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