Jefta van Dinther Dark Field Analysis. Photo © Ben Mergelsberg


Jefta van Dinther: Dark Field Analysis

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A fantastic voyage wearing nothing but a microphone… Jefta van Dinther’s Dark Field Analysis. Photo © Ben Mergelsberg
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Two men embark on an expedition inside the body and beyond the mind, in Jefta van Dinther’s psychedelic Dark Field Analysis

In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, an experimental technique that can miniaturise matter, for up to one hour, is used to shrink a team of people to the size of single cells and inject them into the body of a brilliant scientist, on a mission to a relieve a blood clot in his brain.

Strip out the retro campiness, add a shot of David Lynch weirdness, and you have the feel of Dark Field Analysis by ‘Swedish-German dance nerd’ Jefta van Dinther, in which two men, each wearing nothing but a microphone, take us on an expedition into – um, the human bloodstream?

Even at the beginning it’s perplexing, but at least we know where we are: watching Juan Pablo Cámara and Roger Sala Reyner sitting naked on a mat below a suspended square of light, talking cryptically about getting ‘inside’ themselves – through memory, through imagination, through blood…

Disorientation sets in from there. Minna Tiikkainen’s fitful lighting fractures into red and green, as if through 3d lenses. David Kiers’ sonic environment throbs like blood in the ear. Smoke fogs our vision and Reyner takes up a growling, psychedelic chant that might be coming from him, the sound system, or both.

And then there’s the blackout – total, and just too long for comfort – and by the time the ghostly light returns, we’re someplace else. The men crawl blindly in strange, stop-motion spasms, their pallid bodies – antibodies? – looking creepily cellular or dendritic. They hunch and flinch, and scan us unnervingly. Cámara gouges up the floor, Reyner continues a long snarl of song, and together they clamber and scrabble, more corpuscular than corporeal. In this strangely primordial innerspace, such dislocations of sound, sight and scale get inside us.

Can we get out? Cámara climbs onto Reyner’s shoulders, reaching upwards as if towards normality. The hour-long performance ends, and we emerge from the theatre blinking at familiar streets, back to normal yet feeling weirdly out-of-body. It’s been quite a trip.

The bottom line: In-body or out-of-body? A fantastical, sci-fi trip into both inner and outer space
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Lilian Baylis Theatre, London, UK. Reviewed 14/09/18
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Forthcoming dates:
05-06/10/18 PACT Zollverein, Essen, Germany
17/11/18 Backslash Festival, Gessnerallee, Zürich, Switzerland
25/11/18 BalettOFF Festival, Krakow, Poland
31/01/19 Festival Sâlmon, Barcelona, Spain
15-16/05/19 STUK, Leuven, Belgium

Further details on Jefta van Dinther’s calendar.

Choreography and direction: Jefta van Dinther
Created with and performed by: Juan Pablo Cámara, Roger Sala Reyner
Lighting design: Minna Tikkainen
Scenography: Cristina Nyffeler
Sound design: David Kiers
Songs: based on PJ Harvey’s The Slow Drug and Horses in My Dreams
Text: Jefta van Dinther, Juan Pablo Cámara, Roger Sala Reyner
Assistant choreographer: Thiago Granato
Artistic advice: Gabriel Smeets, Felix Bethge
Technical coordination: Bennert Vancottem
Art direction: Martin Falck

Co-production: Tanz im August/HAU Berlin, Tanzquartier Vienna, Sadler’s Wells London, PACT Zollverein Essen, Centro Cultural Vila Flor Guimarães, Dansens Hus Oslo

Supported by: O Espaço do Tempo Montemor-o-Novo, BUDA Kortrijk, Swedish National Touring Theatre

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