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Johan Inger - IMPASSE

Nederlands Dans Theater / NDT2


Johan Inger



Ibrahim Maalouf: Lily Will Soon Be a Woman, Maeva in Wonderland, Your Soul, Never Serious, They Don't Care About Us


Tom Visser

technical realisation lights

Lisette van der Linden


Johan Inger


Bregje van Balen


Annie Tådne

assistant to the choreographer

Fernando Hernando Magadan


15 dancers


25 minutes


28 February 2020,


La Haye (NL)


links & downloads

> performance sheet (EN)

> dossier de diffusion (FR)

> context

> full video (password)

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How do we bridge the gap that grows as we stagnate? Our world today feels defined by a situation in which no progress seems possible. IMPASSE by Johan Inger illuminates that the baseline of human behavior is rooted in peer pressure and a loss of self, determined by a seduction of unending streams of “newness”. The piece problematizes the ease with which we seem to fall into what others say or do and how we lose the opportunity for fruitful growth in the process. Can we nurture the ability to seriously interrogate the world together, and find the capacity to reimagine it? Through a steady increase in the number of dancers on stage and a simultaneous decrease in the size of the performance space, IMPASSE demands a sense of urgency. Fluid movements and strong rhythms are translated by the young dancers of NDT 2 through moments of hysterical comic relief and manic isolation, indicating that together we should be stronger, alone we are less.


“The magic of the choreography lies in the tension that is tightly stretched from start to finish and ensures an unpredictable character. [...] It is blood-curdling, sanding, pinching and causes unrest, but also hilarity.” Leidsch Dagblad


“It’s a thin line between progress and decline. An eclectic party that brings different people together can easily end up in a fight between two camps; when different art movements come together this means either something new arises or diminishes in decline.” Theaterkrant

"The world première of Johan Inger’s Impasse was a wonderful kaleidoscope of images and influences which had a very American feel to it. On a bare black stage with the illuminated outline of a building at the back, the opening was clearly an homage to Andrew Wyeth’s wonderfully evocative painting Christina’s World and the romantic dance with the young girl and her two suitors was very Oklahoma. In fact, the choreography for Impasse was very Broadway musical and became even more so when the innocent young trio were interrupted by six jazzy intruders dressed in black. And if that wasn’t enough, a group of carnival revellers burst onto the scene. It had gone from tranquil Andrew Wyeth to frenetic James Ensor. So much fun were they all having that they refused to stop partying, daring the curtain to descend upon them. Finally, the three youngsters were left alone in front of the curtain, the building shrunk to the size of a doll’s house and all innocence lost. Great stuff."


Former NDT 1 dancer Johan Inger (Stockholm, 1967) has been an associate choreographer at NDT between 2009 and 2015. In 1995 he made his first choreography for NDT 2. The resulting Mellantid marked his official debut as a choreographer and was immediately a resounding success. Furthermore Inger created the following ballets for the company: Dissolve in this (2009), Tone Bone Kone (2010), I New Then,Sunset Logic (2012), and B.R.I.S.A. (2014). His latest work One on One (2015) earned him the 2016 Benois de la Danse. In season 2017-2018 this work is performed in the NDT 2 programme Schubert which premiered on November 4, 2017. For the NDT 2 program Standalone, Inger will present a world premiere.

Inger completed his dance training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and at the National Ballet School in Canada. From 1985 to 1990 he danced with the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm. Fascinated by the works of Kylián, Inger joined NDT 1 in 1990 where he was a high-profile dancer until 2002. Soon his talent for choreography was noticed.

From 2003 to 2008 Inger was artistic leader of the Cullberg Ballet for which he made various choreographies. In 2008 Inger stopped as artistic leader for Cullberg Ballet so as to devote himself entirely to choreography.

In 2013 Inger received the prestigious Carina Ari medal in Stockholm for his worldwide promotion of Swedish art and dance. Inger's work is on the repertoire of many leading dance companies all over the world.

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