Before the first note a kiss

The Görlitz summer dance evening "Sacre" fascinates with ideas.
But the orchestra does not quite want to wake up.

Marcel Pochanke
Stravinsky's "Sacre" does not end without sacrifice, even in Görlitz. Devotedly, the dancers of the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater await the coming.

Sacre is what the Gerhart-Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz calls its summer dance evening in the Stadthallengarten. It is a double one, with the titular famous Sacrifice of Spring by Igor Stravinsky and the rarely danced "Rendering" by Luciano Berio. It is a risk to start in the crowd-pleasing summer with works to which modernity is so (awe-)fearfully attached. It should be noted immediately that the venture is a success, and the seats at the premiere on Saturday were splendidly filled and colorfully mixed. The Görlitz house choreographers Dan Pelleg and Marko E. Weigert, who are responsible for "Sacre", no longer have to prove that they can combine ambition and audience success. The new dance evening also has good chances to continue this history.

At the same time, those who associate Stravinsky's masterpiece with high expectations must be offered something correspondingly. Pelleg and Weigert freshly take apart the plot about the girl who is ritually sacrificed. In the place of the one, they put a couple who kiss each other even before the first note and from then on are repeatedly prevented from uniting by mustering all their physical strength. "Sacre" in Görlitz wants to avoid the severity that has often been choreographed into it in its hundred-year performance history. This is a respectable decision, but carries the danger of emptying the piece: Drama instead of drama. The audience is amazed and discovers, but is not quite in the boat. The dancers show a lot of skill and varied body language, nourished by the choreographers' wealth of ideas. But it is the clear images, the sacrifice-soaked scenes that make the greatest impression.

At first, few impulses emanate from the New Lausitz Philharmonic Orchestra with Judith Kubitz, who is experienced in the open air, on the podium. Sacre, this beacon, the possible elemental force of music from another world, sounds at times well-behaved and almost impressionistic - in other words, at least very different from what the composer intended. This is also due to the stage design by Nicola Minssen, who places a three-part wooden counter - or is it an altar? - across the stage and thus in front of the orchestra in a dampening manner. Nevertheless, "Sacre" is an aesthetically demanding and appealing experience, but rather a prelude to the evening's real highlight: "Rendering."

Franz Schubert's tenth and final symphony, even more unfinished than the Unfinished, taken up by a fearless 20th-century composer - there's a fairy-tale, classical vertance almost a modern refraction again. Weigert and Pelleg rarely demanded and shaped so much conventional ballet school, wrapped in Minssen's surprising costumes. In terms of content, they rehashed the story "of one who went forth to learn to fear." Headless, hunchbacked, one-eyed people dance ahead, the bodies of the company are allowed to grope their way into the monstrous, and the one who went out, charismatically and expressively danced by Martin Schultz Kristensen, is not even surprised. In the duet with MengTing Liu, tension and real acting depth emerge. The result is spectator theater, thoroughly family-friendly without becoming banal. In this successful tightrope walk, the Philharmonic Orchestra under Judith Kubitz is also part of the rope team. Luciano Berio's interpretation of Schubert is an obvious pleasure for the musicians and their boss.

This time no one has to die, not even the delicious little monster that choreographer Dan Pelleg himself makes dance. But that is not the main reason for the long lasting applause that the ensemble of the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater was allowed to take with them into the summer evening for Sacre.