Valse triste

Dance theatre based on „Dangerous liasions” by Christopher Hampton

The production cooperated with the Bayerischen Staatsschauspiel and was sponsored by the departement of culture Munich

Concept: Johanna Richter
Choreography: Johanna Richter in cooperation with the dancers
Performers: Nikolaus Benda, Tim Bergmann, Friedrich Bührer, Sigrid Schnückel, Stefanie Erb, Anna Holter, Johanna Richter, Erich Rudolf und Michael Schmieder
Stage: Susanne Hegmann
Costume: Jörg Christel, Uwe Sinn
Assistence: Christoph Honermann
Music: Sibelius „Valse triste” performed by Konrad Richter
Photographer: Oda Sternberg

World premiere: Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel / Haus der Kunst 28.1.2002

Was performed six times at Haus der Kunst

About the piece:

Love as parlor game –

Valse Triste – is a dance theatre based on the drama „Dangerous liasions” by Christopher Hampton. It shows the dangerous game with the most fragile area, a human being could possibly expose – his love. It is a game beyond rules, with no winners, with loosers only, who suffer the most painful defeat.

To fill the personal blank inside with some sense of life Mme de Merteuil and her former lover Vicomte de Valmont create a perferted parlor game. They won´t use any game characters – they play around with clueless human beings.

As a victim of one special game round the „Lovelace” Vicomte de Valmont chooses a supposedly easy challenge: Mme de Tourvel. Without her knowing Mme de Tourvel drops into this virtual reality and dares, leaded by her naivety and ignorance, to enter a dangerous territory. Her abitily to have true emotions conflict with heartless gamblers.
But as Valmont tries to follow his routine, Tourvels unconditionell feelings weaken his stragedies more and more.
The parlor game becomes realitly – the coldness becomes love.
Valmont tumbles into the suction of his forgotten feelings, which violate against any rules of the game.

Valse Triste tells this story as a parlor game transferred to an oversized field.
Merteuil and Valmont meet at the courtside, using their specific vocabulary: the calculated dialogue, the merciless war of words.

In the meantime, we see on the field living characters of game, who communicate with body language. In the course of the game, the discrepancy between body and language becomes more and more unusual.
As the gamblers still try to hide their feelings by preneting lies about their inner world, the characters of game on the field allready show the honest conflic they are living in. An emotionell game on different levels start to initiate, which is as unpredictable as love itself.

„Love as a parlor game” – seems to be a precarious effort concidering the danger to bring in human beings with honest emotions.
The need to play games is as old as humanity. It forced us to create virtual worlds over and over again.
But in any kind of play ground the risk to loose contact to the real world, to real feelings and veritable honesty.