© Roman Ermolaev

The Borderland: dark promise

Nazar Rakhmanov / Frascati Producties
Tue 7 May ’24 - Sat 11 May ’24
What if you’re forced to migrate but have nowhere to settle? In a society with permanent surveillance in the light, darkness offers a realm of freedom.
Tue 7 May ’24
Sat 11 May ’24

The borderland: dark promise takes you on a journey between myth, fiction and reality. Fusing choreography, music and ritual through video and live acts, five performers reclaim darkness as a space for freedom and imagination. The spectacle desires to offer an alternative to the disenchanted world of  permanent illumination, control and surveillance.

In The borderland: dark promise Russian-Tatar choreographer Nazar Rakhmanov reflects on the liminality of those who were forced to migrate but who lack the possibility to settle. The performance researches borders - not just geopolitical frontiers, but also the boundaries between light and darkness, clarity and obscurity, consciousness and unconsciousness. 

In these oppositions, the darker counterparts offer a gate towards the missing self-integrity, existing beyond societal dissociation and labeling. Through the obscure, the individual regains ones own power and can dissolve differences between one and the other. It’s in this realm where imagination and dreams actually dwells, where we might become one again.

By placing the spectators in the dark and giving the performers full control over what they get to see and how, The borderland: dark promise reverses the power dynamics between the observer and the one who’s being observed. The surveillance camera becomes a server of the inhabitants of the shadow, exposing the shared anxiety of one's spiritual and political existence.

Afterparty May 10

On Friday, May 10, including afterparty from 22:30 to 1:00 in Frascati Café (Nes 63) with DJ sets by Alexey Leontiev and Dmitrii Vlasik.

  • Premiere: Wed 8 May 20:00
  • Fr 10 May incl. afterparty 22:30-01:00
  • Sat 11 May in We Are Public programme
  • Language no problem
  • Attention: briefly contains stroboscopic light and loud sound
  • Duration: 70 min


direction, performance Nazar Rakhmanov co-direction, video Vadim Elichev performance, choreography assistance and advice Eslam Elnebishy performance, sound Dmitrii Vlasik scenography, camera-assistant Alexey Leontiev performance, vocal and production assistance Nadezhda Nazarova masks Marianna Abovian technical support and light Mirko Lazovic special thanks Mina Tomic, Marina Orlova



"In this elusive yet fascinating performance, Rakhmanov asks you to surrender to the unknown." Theaterkrant

About the maker

Nazar Rakhmanov (Votkinsk, 1991) is a Tatar-Russian dance-maker. In 2009, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in ‘Comparative Religious Studies’ from the university in Moscow, where he developed a special interest in Hindu cultures and the religious kundalini yoga tradition. In 2010, he set up his movement practice as an assistant dance therapist for people with special needs. After coming into contact with nomadic butoh theatre and contemporary dance, he decided in 2018 to come to the Netherlands to further develop his autonomous practice. In 2022, he received a bachelor’s degree from the School for New Dance Development at the Academy of Theatre and Dance (SNDO).

During his studies, Nazar undertook a work placement on the island of Java, to familiarise himself with the exuberant traditions of ‘Jaranan’ trance dance rituals, which had a great impact on his practice. Darkness, light spectrums, screens, rituals, animality, ‘being other’ and ‘the invisible’ are the topics and resources in his ongoing, interdisciplinary, artistic research. In 2022, Nazar presented his solo Yurodifice as part of Beginnings at Frascati Producties, a  theatre-video in collaboration with  queer punk musician Leonid Kotel'nikov (a.k.a. fake_trailers).