Verklärte Nacht

For the writing of his composition Verklärte Nacht (1899) Arnold Schönberg was inspired by a poem by Richard Dehmel, about a woman who, one moonlit night, tells the man she loves she is pregnant by another man. For her 1995 choreography Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker gave shape to the story using six couples from which two women emerged as soloists. She has now rewritten this group choreography as a duet, so that both the musical and narrative aspects come to the foreground. The difficulty of communication between the man and the woman, their constant hesitation between loyalty and resistance is evoked in endless variations on the same musical motifs. Schönberg’s lyricism, mainly supported by the violin, transports us into the emotional world of the lovers: expressive crescendos and diminuendos reflect their changing moods and guide us through the poem. A shameless romantic love story in the dark light of a Verklärte Nacht.