Mist marks the NDT debut by the Belgian-French choreographer Damien Jalet, whose creations tend to be visually stunning, kinetic, and thought provoking. Jalet created Mist, a multidisciplinary dance film, in close collaboration with Japanese visual artist Kohei Nawa and videographer Rahi Rezvani.
Metaphoric and metamorphic, Mist was created in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic and captures a sense of surrendering to its ambient bluriness, while finding a transcendent beauty that plunges the viewers into a hypnotic like state. Following Jalet’s and Nawa’s critically acclaimed pieces VESSEL and PLANET [wanderer], Mist uses the confrontation of bodies with different materials to reveal the constant shape shifting nature of life, and to explore a liminal space between science and mythology. Mist is inspired by the phenomenon of fog banks that are often associated with the Netherlands, where the film was created and shot, and explores the ephemeral space between reality and mirage through a physicality that recalls the dynamics of evaporating, condensing, and falling water. Using various kinds of fog through Nawa’s interactive and minimal set, the eighteen nearly naked dancers of NDT 1, interact, fuse, appear and disappear through fumes that evoke at times fire, underwater volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, waterfalls, clouds, rivers, or snow avalanches. Additionally, the work tends to evoke the style of Italian Renaissance paintings, and in particular the Leonardo da Vinci technique of « sfumato » that blurred the boundaries of the subject and its surroundings. Inspired by different myths about the transmigration of the souls after death as well as Japanese Shinto beliefs, Jalet’s visceral, carnal yet ghostly choreography takes a new intimate dimension through the lens of Iranian cinematographer Rahi Rezvani and light design by Urs Schonenbaum.