BIO & TEXTS – Protagonist

Jefta van Dinther
‘Protagonist’ is Jefta van Dinther’s second creation for Cullberg. His first, the successful production ‘Plateau Effect’, premiered in 2013 and went on to tour throughout Europe. Van Dinther received the Swedish Theatre Critics’ dance award in 2013 for the production, which was also chosen to be performed at the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts in 2015. Jefta van Dinther’s work is characterised by a vigorous physical approach and nearly always implies a staged research of movement itself. The moving body is centrefold in his work, interacting with light, sound and different materials to come together as a whole. His works deals with notions of the visible and the invisible, light and darkness, illusion, affect voice and image.

Van Dinther’s other productions of note include the aforementioned Plateau Effect (2013), As It Empties Out (2014), THIS IS CONCRETE (2012), GRIND (2011), The Blanket Dance (2011), Kneeding (2010), The Way Things Go (2009) and IT’S IN THE AIR (2008). Jefta van Dinther graduated from Amsterdam School of the Arts (MTD) in 2003. He has also worked as Senior Lecturer and Artistic Director of the Master programme in Choreography at DOCH (University of of Dance and Circus in Stockholm), and in 2012 was awarded the Birgit Cullberg grant by Konstnärsnämnden, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Swedish artist Elias came to the public’s attention last spring with his song ‘Revolution’, which became a major success. He followed this up with another single, ‘Green Eyes’, and the EP ‘Warcry’.

As a thirteen-year-old, Elias started singing with the Tensta Gospel Choir, where he began to develop his unique singing voice – which has since drawn comparisons with Sam Cooke, Anthony Hamilton and Sam Smith. One of Spotify’s ‘Spotlight Artists’ for 2016, he is set to release his debut album this spring, which includes collaborations with producers such as Paul Epworth (Adele, Coldplay), HYENA, John Hill (Florence + The Machine, Christina Perri) and Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Ellie Goulding).

Elias names Otis Redding, Spooky Black, Patti Smith and Jeff Buckley as his major influences and sources of inspiration. Last year, his performances included an appearance on Norwegian-Swedish TV show ‘Skavlan’ together with a string section and a gospel choir, plus appearances at Way Out West and the Roskilde and Reeperbahn festivals.

“’Revolution’ is about breaking up with something you don’t believe in and instead doing things the way you like. It’s not an angry song – more about how fantastic it can be to start over again,” says Elias about the song, which is included in ‘Protagonist’”, says ELIAS.