"What can one say about a masterpiece? Especially when there is a YouTube video of the great man himself discussing his ballet. According to the clip van Manen staged the work for the Nederlands Dans Theater junior company (Dans Theater 2). He spoke very highly of the Leeds dancers (Bateman, Batley, Leebolt, Contadini, Lori Gilchrist, Nicola Gervasi, Prudames and Isaac Lee-Baker) as well he might for they were good."
The video to which I referred was an interview with van Manen in Leeds on 6 June 2013. I have seen performances of the work by other companies since then and it never ceases to impress me. Floor Eimers said that Concedrtante brings out the best in her and that seems also to be the case with other dancers. There is something compelling in Frank Martin's music, Kekko's designs and of course the choreography, This was the last work of the van Manen season and it was danced with verve by Nina Tonoli, Timothy van Poucke, Jingjing Mao, Martin ten Kortenaar, Lore Zonderman, Jan Spunda, Khayla Fitzpatrick and Conor Walmsley.
The evening had begun under the baton of Matthew Rowe, a compatriot and (I believe) an old boy of St Paul's School. It ended under that baton of Northern Ballet's Director of Music, Jonathan Lo. As he was led onto the stage the applause was deafening. I felt very proud of him as well as Matthew Rowe. But the loudest cheers and most vigorous clapping were reserved for van Manen himself. They were in appreciation of the works that we had seen that night but also for his lifetime's achievement.