CLOSE-UP YOUNG CHOREOGRAPHERS: Menghan Lou

Menghan Lou began his dance training in the country of his birth, China. Following various universities and engagements, he danced for nine years from 2007 in the ensemble of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). He became one of the four Young Choreographers in July 2018.

Menghan Lou © Hongchang Guo
Menghan Lou © Hongchang Guo

Name: Menghan Lou

Beginnings: I first met dance on the television when I was still incredibly young. I was fascinated by the singers' background dancers and immediately began to mimic it all. I then found choreography in the Netherlands, because at the NDT there is a workshop format called SWITCH. I immediately attended it in 2007 and in my nine years I've been there a total of eight times. And each time I discovered more about what I want to do as a choreographer.

Style: I like to combine acting elements with pure physicality. With me the dancing is often about physical connections, action and reaction. Every movement influences the next one, including those of the dance partners.

Creation: The inspiration here comes from the idea of what "home"/"homeland" means. My extensive travelling means I miss my home, the Netherlands, more than I expected.             
For my creations I use chairs as props. Right at the beginning of rehearsals I have the dancers stand in front of a heap of chairs and ask them pick out the one with which they identify the most. A minimal version of home, as it were. There will also be a circle in the middle of the dance area. The easiest way to find the meaning of this circle is by using your own life experiences.

Either or ...:

1. Listen or shout?
Listen.
2. Search or find?
Search – that is the basis.
3. Act or react?
That depends very much on the situation. I am actually quite shy, but as a choreographer I really must act.

 

Creation Menghan Lou: Ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsballetts © Wilfried Hösl
Sneak peek of the rehearsals with Menghan Lou and the Ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsballetts © Wilfried Hösl

 

Find out more about him in his Biography or in the full interview in the Young Choreographers 2018 programme book.

Interview by Margaux Duteil and Antonia Hostlowsky.

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