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Wiener Staatsoper
© WienTourismus / Christian Stemper
Wiener Staatsoper

Ballet: Mahler, Live

Music Franz Liszt
Choreography Hans van Manen

Music Gustav Mahler
Choreography Martin Schläpfer

Musical Direction Axel Kober / Ramón Tebar

Hans van Manen’s »Live« (1979) is the first ever video ballet in dance history. No other work from this time plays in such a masterly way with the mechanisms of perception while at the same time opening up the theatrical space – specifically, when the dancer leaves the stage towards the end of the piece, meets a Danseur Noble for a pas de deux in the foyer and finally hurries off into the Viennese night. Until recently »Live« belonged exclusively to the company for which Hans van Manen created it: Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam. For its first performance at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Dutch choreographer has put his ballet in the hands of Martin Schläpfer. A season opening like an initiation, the experience of a historical work which is as relevant now as it was then – and not least because we, the audience, are ourselves a part of the whole.Martin Schläpfer’s response is very much a contrast to Hans von Manen’s intimate miniature. »For the start of my time as the new Director and Principal Choreographer of the Wiener Staatsballett, I want to embrace risk, I want to move forward, working with the entire ensemble and the magnificent Staatsoper orchestra and bringing together the dance element and the musical element right from the start«, he explains. As the musical basis for his new work he chose Gustav Mahler’s 4th Symphony – a composition which »with its enigmatic and noble beauty and its sometimes insidious hints of paradise, then almost cunningly break-ing out into new territory, seems somehow predestined« for Schläpfer’s first Viennese world premiere.

Current Dates

  • Sat. 02 Apr 2022
  • Tue. 05 Apr 2022
  • Sat. 09 Apr 2022
  • Mon. 11 Apr 2022
  • Wed. 01 Jun 2022
  • Sun. 05 Jun 2022