When people peg choreographer Jiri Kylian's work with the Netherlands Dance Theater as abstract, he very concretely insists it is nothing of the sort.

"I'm not interested in abstraction at all," explains the Dutch troupe's 34-year-old artistic director. "I'm not interested in any kind of psychedelic experiences. I don't like to see people on stage who act like machines -- none of this." Kylian and the Dutch troupe wil be in Washington Wednesday through Saturday for five performances at Wolf Trap.

"Whatever I'm doing is connected with many feelings and many reminiscences and many relationships and many things," continued the Czech-born Kylian, who began his dancing career at age 9. After winning a scholarship to Britain's Royal Ballet School in 1967, Kylian danced with Germany's Stuttgart Ballet. In 1975, Kylian left to direct the Netherlands Dance Theater. "You see, you have to make it abroad," he laughs. "You never become a general in your own army."

Kylian is one among many choreographers whose speciality is dance without a clearly defined story line, yet he is one of the few who stand out. How to explain the shortage of noted choreographers? "The trouble, you see, is there is too much dance," Kylian said. "The number of premieres and the number of companies and the number of things that are hopping about is crazy. You can't have so much good dance."