Huang Ruo builds musical bridges between Asia and Europe, as well as between life and death. 

Let's talk. About death.
Not about saying goodbye, but the moment you come face to face with death.
The moment when you trade the life you're clinging to for something else, without really knowing what the 'other side' holds.

With the music-theatrical piece Between Two Lights, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and Muziektheater Transparant present a new work by Chinese composer Huang Ruo about the transition from one life to another. A ritual of dying. The work touches on the recent history of Huang Ruo. When his mother passed away not long ago, Huang Ruo - living in the USA - went back to China for a ceremony of seven weeks. Huang Ruo realised he had become detached from his Chinese past, and was fascinated by the way of looking at dying in China. As a moment of emptiness, but also of passage.

With Between Two Lights Huang Ruo not only wants to bridge the musical worlds of the West and Asia, but also has the explicit desire to give the performance a universal human character. Between Two Lights is not about saying goodbye, but about that overwhelming moment itself, when you come face to face with death. That step, that emptiness. Do we dare to imagine that? 

We follow Indonesian dancer Grace Ellen Barkey, who acts as the leader of this ritual about seeing our impermanence to ultimately confront our own dying. With each stage of the performance, we move further from the outside to the inside.


  • Concept | Composition | Libretto | Conductor • Huang Ruo
  • Choir • Nederlands Kamerkoor
  • Percussion • HERMESensemble
  • Dance • Grace Ellen Barkey
  • Staging • Aïda Gabriëls / Tido Visser
  • Visual dramaturgy • Lise Bruyneel
  • Scenography | Lighting design • Peter Quasters
  • Artistic advise interviews • Barbara Raes
  • Videography interviews • Mirjam Devriendt
  • Dramaturgical Advice • Shuang Zou
Location Dates Hour  
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Amsterdam)
+31 20 788 20 00
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Concertgebouw Brugge (Brugge)
+32 50 47 69 99
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Amare (Den Haag)
+31 70 88 00 333
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deSingel Antwerpen (Antwerpen)
+32 3 248 28 28
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Concertzaal Tilburg (Tilburg)
+ 31 13 54 90 390
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TAQA Theater De Vest Alkmaar (Alkmaar)
+31 72 548 98 88
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