Acclaimed Belgian choreographer/set designer Stijn Celis is back for his third collaboration with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. The Montreal concert offers two original works, both united by the theme of love, the idea of night or darkness and music by Viennese composers.
Orpheus’ Gaze is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and tells the story of Orpheus’ journey to Hades to recover his dead wife, Eurydice, and losing her for the second time when he turns to give her a forbidden look.
The second is set to Transfigured Night, Arnold Schoenberg’s 1899 musical rendering of Richard Dehmel’s poem about a woman confessing she is carrying another man’s child. The night is transfigured because the lover forgives her.
“Both ballets are more abstract than narrative,” Celis said. “In Transfigured Night, many couples portray the one couple. Orpheus’ Gaze is metaphoric and symbolic. Both are very lyrical, emotional and opulent in gesture.”
Orpheus’ Gaze and Transfigured Night Choreography, at Place des Arts, Montreal, May 15-24.