Betroffenheit creators on the 'shape of grief' in the body

Jonathon Young and Crystal Pite on Betroffenheit, a theatre and dance performance that depicts the mental state one enters following tragedy.
Betroffenheit collaborators Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young say suffering can be theatrical and grief can contain humour. In short: trauma is complicated. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

When Jonathon Young performs the visceral experience of grief on the stage, it isn't all an act. With the help of choreographer Crystal Pite, the bereaved father and actor has channeled his trauma into Betroffenheit, a theatre and dance performance that depicts the mental state one enters following tragedy.

Young and Pite join guest host Jelena Adzic to discuss the terrible loss that fuelled the work, how trauma takes hold of the body, and whether we can step outside our own suffering. 

Betroffenheit is a groundbreaking, boundary-stretching hybrid of theatre and dance. The show, created by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young, explores the shock and distress that follows a disaster. It has its world premiere at Panamania and runs July 23, 24 and 25 at the Bluma Appel Theatre. (Panamania) (Canadian Stage)
Jonathon Young, laying down, performs the state of shock and bewilderment that follows tragedy in Betro​ffen​heit. (Panamania)

q: Have you ever experienced loss in a deeply physical way? How did the shock and "stuckness" manifest itself in your body?


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