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Ballet Zürich's Winterreise

Posted by Richard on UTC 2018-10-15 17:55.

During October and November Ballet Zürich is performing a version of the Schubert/Müller Winterreise. The music is Hans Zender's adaptation for tenor and chamber orchestra from 1993; the choreography is by Christian Spuck.

Grumpy balletophobes like me will find only tedium and grounds for mockery here; balletophiles will probably be captivated by it, in a gloomy sort of way. It has received good reviews from the latter.

Modern German staging for theatre, opera or ballet has its own audience-challenging rules, permeated as it is with heavy teutonic symbolism and metaphor. The main thing is that all performers must wear black – and all members of the audience, too, if they wish to be taken seriously.

For the balletophobe, representing the outcast's loneliness and despair with a dozen young, flexible bodies striking awkward poses and lifting their legs into the air is definitely challenging. Why that problem piece Der Lindenbaum requires men on stilts with bundles of branches on their backs… well, never mind – chacun à son goût.

If you are up for an hour and forty minutes of bafflement without even a break for a quick pick-me-up, then this is the event for you.

All the photos below are from Ballet Zürich, photographer ©Gregory Bartadon.

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