State of Matter – Ihsan Rustem – NWDP

Strong with an electric force, State of Matter is a contemporary ballet that was choreographed by Ihsan Rustem and danced in this video by the North West Dance Project. The music is by Murcaf, Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter and the text is by Benjamin Wardell.

North West Dance Project is a relatively new contemporary dance company based in Portland, Oregon US. It was formed by Canadian dancer and choreographer, Sarah Slipper in 2004 who is currently the artistic director. The focus of the company is to foster new innovative contemporary dance creation and performance by established and new American and International choreographers. The company offers a laboratory space where chorographers and dancers work together in an open, experimental, risk-taking and stimulating environment. Their goal is to change the way dance is created. The dancer’s skills are based in classical training which is deconstructed to generate new and original movement languages.

Ihsan Rustem is the choreographer of States of Matter. He is a British dancer and choreographer who received his training from the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. His professional career began with the National Youth Dance Company in England and a new work with Matthew Bourne. His career took him to Europe where he danced with the Tanz Luzemer Theater and the Institute of the Arts Arnhem, Netherlands. Rustem has worked with all the leading contemporary choreographers of today such as Karole Armtage, Hofesh Shecter, Matz Ek, Jiri Kylian and Wayne McGreggor. He began his choreographic career in tandem with his dance career while studying at the Rambert professional program where he created works for Ballet Rambert Company.

State of Matter is a work Ihsan Rustem choreographed directly on the North West Dance Project. It premiered in 2010 in Portland, Oregon and was later performed at the Sadler’s Wells in London where it was received with standing ovations and rave reviews earning the 2011 Sadler’s Wells Theatres Global Dance Award. It also received the Audience Choice Award at the 25th International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover, Germany bringing international recognition to this young and outstanding company.

The inspiration for this ballet came from a poem about clouds called, The Clouds Inside by Benjamin Wardell. The poem uses clouds as a metaphor for the human experience, which is revealed through the dancer’s movements where they are sometimes like clouds that drift weightlessly together and apart, unhurriedly molding and folding together or sometimes as foreboding dark storms through movements that build in intensity, urgency and force.

I particularly enjoy the section where the dancers and the spoken word merge together. The piece is a fresh and beautiful unique expression of the human experience that is touching and powerful in its sensitive lightness and dynamic, shifting energy and imagery. This is truly a poetic work that is beautifully danced.

Enjoy this wonderful award winning piece by this dynamic company and SHARE!


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