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© Michael Slobodian


Crystal Pite + Jonathon Young

Devastating, powerful, ambitious. Betroffenheit follows the psychic struggle of a man felled by trauma. A high voltage descent into the abyss. Nightmarish and harrowing.


Chaos. Consternation. A man traumatized by a terrible accident. How can body and soul withstand the shock? The actor and playwright Jonathon Young and the electrifying choreographer Crystal Pite have co-created a high voltage performance, a plunge into the infernal spiral of a character haunted by loss, an echo that resonates with all survivors. A hard-hitting masterpiece.

An emotional and artistic thunderbolt, Betroffenheit, (German for paralyzing stupor) catapults the spectator into the obsessive, nightmarish quest of a person suffering from post-traumatic stress. Theatre and dance mingle together to create a brilliant, convulsive performance that explores a hallucinatory world. This hypnotic journey into the extreme zones of the painful process of recovery is propelled by virtuoso movement and powerful performance, taking on the allure of an expressionist cabaret teeming with macabre clowns and carnival dancers. Ironic, sombre and laced with dark humour, Betroffenheit bewitches and bewilders.


Produced by Kidd Pivot + Electric Company Theatre
Created by Crystal Pite + Jonathon Young
Written by Jonathon Young
Choreographed and directed by Crystal Pite
Performed by Christopher Hernandez + David Raymond + Cindy Salgado + Jermaine Spivey + Tiffany Tregarthen + Jonathon Young
Set Design Jay Gower Taylor
Composition and Sound Design Owen Belton + Alessandro Juliani + Meg Roe
Costume Design Nancy Bryant
Lighting Design Tom Visser
Rehearsal Direction Eric Beauchesne
Additional Choreography Bryan Arias + Cindy Salgado + David Raymond

Co-produced by PANAMANIA – Arts and Culture Program of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am  Parapan Am Games + Sadler’s Wells (London) + The Banff Centre as part of the 2015 Performing Arts Residency Program through the support of The Stollery Family and Andrea Brussa + On the Boards and Seattle Theatre Group through the support of Glenn Kawasaki + National Arts Centre (Ottawa) + CanDance Network – Canadian Stage (Toronto) + Agora de la Danse (Montreal) + Brian Webb Dance Company (Edmonton) + Dance Victoria

Canadian tour sponsored by Morneau Shepell
Music commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation
Stage makeup provided by M.A.C. Cosmetics

Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by Neil Kroetsch

Premiered at PANAMANIA, Pan American and Parapan American Games, Toronto, on July 23, 2015


© Michael Slobodian

Crystal Pite + Jonathon Young (Vancouver)
Kidd Pivot + Electric Company Theatre

A leading figure in contemporary dance, Crystal Pite is a dynamic international ambassador for the Canadian arts scene. Her dance is magnetic, emotionally intimate and inspired by themes of loss, solidarity and love. Her distinctive choreographic language fuses classical elements with improvisation, recklessness and rigour.

Full biography