Archive NEXT 2016


Jefta Van Dinther (Sweden / Netherlands) & Cullberg (Sweden / Netherlands)

65 minutes

Fourteen dancers on the barricades for a hallucinant dream community.

Based on the club life in Berlin and our yearning for a society as a strong entity, choreographer Jefta van Dinther created Protagonist. It's his second great production with the world-famous Cullberg Ballet, after Plateau Effect from 2013 which toured Europe with a lot of success. In Protagonist fourteen dancers throw their bodies into the fray. Van Dinther : “In that fight to belong, in search of a shared meaning or a collective faith, a community takes shape. Protagonist is a story about caring for each other, kinship and connection, but also about alienation, control and isolation.” The Swedish singer Elias, who scored a mega-hit with his first single Revolution in his own country last year and is at the verge of an international breakthrough takes care of the music in Protagonist.

Why the choreographer let himself be inspired by the nightlife in Berlin ? Van Dinther : “Our existence is so burdened with what we carry along from the past and we are so nervous about the future. We hardly ever are completely in the present. But we are in a club. You experience something together, with people you don't know, now, here. People abandon themselves to something that doesn't belong to the material world -the essence of a ritual. That makes it interesting for me.” After its premiere at July Dance last summer NRC called Protagonist “a remarkably readable performance” but also “a dark work full of existential questions about identity, how to live, the need for change.”

Since Jefta van Dinther broke through as a choreographer with his solo Grind (2011) the world has been his stage. Van Dinther was trained at the Amsterdam Theatre School, works in Stockholm and Berlin and shows his work in innumerable international theatres and festivals. As a dancer he worked with among others Mette Ingvartsen, Xavier Le Roy and DD Dorvillier. In his own performances - together with sound engineer David Kiers and light designer Minna Tiikkainen- Van Dinther creates surrealistic universes full of flashlight, shadows, technobeats and hallucinating effects which put your senses on edge. NEXT festival and Arts Centre Buda have been following Jefta van Dinther for a long time. His performances Grind and As it empties out (which was partly created at Buda) were to be seen at NEXT.

*Valenciennes: 28.11 - 18:30
*Villeneuve d'Ascq: 23.11 - 19:15

CHOREOGRAPHY Jefta van Dinther DANCE 14 dancers in Cullbergbaletten SOUND DESIGN David Kiers SONG, VOICE-OVER AND ORIGINAL COMPOSITION ELIAS LIGHTING DESIGN Minna Tiikkainen COSTUMES Marita Tjärnström SET DESIGN SIMKA TEXT Jefta van Dinther ASSISTANT CHOREOGRAPHER Thiago Granato REHEARSAL DIRECTOR Thomas Zamolo ARTISTIC ADVICE Robert Steijn, Cecilia Roos and Felix Bethge DISTRIBUTION Koen Vanhove - Key Performance / Protagonist is a production by Cullbergbaletten