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Performance, Julidans

Unearth – Julidans 2023

Journey inward in a four-hour trance experience.

Swedish-Dutch Jefta van Dinther has sometimes been described as “the star of dark and mysterious techno dance”. His productions are hallucinatory and dynamic, sleekly designed and offer an outlook on humanity in a world dominated by technology. In Unearth, the choreographer instead focuses on the need to still keep feeling.

With Unearth, Van Dinther invites the audience to an introspective journey. Using only movement and voice, the four-hour dance event at W139 arts centre in the heart of Amsterdam offers one big, propulsive trance experience.

The dancers turn their bodies inside out and expose deep-rooted feelings about social kinship, life and mortality. Stripped of theatrical elements such as lighting, music and scenography, the performance stages the capacities and incapacities of human beings in their purest form.

As they sing personal interpretations of pop songs – discharged as an intense emotional and physical release – the dancers move softly and in slow motion through the audience. Sometimes they linger or stop next to someone, in search of contact or comfort.

The title Unearth refers to something not of this earth. With this title, Van Dinther highlights the central theme of his work in recent years: the technologisation of the world we live in. Which was meant to serve us, but instead has come to govern our lives. “Jefta van Dinther once again succeeds in portraying humans as aliens and temporary guests on this earth,” a reviewer wrote following the premiere.

The event lasts four hours, but it is possible to leave and enter the venue at any time, except during the last 30 minutes, when the performance builds up towards its apotheosis.