In the two-part ballet performance Schmetterling, choreographer Sol León and her long-time artistic partner, choreographer Paul Lightfoot, show how human existence unfolds between lust for life and consciousness of death. Images emerge from light and dark memories that are translated into dance figures, allowing the audience to connect their own experiences of time with what is happening on stage. In various dance configurations, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot make a whole series of love stories appear in Schmetterling. The music rings out from a tape and comes, on one hand from the indie rock band Magnetic Fields and their 69 Love Songs, and on the other hand from contemporary composer Max Richter. The second choreography of this ballet performance is entitled Silent Screen. For this piece, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot were inspired by silent films, which, like ballet, are about interpersonal communication that is not realized verbally. The various scenes, which follow less of a coherent story and more of a dream logic, are set by the dancers to a recording of instrumental works by the American composer, Philip Glass.
The successful artistic collaboration of choreographer Sol León and choreographer Paul Lightfoot dates to 1989. Together the two influential dance creators have created more than 60 world premieres for Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), for which they have been accoladed with numerous awards. León and Lightfoot were resident choreographers at NDT from 2002 to 2020. The 2022-2023 season will be the first time the Bayerisches Staatsballett features two of the duo's works in its Schmetterling production. Sol León joined NDT2 in 1987 after graduating from the National Ballet Academy in Madrid. Two years later she transferred to NDT1, where she danced until 2003 and was appointed resident choreographer along with Paul Lightfoot. Paul graduated from the Royal Ballet School in London before joining NDT in 1985, where he served as artistic director from 2011 to 2020.