Les Ballets C. de la B. / Alain Platel

Tanztheater nach Monteverdi

Dance / Ballet / Austrian premiere


Talk im Anschluss an die Premiere

Schauspielhaus Graz

Production specifics

Koproduktion KunstenFESTIVALdesArts-La Monnaie/De Munt (Brüssel),

Le Grand Theatre de Luxembourg, RUHRtriennale / Kunststiftung NRW,

Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin), TorinoDanza, Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Sadler's Wells (London)

Kooperation Schauspielhaus Graz

"vsprs" ist offizieller Beitrag des Kunst- und Kulturprogramms zur FIFA WM 2006

Not an evening for old music. And yet just that: although Monteverdi may sound more like improvisation and gyspy music in this case, for Alain Platel the Marian Vespers are "definitely one of the most perfect pieces of devout music". At the same time, perfection always stimulates us to dissect - and the Belgian theatre-maker is not content to just delete the vowels in the title.

Platel, who has been regarded as one of the most important contemporary choreographers since his approach to Mozart in "Wolf", fondly recalls a personal experience of enlightenment that was fulfilment and denial at once: when he listened to the Marian Vespers completely and even on original baroque instruments in a church in Ghent at the age of sixteen, the only thing was: it was too hot. The instruments went out of tune again and again, somehow there was always a wrong note in the perfection. Afterwards, Platel could whistle the complete vespers - but there was a touch of gypsy music about it.

Hence, "vsprs" is not just another interpretation of the sacred masterpiece. It is a convergence of cultures that people imagine could not be more diverging: in terms of music, a playfully loving confrontation of improvisation, Balkans and Baroque: in terms of dance inspired by early cinematic recordings from psychiatric wards and documentations of African trance rituals. Platel is interested in the contamination of high culture with what is socially excluded and suppressed.

The passionate and virtuoso dancers of C. de la B. dissect their movements, contort themselves in absurd versions of extasy and struggle up the steep slope of the stage toward a salvation that never arrives: disoriented protagonists of loneliness in a society reduces to functionality.

Platel is the ruthless chronist of what is suppressed behind this divine music.

Konzept / Idee: Alain Platel
Regie: Alain Platel
Musik: Fabrizio Cassol
Theatergruppe / Tanzkompanie: Les Ballets C. de la B.
Ensemble / Gruppe / Band: Ensemble Oltremontano
Musikerin / Musiker: Tcha Limberger
Musikerin / Musiker: Vilmos Csikos