Johan Inger’s Don Giovanni with the Oedipus complex

Johan Inger Aterballetto: Don Giovanni and Oedipus Complex
Dancers Saul Daniele Ardillo and Ina Lesnakowski in johan Inger's Don Juan

Johan Inger (1967), now at Aterballetto, had studies at the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm, and studied at the National Ballet School in Canada. He danced for 5 years with the Swedish Royal Ballet. Then, in 1990 he entered Jiri Kylián’s Nederlands Dans Theatre (NDT), standing out in this company without hierarchies, where he stayed until 2002.

Choreography was his next step, starting with Mellantid, which quickly earned him many awards. For the NDT he staged Sammanfall, Couple of Moments, Round Corner, and Out of Breath. At the Cullberg Ballet, which he directed from 2003 to 2007, staged his Walking Mad.


He then creates for the company: Home and Home, Phases, In Two, Within Now, Asif, Negro con Flores, Blanco and Point of Eclipse. Inger received commissions from Goreborg Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza of Madrid (Carmen), Opéra de Lyon, Gauthier Dance, and from the Royal Swedish Ballet (Rite of the Spring).


Rain Dogs (2011), his creation for the Ballet Basel, with music by Tom Waits, was hugely successful and taken up by Aterballetto in 2013, a sympathetic company with its emotionally multifaceted scenic approach; who then commissions him for Bliss and to prepare the GoldenDays program.


Golden Days by Johan Inger, Aterballetto[gallery430]/0


Johan Inger’s videos


Don Juan by Johan Inger for Aterballetto


The Don Juan created by Inger for Aterballetto is a clear and straightforward ballet-tale, in the pure Scandinavian style. It is a psychoanalytic reinterpretation questioning identities and the double backgrounds of each one. The character is a serial and unhappy seducer in search of an unattainable eros.

Don Juan suffers since his birth, because of a rape. He is madly in love with his mother; no companion, neither very young, neither free nor already married woman will ever be able to compete with this abysmal feeling.

His sexual push consists of an eternal attempt, in every situation, for instance in a folk-peasant dance party as well as in a masked Carnival, which reminds us of Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”.

Inger’s Don Juan kisses his mirror and opposite double, Leo (Leporello). He is at the center of a fight, he chases all the females, but he always imagines of making love with his mother who is the infernal Commendatore, in the end of a defeat under a rain of gray snow.

The stage servants move dolmens-like scenes: pillars, mattresses, platforms. Everything is in black and white, except the general scenes. The action is absorbed by Marc Álvarez’s original music which becomes a habitat that allows the choreographer to draw supple and energetic movements. The dancers are rooted on the ground with their legs open and the pelvis pushed forward, symbolically and realistically together. The modern ballet of the deep North confirms its explicit gestures and its deep emotions.