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Dutch dance group to perform at Memorial Hall

Performance is part of a world tour

The Nederlands Dans Theater is on a world tour.

But in the United States, the prestigious dance company will see only the bright lights of California and the more local lights of UNC’s Memorial Hall.

Organized by Carolina Performing Arts, the event will feature the theater of 30 dancers performing two choreographed pieces on each of the two nights.

“(The company) is one of the most important, amazing, influential modern ballet companies in the world,” said Sean McKeithan, communications and marketing coordinator for Carolina Performing Arts.

He said the show promises to draw audiences from the student body and wider Carolina community alike.

“A lot of people are very excited about this,” McKeithan said.

Commending the levels of skill and accuracy in the group, he described their performances as “always razor sharp.”

“I’ve always been blown away by the technique and virtuosity of the dancers,” he said.

Julie Walters, a classical dancer who now works as an assistant professor of the practice of dance and is the co-director of the Duke Ballet Repertory Ensemble at Duke University, said the group had an “unmatched creativity” and versatility.

“The dancers are classically, phenomenally trained,” she said.

Walters — who, before moving to Duke, taught ballet at UNC — said she remembers watching the group perform in New York in the 1980s.

Though she hasn’t seen the dance theater since then, Walters said she can still picture the “exquisite performers.”

“They have an unmatched creativity, which offers something for everyone,” she said.

“They are a wonderful group to bring to North Carolina.”

Walters said she will be bringing her 10-year-old daughter to see the dancers to expose her to a once in a lifetime experience.

“It’s huge for UNC,” Walters said, crediting the efforts of Emil Kang, the executive director for the arts at UNC.

Kang developed the idea to bring the company to perform in North Carolina, McKeithan said.

In addition to the two-night performance, the dance theater will host a master class at UNC.

Renée Jones-Bos, the ambassador to the United States from the Netherlands, will travel to UNC in part to see the dance company perform.

She will also be spending time on campus and in the Triangle.

The Dutch government helps fund the company, which is split into two distinctive groups.

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Nederlands Dans Theater I — which will be at Memorial Hall tonight — is made up of 30 dancers from age 20 to 42. The other group consists of 16 younger dancers.

Carolina Performing Arts has hosted a number of internationally renowned dance programs, McKeithan said.

He said the Nederlands Dans Theater is a continuation of the program’s tradition.

“The company beautifully integrates dancers, choreography and multimedia,” McKeithan said.

“It really is dance theater.”

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