Premiere in Russia

Alexandrinsky Theatre

April 17, 2019

Winter Journey (WINTERREISE) — it’s a multilaterally yet integral masterpiece, which absorbed the lyric fragility of Wilhelm Müller’s poetry and the inner turmoil of Franz Schubert’s music. The Hans Zender’s interpretation for tenor and small orchestra has enhanced the reflexing of musical themes and has made the dramaturgy of the character even deeper. The vibrant music and singing immerse the audience into the on-going process of creation.

The Christian Spuck’s choreography, though based on the musical narrative, does not repeat the music nor the text, but it creates an open space for expressing its own emotions. Spuck is the master of the richest chorographical lexicon (he always finds appropriate methods to make the audience feel a particular emotion), and the virtuosic Ballett Zürich always realizes all his ideas with a phenomenal accuracy. Solidity and gentleness, angular hands and legs which turn into flowing forms and movements, the choreography of silence and reflection — all that weaves dances both magic and horrible. The choreographer sets great challenges not only for his solo performers: all crowd scenes and passages between the songs are very important for him, as well as the personal contribution of each artist to the whole piece.

Müller and Schubert meditate about the solitude, thrill and world pain in their works. And the German composer Hans Zender brings additional layer of this anxious transmigration of souls. Very few artistic works would be able to express such an existentially disrupted human life. But Spuck abstracts himself from the original material and thus he acquires deeper meanings, develops his own new dancing and musical genre which, according to the critics, has nothing in common with the traditional ballet. But meanwhile, he explores such universal themes as love, melancholy, estrangement and omission… Basing on one of the greatest world masterpiece he discovers new horizons for understanding the human life by using the language of dance.

World premiere: 13 October 2018, the Zurich Opera House          Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes without intermission


Music: Franz Schubert/Hans Zender
Choreography: Christian Spuck
Dramaturgy: Christian Spuck & Michael Küster
Set Designer: Rufus Didwiszus
Сostumes: Emma Ryott
Lighting Designer: Martin Gebhardt
Recording: Hans Zender: Schubert’s «Winterreise»
A composed interpretation for tenor and small orchestra
Christoph Prégardien/Klang Forum Wien/Sylvain Cambreling
CD Kairos 0012002KAI

Performed by:
Inna Bilash, Mélanie Borel, Francesca Dell’Aria, Eléonore Guérineau, Yen Han, Irmina Kopaczynska, Mélissa Ligurgo, Sujung Lim, Aurore Lissitzky, Meiri Maeda, Constanza Perotta Altube, Alba Sempere Torres, Elena Vostrotina, Michelle Willems, Elizabeth Wisenberg, Katja Wünsche, Cohen Aitchison-Dugas, Esteban Berlanga, Yannick Bittencourt, Jan Casier, Wei Chen, Jesse Fraser, Mark Geilings, Alexander Jones, Matthew Knight, William Moore, Daniel Mulligan, Christopher Parker, Filipe Portugal, Kevin Pouzou, Dominik Slavkovský, Lucas Valente

Performance is supported by:

In a mixture of large-scale ensemble scenes and numerous intimate solos, Christian Spuck embarks on a journey inside the human being.

Spuck’s imaginative choreography for this new Winterreise shows itself the product of a very gifted hand. What’s more, it handsomely stands at the farthest limit of what modern ballet can physically demand.

The production remains with you for a long time and requires being experienced again and again because of the multiplicity of its senses and meanings.

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