Ballet duet by Emma Kim Hagdahl, Mårten Spångberg and Elizabeth Ward

DARK is a ballet performance co-created by three dancers with very different backgrounds, sharing a desire to trace ballet into our present time and research it’s potentiality to address questions that concern choreographers, dancer and spectators today. Bringing ballet to the studio of contemporary choreography engaged the trio in an intense process that challenged not only dance and the body, but also the group’s aesthetic ideals. After a longer period of inhabiting ballet and constructing their own training practice, parallel to which the conceptual fundament was discovered and introduced to the physical and sensuous quality “dark”. Rehearsal started during residency in Mexico.

DARK is here to be understood as a vagueness between named entities, a passage from tangibility to the erasure of signifiers, a landscape appearing yet not expositing its true identity, or perhaps a place where existences can be allowed to be many and shifting things. DARK is almost not but quite.

The piece constructs its own theatrical space, within which a trashy cardboard based set-design is tarnished with an almost stoic atmosphere where E.A. Poe’s moors and Emily Brontë’s heights meets the paralyzed modernism of Beckett. The two female dancers in point shoes appear as 21st century willis surrounded by deep red light where shadows shift in green accompanied by a soundtrack that offers the spectator to create her own fantastic images.

DARK brings ballet into our own time without senimentality or the slightest cynicism. It is an attempt to let contemporary ballet out of deconstruction and into allowing and fruitful modes of production where ballets use of the body, obsession with form and unlimited possibilities are celebrated and respected.

With support by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Swedish Arts Council and ImPulsTanz co-production PAF


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