at a glittering ceremony on London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Choreographer Gabriela Carrizo is co-artistic director of Belgian company Peeping Tom and her La Ruta was performed by NDT at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London in April last year on a double-bill with Crystal Pite and Complicité director Simon McBurney’s Figures in Extinction [1.0].

La Ruta was premiered in NDT’s home theatre, the Amare in The Hague, in May 2022. Our review of the production was as follows . . .

Gabriela Carrizo’s La Ruta (The Road), truly the stuff of which dreams are made – nightmares more like. We find ourselves on a lonely stretch of road on a dark misty night, a bus shelter our only refuge and source of light – although other lights come from myriad vehicles hurtling by. Rubbish swirls around and an orange-overalled, hard-hatted workman constantly fiddling with a roadside electricity junction box provides occasional extra illumination.

What is unusual about this is that there is very little dance in the conventional sense – not that you expect convention from the NDT – it is like one of those episodic horror films but with a fair amount of writhing, although there is a very nice pas de deux at one point. The whole thing is all a bit scary, especially the sequence where a distraught young woman gets out of a car, hurling insults at the invisible occupant and doing significant damage with her handbag. There is an even more frightening bit when one of the protagonists attacks the others with a very large rock, complete with squelching sound effects as the object strikes home. Oh, and a flock of white geese flies by and provide some of the soundscape. Although La Ruta is credited to Gabriela Carrizo, it was the eight dancers who worked with her to create this amazing piece of theatre.