The term ‘plateau effect’ describes the phenomenon of diminishing returns—that is, the reduced effectiveness over time of a once effective measure. Jefta van Dinther’s production by the same name does just that, putting forward a series of bold scenes, each of which ploughs ahead at a high-octane pace until the wow factor wears off and the audience adjusts to the sensory shock (think pulsing music, flashing lights, shuddering bodies). Van Dinther has a knack for detecting the very moment viewers have acclimatised, and it’s then that he throws another jolt into the mix, making for some powerful transitions. The one-act piece is loud and stimulating, and while the conceptual format can make it difficult at times to tell where it’s heading, the journey is certainly a fun one.
“Plateau Effect” by Jefta Van Dinther for Cullberg Ballet. Photograph by Urban Jörén
One way to get to know the history of a company is through the “liner notes” of its “Swan Lake” production, and for those of us continuing to build an admiring familiarity with Pacific Northwest Ballet via its digital season offerings, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s “Swan Lake” provides an interesting glimpse into PNB prior to Peter Boal’s leadership.FREE ARTICLE