Choreography Ed Wubbe

Holland, Min Li, Mitchell-Lee van Rooij, 2009.
Holland, Min Li, Mitchell-Lee van Rooij, 2009.

Holland, Ed Wubbe's, grand tribute to his home and birth place. With references to the Golden Age, Wubbe takes us on a journey of exploration and discovery, delving into the roots of the Dutch identity, an identity which was, and might still be, shaped by conformity as well as individuality. Set against a backdrop ressembling the dramatic and saturnine skies of a Jacob van Ruisdael painting from the 17th Century, thrilling group scenes deliver a firestorm of energetic movement. Dancers skim breathlessly across the dance floor devouring the stage with gilded steps and spectacular jumps. With dashing speed they coalesce across a variety of constellations: in unison for a brief moment before continuing their chase through space again. These outbursts of unbridled physical power interweave in contrast with tender scenes of subtle, precisely controlled moves: stiff, stifling correctness and adherence to composure proving the effects of a life characterised by fierce religious Calvinism. Even in these moments, motionless bodies radiate high energy, blooming out in space from the dancers’ inherent power and concentrated focus. Oscillating between these opposing atmospheres, Wubbe establishes another analogy to the ambiguous messages of van Ruisdael’s masterpieces: feats of strength versus vulnerability, wealth versus humbleness, overt moralism against the liberal spirit of a thriving trade power.

Music by the Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pojohnen and French percussionist Eric Echampard amply powers Holland's high-release movement. Their engaging composition embraces dreamy, atmospheric qualities as well as cadent tracks with a fast beat. Together they conjure a storm of energetic sound which find their counterpart in the sober harmonium tune written by Fabian Smit and performed live.

Premiered in 2010, Holland was performed with enormous success by the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and was received with great enthusiasm when performed by the Ballett Basel in 2014.

Holland, MItchell-Lee van Rooij, Annemarie Labinjo van der Meulen, 2009.
Holland, MItchell-Lee van Rooij, Annemarie Labinjo van der Meulen, 2009.
Holland, Min Li, Bonnie Doets, 2009.
Holland, Min Li, Bonnie Doets, 2009.


Choreography: Ed Wubbe

Music: Kimmo Pohjonen&Eric Echampard: Uumen;

Fabian Smit: Composition for Harmonium Setdesign: Ed Wubbe

Backdropdesign: Ed Wubbe / Marc van Helden 
Costumes: Pamela Homoet

Lightdesign: Benno Veen / Ed Wubbe

Length: 35 min.

Dancers: Scapino Ballet Rotterdam (8 Female / 8 Male)

Worldpremiere: Rotterdamse Schouwburg, October 2009

All photographs taken by Hans Gerritsen.