Despite using only nine dancers of the 16-strong company, Plateau Effect is an enormous, stage-filling piece, a lengthy step away from Dinther’s previous, more intimate works. A vertiginous, sail-like curtain, and the ropes and structures that manipulate it, are as much a focus of the piece as the nine dancers, and their wrangling with the materials form the curve of activity and plateau effect of the title three times over.
An epic opening scene shows the dancers by turns enveloped and revealed by the billowing material, mouthing the lyrical strangeness of David Kier’s atmospheric score. In the second, the sail is dismantled, and the dancers struggle with the huge ropes in a stylised but very real sense. The final section opens the fabric wide out across the stage.
These three stages are terrains against which the community of dancers ‘communicate, transport, construct and inhabit.’ Dinther’s movements are dance, but dance that gets real tasks done, and if there’s a moral to be had, it’s that individuality won’t finish the job.
There’s a definite sense of chaos and disorder reordered - Dinther is happy to let a vague confusion settle on the audience, and to create questions rather than answers, a process he refers to as ‘staging his uncertainty.’
In such a visual performance the choreographer’s vision is only one strand, and the set, lighting and sound designers share the limelight. All are artists in their own right - soundscape creator David Kiers has won several awards for his short films and installations, and the hour-long Plateau Effect score is worth a listen by itself. Striking lighting is by Minna Tiikkainen, another regular Dinther collaborator, and visual arts duo SIMKA (Simon Häggblom and Karin Lind) are behind the giant, unmanageable sail.
The Cullberg Ballet’s repertory is full of intriguing works by a variety of guest choreographers, and this is their second work with Dinther (although the first created specifically for the company). For both the company and the audience, Plateau Effect is sure to stand out.
|What||Cullberg Ballet: Plateau Effect, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Roseberry Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
13 Nov 14 – 14 Nov 14, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Sadler's Wells website|