Nederlands Dans Theater announced today that Emily Molnar will become artistic director in August 2020. Molnar, who hails from Canada and currently leads Vancouver's Ballet BC, will take over the position from Paul Lightfoot, who has directed the prominent contemporary dance company since 2011.
The company's current artistic team includes artistic advisor Sol León, Lightfoot's choreographic partner, but this will be the first time in over 15 years that a woman will be at the helm. (It's unclear at the moment whether León will step down along with Lightfoot, or remain at the company.)
Before she took over Ballet BC a decade ago, Molnar spent five years dancing with Frankfurt Ballet, under the direction of William Forsythe. Lightfoot and León both spent the bulk of their performing careers as dancers in NDT, working under another dance legend: Jiři Kylián, the company's longest-serving artistic leader. Molnar's background diverges from the Kylián lineage, marking a new era for the company.
At Ballet BC, Molnar has brought to the repertory works by a range of today's biggest contemporary choreographers, from Ohad Naharin to Crystal Pite to Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, alongside works of her own.
Molnar noted in a press release, "I look forward to collaborating with the extraordinary team at NDT toward continued innovation in contemporary dance while supporting a diversity of artists and ideas that reflect our time."