The National Arts Centre is very proud to present the critically acclaimed Betroffenheit, an innovative, boundary-stretching hybrid of theatre and dance by renowned Vancouver-based artists, choreographer Crystal Pite (Kidd Pivot) and actor/playwright Jonathon Young (Electric Company Theatre). Simply translated, betroffenheit is the German word for extreme shock or distress. Powerful themes of loss, addiction and recovery are expertly portrayed in this “rare and staggering work” that is nothing short of a masterpiece. 

“The text I was writing was living in a state of shock or post trauma; disordered and driven by a past event that couldn’t be processed or stored”, explains Jonathon Young, Artistic Director and co-founder of Electric Company Theatre when asked about the beginning of this project. “I hoped that Crystal Pite would be the one to create that physicality.  We met. I showed her the ideas, asked her if she could choreograph something for me.” 

Choreographer and Artistic Director of Kidd Pivot, Crystal Pite, has written that “Jonathon’s personal story of trauma and loss — his own betroffenheit — is at the heart of this venture. He has challenged me to use our art form to grapple with the question of suffering, and he has steadied me with his courage… Throughout his deeply sought effort, Jonathon has made room for us to catch glimpses of grace.”

With a team of talented performers and artistic collaborators, Pite and Young have collaborated to build a dark yet captivating universe where contemporary dance and theatre become one hybrid creation. While some parts are uniquely danced, others are spoken by lead actor Jonathon Young, as five dancers of Kidd Pivot revolve around him to embody the text.

As co-producing partner on this project, the National Arts Centre’s commitment includes financial support for its creation and additional rehearsal time upon their arrival at the NAC. “Being at NAC for a few extra days before the first shows of the tour will enable the performers to dig deeper into the physicality and dramaturgy of the work, while allowing the technical crew to fine tune timings. It is both a privilege and an essential part of remounting such a rich and complex piece”, says Eric Beauchesne, Kidd Pivot company manager. Betroffenheit, which premiered at PANAMANIA in July 2015, begins its Canadian tour in Ottawa on February 12 and 13 in the NAC Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Please note: 
The text spoken in Betroffenheit is in English
Contains a strobe-like effect, non-toxic theatrical haze and coarse language

Integrating movement, original music, text, and rich visual design, Kidd Pivot’s performance work is assembled with recklessness and rigour, balancing sharp exactitude with irreverence and risk. Under the direction of internationally renowned Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, the company’s distinct choreographic language – a breadth of movement fusing classical elements and the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation – is marked by a strong theatrical sensibility and a keen sense of wit and invention. 

Kidd Pivot tours extensively around the world with productions that include The Tempest Replica (2011), The You Show (2010), Dark Matters (2009), Lost Action (2006), and Double Story (2004), created with Richard Siegal. Kidd Pivot received the 2006 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, and was resident company at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, with the support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, in Frankfurt, Germany from 2010 to 2012.

Electric Company Theatre is one of Canada's leading creators of live theatre, rich in spectacle and adventurous in form, challenging theatrical conventions while preserving a strong sense of story.  Electric Company Theatre was originally formed as a collective in 1996 by Siminovitch Prize-winning director Kim Collier, David Hudgins, Jonathon Young and Governor General’s Award-winning writer Kevin Kerr, who met while training at Studio 58.  Jonathon Young currently leads the company as Artistic Director. The company has created 20 original productions including Tear the Curtain!, No Exit, Studies in Motion, Brilliant!, and the feature film The Score.  Electric Company Theatre has toured throughout Canada, to the US and the UK. and co-founded Progress Lab 1422, a 6,000 sq ft theatre creation space in Vancouver BC, with Rumble Theatre, Neworld Theatre and Boca del Lupo.

A state of shock and bewilderment encompasses you in the wake of a disaster. It is a timeless, liminal space where you return again and again even as you struggle to gain and maintain distance, and where you keep responding to the disaster long after it has subsided. Here, a crisis-management team is keeping your emergency situation alive and present, a trusted voice is urging you to come to terms with the past, and a steady supply of “The Show” is available for all the distraction, escape and pleasure you crave. In one sense you’re the survivor and this is your refuge. In another, you’re the disaster waiting to happen. This new creation by two of Canada’s most celebrated companies is an innovative, boundary-stretching hybrid of theatre and dance.

DURATION: 2 hours, including one intermission

CREATED BY: Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young
WRITTEN BY: Jonathon Young
SOUND DESIGN: Owen Belton, Alessandro Juliani, Meg Roe 
SET DESIGN: Jay Gower Taylor 

Co-producers: PANAMANIA Arts and Culture Program of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, Sadler’s Wells (London), National Arts Centre, The Banff Centre, the CanDance Network , Canadian Stage, Agora de la danse, Brian Webb Dance Company, and Dance Victoria.

Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre perform in the Theatre of the National Arts Centre February 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, $40, $49 and $55 for adults and $22, $26.50 and $29.50 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card).

More information:

Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices; to reserve your seats, call 613 947-7000 x634 or e-mail

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