Dark Matters

“Dark matter” is the terra incognita of our day. Comprising roughly 96 percent of the observable universe, dark matter affects the speed, structure and evolution of galaxies, yet its nature remains a mystery. This potent, affecting darkness is paralleled in Crystal Pite’s newest creation, Dark Matters. Emerging out of Pite’s curiosity and fascination with the unseen forces at work on mind and body, Dark Matters, features seven extraordinary dancers, and a stunning original score from long-time collaborator Owen Belton.

120 minutes
Created by
Crystal Pite
Owen Belton
Scenic Design
Jay Gower Taylor
Costume Design
Linda Chow
Lighting Design
Robert Sondergaard
Eric Beauchesne, Peter Chu, Sandra Marín Garcia, Yannick Matthon, Jiří Pokorný, Cindy Salgado, Jermaine Maurice Spivey
Co-produced by
Dance Victoria, the National Arts Centre, L’Agora de la danse, and is made possible through the support of Arts Partners in Creative Development


“Inventive, aggressive choreography, precise electric dancing…”

The Ottawa Citizen

“Pite’s work integrates original music, text, rich visual design, and a keen sense of wit and invention. Her distinct style fuses classical elements with the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation and a strong theatrical sensibility. Pite connects to her subject through her fascination and expertise with the dancing body, and with ‘her uncanny ability to take abstract intellectual ideas and give them vivid physical form.’ ”

The Georgia Straight

“Pite displays her undeniable brilliance in this tale not for the young.”

Le Devoir

“Underlying Pite’s structural and formal concerns is a human centre, something that gives her work an enlivening emotional and often comical dimension… In Pite, there is a balance of the intellectual and the sensual; she moves audiences with her delight to be dancing.”

Hour (Montreal)

“Startling and refreshing as a jug of icy water poured down your spine… Dark Matters does what great art always does: encourages conjecture, invites reflection on what it means to be human.”

Max Wyman

“Pite is an image-maker of rare distinction.”

The Australian

“A celebration of movement that is as sinewy and rigorous as it is beautiful.”

Sunday Morning Herald


Dark Matters is structured into two distinct acts: Act One portrays the tension between creation and destruction through a decidedly theatrical fable; the players are manipulated by anonymous puppeteers who drive the narrative yet subvert its artifice. Act Two is pure dance, with choreography that aspires to the impossible purity and grace of a marionette, while grappling with the essential question of free will, and the conflict inherent in manipulation. The revelations of Act One inform the way we view the dancing in Act Two.

With “dark matter” beautifully embodied in the shadowy puppeteer, Dark Matters is a haunting portrait of the unknown, a performance that pulls itself apart in an attempt to discover what it’s made of.”

Header image by Eric Beauchesne

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