Choreographer Jefta van Dinther is back with a new big stage production for 14 dancers in Cullbergbaletten. Elias, last year's major breakthrough artist in Swedish music, whose debut single 'Revolution' was a big hit last spring, provides recorded singing and voice-over, accompanied by sound design and music from David Kiers, set design by artist duo SIMKA and lighting design by Minna Tiikkainen. The new production, entitled 'Protagonist', had its world premiere at Julidans in Amsterdam 7 July 2016, and was performed for the first time in Sweden at Dansens Hus in Stockholm 23 November the same year.
Protagonist is a contemplation on mankind. Songs of revolution and dances of evolution tell a tale of how people congregate, take on and are given roles. All the while instinct, resistance and compulsion become evidence of the battle each and every individual is fighting. Struggling to belong, in search for a common meaning or belief, a community takes shape. Protagonist is a parable about care, kinship and alliance as well as isolation, control and estrangement.
'Protagonist' is Jefta van Dinther's second creation for Cullbergbaletten. His first, the successful production 'Plateau Effect', premiered in 2013 and went on to tour throughout Europe. Van Dinther received the Swedish Theatre Critics' dance award in 2013 for the production, which was also chosen to be performed at the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts in 2015. Jefta van Dinther's work is characterised by a vigorous physical approach and nearly always implies a staged research of movement itself. The moving body is centrefold in his work, interacting with light, sound and different materials to come together as a whole. His works deal with notions of the visible and the invisible, light and darkness, illusion, affect voice and image.
Choreography: Jefta van Dinther
Sound design: David Kiers
Composition, singing and voice-over: ELIAS
Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen
Set design: SIMKA
Costume: Marita Tjärnström
Text: Jefta van Dinther
Duration approximately 60 minutes
With 14 dancers
World premiere 7 July 2016 at Julidans, Amsterdam
Sweden premiere in November at Dansens Hus, Stockholm
Protagonist is a work produced by the Cullberg Ballet