€ 16 / € 13
In 2015, La Substance, but in English rendered the Kunstenfestivaldesarts audience speechless. In 2016, Mårten Spångberg returns with what already promises to be an intense experience. Spångberg is a choreographer, performer, teacher, and art critic, but above all, he’s an artist with ground-breaking ideas who tirelessly challenges the concept of choreography. Natten is his ‘dance of horror’. In the chapel at Les Brigittines, nine performers accompany the audience on a journey into the dark heart of the night. For Spångberg, the night is the only place where man 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.
With & by
Tamara Alegre, Simon Asencio, Linda Blomqvist, Louise Dahl, Emma Daniel, Hana Lee Erdman, Adriano Wilfert Jensen, Mårten Spångberg, Else Tunemyr, Marika Troili, Alexandra Tveit
A special thanks to
Liza Penkova who provided a central dance material to Natten.
Natten was developed in close collaboration with
A group of students at P.A.R.T.S. Our time together was extraordinary. Thank you so much Liza Baliasnaja, Nikita Chumakov, Sien Van Dycke, Akiyoshi Nita, Eileen Van Os, Laura Maria Poletti, Kamola Rashidova, Adriano Vicente
Mette Edvardsen just amazing and Linda Blomqvist (forever), Silvia Fanti, Silvia Bottiroli, Tove Dahlblom, Maria Jerez, Alejandra Pombo, Christophe Slagmuylder, Jon Resdal Moe, Danjel Andersson, Ben Woodard, Christian Töpfner
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Brigittines
In collaboration with
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Xing (Bologna),Black Box Teater (Oslo), Santarcangelo Festival, MDT Stockholm
Made possible with the support of
PAF St. Erme
The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, The Swedish Art Council, The City of Stockholm
Sometimes it is as if the dark is extra-much there. As if everything just goes black and disappears, blacks out, 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. I don’t, at least. It’s captivating to think that there are way more creatures of the night than of the light. In number. Sometimes one wants to get to know them all, to go for dinner, but then that would be 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 at night, or laughs hysterically to keep the darkness 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 live together. Time can be used as a protection, always. After all, it differentiates things. In the dark, time isn’t standing still, it doesn’t cease; instead, it slips away and disappears as if it never was. For in the deepest obscurity there is neither ‘then’ nor ‘later’, there is only ‘now’ and all the time.
There’s a virus that causes one to experience amnesia at every moment, again and again; then the now is eternal – until one dies. There are other viruses too. One of these is where the shadows no longer disappear when you turn on the light or when the sun comes out. The sun appears but the shadows are still there. When darkness lives its own life. In Caravaggio’s paintings, it’s always the black areas that shine. It is in the luminous absence of light that Artaud finds his cruelty, and it’s by boiling it into a uniformly black matter that nigredo turns into itself, illuminated.
More precisely: the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within. Monsters and such are good to have around in order to escape the horrifying experience that inner darkness is the same as outer darkness, and that sometimes – which is the worst – you don’t know where one ends and the other begins.
The night is long. There are no corpses or blood, body parts or bones. It is long; it is when horror opens its dark eyes and lets you experience its endless void. Overwhelmingly tranquil, a motionless sleep from which there is no escape. A reverie that entangles you in putrefaction. Six-or so hours and shit dark, not like when the lights are off or like being a bit depressed, it’s more like a journey into the darkest dark, but with no psyche. It’s a pretty formal and massive dance, but often kind of slow and like it isn’t visible, or like it materialises without structure. The day is divided; the night is one. Darkness dissolves structures, everything becomes like smoke, distorted and dissolved. A bit like roots without soil. There are people present but one doesn’t know whom, there’s someone there but maybe it’s just a movement. Five orange pips in an envelope. There is something there, but perhaps it’s just a mirror-image, a body without an anchor that appears as an opacity darker than darkness itself. Not just any darkness but darkness itself. Time does not stand still, it’s waiting between motion and standing, as if it were too hot, too unbearably hot for anything to happen at all. A black mirror. An abandoned blankness – that sounds like a cliché, but it is loaded with romantic noir. No feelings or such, an emotionless evil – cold as Robert Pattinson, as a raven even, but hell, there are no fangs nor is there a man with a scythe – fuck that. Not the dead, rather those that don’t have life but still are. Open eyes. Someone beside you whispers, beyond what can be sane. And there’s delicate music, loud noises too, and singing. Someone has something in her mouth, costumes fall. That which is there when nothing is visible, that which isn’t visible even when someone turns on the light. And everyone waits.
Plants can no longer be distinguished from animals; insects are identical to the rose petals that adorn a bush. And then, further within, plants are confused with stones. Stones look like flames or brains, stalactites are reminiscent of female breasts, tapestries are adorned with figures. Darkness is not merely the absence of light. Pale, cold skin, moist with sweat, repetition without order. Fear. While light is vacated by the objects’ materiality, darkness is filled by it. It touches the individual directly, envelops her, penetrates him, even passes through them. The ego is permeable in darkness while it is not so in light. In the night the mimetic expires.
It’s a new dance piece, or something called Natten (Night), though that’s just what it’s called. It is known as something else, and what it’s known as isn’t its name.
Dance exists without us. Moving towards or away from us indifferently. The non-directional harbours horror, and the night, nigredo, is not performative. It moves without subject, its dreadfulness mirrored in its indifference, its absolute potentiality.
All the pieces are one, as in One; the night is also one and is indivisible – there’s no composition, only textures. Intuition is darkness’s reasoning. Zone out, as if there was no frame. But blackness has its own creatures, illuminated by its impenetrable beauty. You know, like music from Iceland or something.Back to top
Mårten Spångberg (b. 1968) is a choreographer living and working in Stockholm. His interest concerns choreography in an expanded field, something he has approached through experimental practice in a multiplicity of formats and expressions. He has been active on stage as a performer and creator since 1994, and since 1999 has been creating his own choreographies, from solos to larger scale works, which have toured internationally. Under the label International Festival, Spångberg collaborated with architect Tor Lindstrand and engaged in social and expanded choreography. From 1996-2005 he organised and curated festivals in Sweden and internationally, and in 2006 initiated the network organisation INPEX. He has considerable experience in teaching both theory and practice. From 2008 to 2012, he directed the MA programme in choreography at the University of Dance in Stockholm. In 2011, his first book, Spangbergianism, was published. In 2015 Spångberg performed La Substance, but in English at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
Mårten Spångberg at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts
2015: La Substance, but in English