In January 2019, Angelin Preljocaj created a new work for the ballet company of Milan's La Scala, using Franz Schubert's Winterreise as the basis for his choreography. Written for voice and and piano, the song cycle's melancholy music was written to the poems of Wilhelm Müller, which illustrate the despair-filled wanderings of a man who has been betrayed in love. Being immersed in the poetic universe of the song invites the audience on a profound internal journey.
Winterreise is a ballet written for twelve dancers that places great emphasis on the images evoked by Müller's poems and the emotions relayed by the song cycle. The choreography is constructed around the central thought of suicide, which evolves very slowly. A man who wishes to die sets out on a journey: everything that he sees and everyone he encounters reminds him of his lost love, and his fate becomes unavoidable. However, the lonely traveller is not portrayed by a single dancer: instea...d, the solos and duets show the constant changes in his personality and his various relationships with others, as interpreted by the performers.
In Preljocaj's view, „Dance projects that are created to chamber music, through their structure, seem to make the musicians, dancers and the audience into accomplices, like a magical trinity. Much more so than when we work with a full orchestra. This is one of the reasons why I chose Winterreise: Schubert's 24 songs generate an intimate atmosphere which I would like to share on this winter journey, which is indeed the entire journey of life. I have envisioned it like a winter garden, a place where winter is present, but with foreshadowings of the other seasons as well. The experimental laboratory of life.”
Presented by: National Dance Theatre
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