07:30 pm | Nationaltheater


Sol León, Paul Lightfoot




Choreography Sol León, Paul Lightfoot. Music Max Richter, Philip Glass.

Ballet in two parts (2005, 2010)

recommended for 14 years and older

Duration est. 2 hours

Silent Screen est. 07:30 pm - 08:15 pm Interval est. 08:15 pm - 08:45 pm Schmetterling est. 08:45 pm - 09:30 pm

Information about the hall plan 
In Schmetterling, the orchestra pit is built over and used as an extended stage area. Therefore, in the 3rd tier and gallery , in the central seats in rows 3 and 4, there are viewing restrictions for about 70% of the 2nd act. You can see the hall plan here.

The Schmetterling double bill ballet performance unites Silent Screen and Schmetterling, two choreographies by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot – two of the formative pieces of their work. The two dance creators’ successful artistic collaboration dates back to 1989. Together, they’ve created more than 60 world premieres for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), where they were resident choreographers from 2002 to 2020. The Bayerisches Staatsballett is the first company to rehearse both Silent Screen and Schmetterling apart from the NDT. Both pieces are characterised by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot’s unmistakeable dance language, excelling with its technical finesse and a pronounced talent for theatricality. Underlying every step, gesture and figure is an emotional attitude, a narrative content or a poetic concept. Unfurled here in both ballets is human existence as a specific space of experience, spreading out between lust for life and consciousness of death.

For the Silent Screen choreography, which celebrated its world premiere in 2005, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot were inspired by silent films, among other elements, which, as in the ballet, are about inter-human but non-verbal communication. A man and a woman engage in a dance dialogue, revolving around the various phases of a couple’s relationship, whose extended structure is formed by a collective composed of entirely different individuals. The different scenes follow less of a coherent story and more of dreamlike logic, interpreted by the ensemble set to instrumental pieces by the American composer, Philip Glass.

In the second half of the ballet performance, we then enjoy the title-giving choreography Schmetterling from 2010, a ballet that also celebrated its world premiere at the Nederlands Dans Theater. The term “butterfly” is symbolic here for ephemerality, transformation, life and beauty. The piece begins with the relationship between an older woman and her son, who is confronted with the death of his mother. Around this forms a group of further characters, who embody the various phases and aspects of human existence. Schmetterling is set to the music of Max Richter, with some of the 69 Love Songs of indie rock band The Magnetic Fields also providing the soundscape. They reverberate all that is absurd, sad, sarcastic, passionate, desirable and human in a world of emotions, in which love in all its shades and nuances forms the energetic core.