The Waste Land

Coproduction of Amsterdam Sinfonietta & ISH Dance Collective

Acrobatic dance with explosive string music

One hundred years ago, T.S. Eliot wrote the legendary poem The Waste Land. In this poem, Eliot shows a world in tatters. In The Waste Land compulsion reigns, not love; indoctrination, not unfoldment; authority, not experience. Where can you go then, is there still hope? Decades later, Ahmad Shamlou, one of the greatest Iranian poets of the 20th century, paints the same picture from a completely different culture and history. In this performance, Amsterdam Sinfonietta and ISH Dance Collective explore the universal theme of decline and rebirth.

Music by the Iranian composer Farokhzad Layegh is the connecting link between the two poets, supplemented by compositions by Igor Stravinsky, Max Richter and Rik Ronner. The dance almost literally breaks out of space, with explosive pieces of choreography close to the ground and poetic parts that seem to float against the walls and ceiling. In this performance about the endless cycle of decline and rebirth, the musicians and dancers challenge each other to push their own boundaries with different music styles and dance forms.


Concept & Direction: Marco Gerris Musical direction & violin: Candida Thompson
Music by: Igor Stravinsky, Max Richter, Farokhzad Layegh and Rik Ronner
Photography: Nichon Glerum