A few hours before dawn. You are in your half-sleep, but you are still observing what is going on around you. You have just discovered that although it is past the fourth hour of the show the dancers are still engaged in their meticulous performance of the script. You drift off. Or so it seems. You are unsure of what you have witnessed or what you have desired to notice. Natten takes place between the night and the day, light and darkness, dance and stillness, alertness and dream-like reverie. It is an act of poetry regarding the action and experience of time – perhaps one of the most important you can encounter in theatre.

One of the new works by Mårten Spångberg and one of the most acclaimed events in the European performing arts field in recent years. Spångberg is a choreographer, performer, teacher, and art critic, but above all, he’s an artist with ground-breaking ideas who challenges the concept of choreography. Natten is his “dance of horror.” For Spångberg, the night is the only place where a human being can truly be, where he can escape the tyranny of time, in a darkness that does not represent death but life. Natten is a six-and-a half-hour journey into an abstract eternity and an unfathomable depth. It is a bubble that you can step into and out of whenever you want. You are allowed to look, dream, sleep… But there you must face your own monsters.

“Black is not enough. Natten is darker than black. The black that is the absence of black. It’s not a static darkness that awaits you beyond the light. It is an illuminated lack of light that is alive and grows. A silence that emanates out of a roaring abyss. Sometimes it is as if the dark is extra much there. As if everything just goes black and disappears, a total blackout though one is still awake. Sometimes it’s like the darkness isn’t still, isn’t immobile. That’s totally nice, but shit scary, when the night bubbles a little or the abyss starts to move. You don’t want to know what it is. Not me at least. It’s captivating to think about that the creatures of the night are way more than those of the light. In
numbers and all. Sometimes one would want to get to know them all, go for dinner, but then that’s just the end of their belonging to the night. It is the night that is real, the day is just reflections. That’s why one thinks of really heavy stuff then, or laugh hysterically to keep the dark away. The day is linked to life, it is at night that one exists. The night is not death – it exists and is more, much more than life. Time and light exist together. Time can be used as protection, always. It after all differentiates things. In the dark time isn’t standing still, it doesn’t cease, instead it slips away and disappears as if it never had been. For in the deepest obscurity there is neither then nor later; there is only now and all the time.
The night expires the mimetic.”
Tamara Alegre, Simon Asencio, Linda Blomqvist, Louise Dahl, Emma Daniel, Hana Lee Erdman, Adriano Wilfert Jensen, Mårten Spångberg, Else Tuvemyr, Marika Troili, Alex Tveit

XING Bologna, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels, Black Box Theatre Oslo, Santarcangelo Festival, MDT

Made possible with the support of PAF St. Erme

Supported by
The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, The Swedish Art Council

13th May 2016