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Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen


Under the Deep is a fabulous total experience of modern dance, fascinating mass choreographies, breathtaking music, magnificent costumes and overwhelming scenography in exquisite lighting. Quite simply, a deeply original and superbly executed gesamtkunst on an international level that rockets to the top with six stars.

The wildly spectacular performance is conceptualised by director Anja Behrens and Christian Albrechtsen, with the addition of multi-talented Jeanett Albeck’s newly written music and refined new arrangements of classics from the pop rock back catalogue.

The choreography is created by Oliver Marcus Starpov and Sebastian Klovborg, and it’s all brought to life through a collective creative process with the dancers and the rest of the artistic team, which is described (perhaps loudly enough) in the programme notes.

In any case, the result is a non-stop entertaining, brilliant piece of fusion theatre, with a unifying narrative as a kind of three-stage rocket, built on the themes of Birth, Sexuality and Death.

Three concepts that outline a kind of life cycle that The Five Travellers take us through. A journey that is interpreted abstractly and explored in large-scale, symbolic/ritual mass choreographies in wild visual tableaux and fantastic costumes.

An actual plot in the Netflix sense does not reveal itself. You simply absorb all the sensory impressions and form your own associations. In short, the audience is exposed to something as enriching as a captivating, artistic experience without an instruction manual.

All framed by Jeanett Albeck’s sensuous sound design of her own compositions in undulating, electronic soundscapes and advanced interpretations of well-known tracks from Bowie, Black Sun, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and others.

Quite magical is a trombone group that fades in and out of the surreal sequence with their doomsday horns and powerful stage presence.

The strongest is the centre act, the golden act Sexuality, where a large, almost undressed dance group let their bodies speak in original and insistent moves, complemented by stomps, sighs and moans. Get excited.

The finale unfolds around a gigantic, 7-metre-high, bright red human skull that could have been Damien Hearst’s, where death is met in a sea of red tulle and feathered hats – at once dark and colorful.

A spectacular end to a truly recommendable theatre experience that could perhaps have executed its narrative a little more precisely, but works brilliantly as an extraordinary, hybrid stage show with a ten-point cut and flow that will impress a wide audience.

A truly powerful evening at the Opera House that earns the rare six stars from GOT TO SEE THIS

 PS. Under the Deepreminds me a lot of the two six-star concert ballet performances Rekviem and Natchhtäume by Christopher Spuck and Macos Morau respectively, which I recently reviewed to top marks here on GOT TO SEE THIS.

Both performances are created from Under The Deep -like choreographic, musical and dramaturgical ingredients and have captivated an enthusiastic international audience. Does the recipe work in Denmark? Yes, it sure does! The reaction from the premiere audience here at the Opera was unmistakable.