Some dance pieces have such a direct effect on the audience members’ emotional state that they cause a kind of collective rapture, and elicit post-performance comments like “that was a real trip.” The Swedish-German dance nerd Jefta van Dinther knows how to create such choreographies. He can turn space, sound, light and bodies into performative drugs. Van Dinther’s drug of choice is a composition of experiential structures that is not only overwhelmingly spectacular but also captivates and even takes command of the audience’s senses. This was so in his early piece GRIND, created just a few years after IT’S IN THE AIR, a trampoline collaboration with Mette Ingvartsen. In the meantime he developed the production THIS IS CONCRETE and the studio pieces The Way Things Go and Kneeding, as well as The Blanket Dance, co-created and performed with Frédéric Gies and DD Dorvillier. This trio conjured an atmosphere, or realm of musical and spatial elements, which not only hinted back at GRIND but also ahead to Dinther’s future development. The dark beauty of The Plateau Effect, with dancers of the Cullberg Ballet, is a striking example. Via the music video Monument for Röyksopp & Robyn, it leads into the hypnotic depths of As It Empties Out. Along the way, his works have illuminated the choreographer’s deep interest in two things: firstly, the technological amplification of the dancing body and, secondly, the potentially intense synaesthesia of the audience-performance relationship.
As It Empties Out (2014)
a production by Cullberg Ballet, with the choreography by Jefta van Dinther
Jefta van Dinther is a choreographer and dancer living in Berlin. His work is characterised by a rigorous physical approach and always involves a staged research of movement itself. His work deals with illusion, the visible and the invisible, synaesthesia, darkness, labour, the uncanny, affect, voice and image. Currently on tour are the performances As It Empties Out (2014), Plateau Effect (2013, a commission for Cullberg Ballet), THIS IS CONCRETE (2012), as well as GRIND (2011). His other works include The Blanket Dance (2011), Kneeding (2010), The Way Things Go (2009) and IT’S IN THE AIR (2008). Upcoming projects include Protagonist (2016) and Dark Field Analysis (2017).