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Jiří Kylián’s Stamping Ground | Netherlands Dance Theater….

December 21, 2013
Marly Knoben, Glen Eddy & Nacho Duato in Jiří Kylián’s Stamping Ground. Photo: Jorge Fatauros

Marly Knoben, Glen Eddy & Nacho Duato in Jiří Kylián’s Stamping Ground. Photo: Jorge Fatauros

Choreography: Jiří Kylián

Netherlands Dance Theater

Music: Carlos Cháve

Lighting Joop Caboort

Set/Stage Design: Jiří Kylián

Costumes: Heidi de Raad

Premiere: 1983


Jean Emile, Joke Martin, Aryeh Weiner, Philip Taylor, Brigitte Martin, DeAnn Deteuil

In 1980 Jiri Kylián, who then served as both artistic director and principal choreographer of the Nederlands Dance Theater, went to Australia to film a gathering of Aboriginal Tribal Dancers on Groote Island, and explore the festival participants’ verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. Mr. Kylián’s experiences during this trip led to his creation of Stamping Ground, which premiered in 1983.  Mr. Kylián sought to find the universal qualities that underlie both modern ballet and a style of dancing that has survived in Australia for over 40,000 years. In his ballet, Mr. Kylián allows the dancers to develop their individual personalities and relationships with each other within the dance group through the idiom of the choreography.

Stamping is the most important element in Aboriginal dance. Each tribe has its own way of dancing and his own Stamping Ground. The Aboriginal people believe that dance ensures the spiritual well-being and social cohesion of community life.

st road

Mr. Kylián filmed the documentary, Road to the Stamping Ground  at this 1980 gathering and the film contains scenes from a spirited group dance inspired by aboriginal rites. Tribes involved in the annual gathering have no common native language and can only communicate in basic English. Kylian points out that each tribe brings with them traditional dances from their local areas, and through movement or stamping, finds a way to share their mystical experiences with other tribes.


From → Dance History, Video

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