In collaboration with &samhoud media and Samsung, Dutch National Ballet is the first company in the world to launch a ballet especially created for Virtual Reality: Night Fall. The Virtual Reality ballet will be presented in The VR Cinema in Amsterdam https://thevrcinema.com/nl and online on operaballet.nl/vr. The world premiere of the very first Virtual Reality ballet took place last weekend in Amsterdam at the UITmarkt, the opening of the cultural season. There was free admission to the performance during the whole UITmarkt weekend in the Dutch National Opera & Ballet Virtual Reality Theatre on Museumplein, in Amsterdam.

Dutch Opera Ballett

In Night Fall, the viewer feels like part of the corps de ballet, entering a world where the boundary between dream and reality seems to vanish. The choreography is inspired by the world-famous ‘white acts’ from Romantic ballets like Swan Lake, La Bayadère and Les Sylphides. The ballet was choreographed by Peter Leung, a former dancer with Dutch National Ballet, to music composed by Robin Rimbaud (Scanner). It was directed by Jip Samhoud and Marijn Korver from &samhoud media. Night Fall is a co-production by Dutch National Ballet, &samhoud media and Chester Music. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Gear VR provide the technology that makes it possible to produce the first ballet in Virtual Reality.

Choreographer Peter Leung: ‘It was quite a challenge to coordinate all the different aspects and to see if it would work, as a Virtual Reality ballet has never been created before. The filming was a totally new experience for me as well. We had to hide away and not get in the camera’s sightline, as it films everything in 360 degrees. That meant that I couldn’t see how a take had gone. The result, however, is poetic and magical’.

To read the full interview with Peter Leung, click here: http://www.samsung.com/nl/discover/culture/vr-ballet

Director Jip Samhoud is proud of the collaboration. ‘It’s very special to combine this new technology with such a classical art form. The result is magical, as the viewer is literally in among the dancers, in the middle of the stage. You get a sense that the dancers are creating a performance especially for you. It’s a really extraordinary experience’.

‘Virtual Reality has the unique quality of changing experiences. Since the introduction of the Gear VR, new experiences have become accessible to the general public’, says Gerben van Walt Meijer, Marketing Manager Mobile of Samsung Nederland. ‘We are really proud to have been able to create this first-ever VR ballet experience together with Dutch National Ballet’.

Anyone with a smartphone can watch the film. To optimise the experience, it is best to use a Samsung Gear VR or a smartphone in combination with a Cardboard. And the experience is completed by using headphones.

Dutch press on Night Fall:

“A key moment in dance history. It feels as if the ballet is laid at your feet like a gift. As a viewer, you
are right at the centre. They circle around you, look into your eyes, show you the violin or open the
palm of their hand in front of your face. Forget the distance from the stage and forget opera glasses –
you’re looking the dancers and musicians in the eye. Just one more step and you could touch the
fabric of their tutus. At least, that’s how it feels. Night Fall is one of a series of key moments in dance
history, about the relationship between dance and screen”. (de Volkskrant, Annette Embrechts, 30
August 2016)

Credits for Night Fall:
Choreography & concept: Peter Leung
Director: Jip Samhoud
Creative director: Marijn Korver
Music: Robin Rimbaud – Scanner
Violinist: Pieter van Loenen
Dancers: Anna Tsygankova and Artur Shesterikov Nancy Burer, Lisanne Kottenhagen, Emilie Tassinari, Belle Beasley, Melissa Chapski, Priscylla Gallo, Clara Superfine and Hannah Williams.

Night Fall is a co-production by Dutch National Ballet, &samhoud media and Chester Music, powered by Samsung.

Dutch National Ballet
With over eighty dancers, Dutch National Ballet is the largest dance company in the Netherlands. From its inception in 1961, it has been a leading ballet company with a unique character and a rich and varied repertoire. It is a company with a tradition of innovation and dancers of many different nationalities, and it gives performances all over the world: from Amsterdam to New York, and from Beijing to Moscow.

&samhoud media
&samhoud media is a creative agency that produces concepts mainly aimed at younger target groups. The agency specialises in virtual and augmented reality. For international clients, they create virtual reality experiences with great impact, which are used both internally and externally. They have also gained fame for setting up the world’s first virtual reality cinema: The VR Cinema.

Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics inspires people and creates the future with innovative ideas and technologies. They lead the way in the world of TVs, smartphones, wearables, tablets, cameras, household appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, semiconductors and LED solutions.

Campaign photo by Altin Kaftira
Dancer: Nancy Burer

You can watch Night Fall on youtube here:

For the best experience, using Samsung Gear VR or a smartphone in combination with a Cardboard is recomended.

You can watch the behind the scenes / making of video here: