Photo © Gregory Batardon

Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise

October 14, 2018

Author

newsroom

Photography

Gregory Batardon

A production

Ballett Zürich

Choreography: Christian Spuck

Sets: Rufus Didwiszus

Costumes: Emma Ryott

Lighting: Martin Gebhardt

Christian Spuck’s production Winterreise is based on music by Franz Schubert and Hans Zender. It will be on stage at Ballett Zürich until December 2.

Franz Schubert composed Winterreise (Winter Journey) in 1827. A cycle of 24 songs for tenor voice and piano, Winterreise consists of settings of poems by Wilhelm Müller and is considered the apotheosis of the German art song as well as the pinnacle of Schubert’s work as a songwriter. In 24 snapshots Schubert reveals the sentiments of a lost, wounded and lonely character, upsettingly expressing the existential conflict of the human condition.

Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise | Choreography C. Spuck | © Gregory Batardon
Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise | Choreography C. Spuck | © Gregory Batardon

German composer Hans Zender‘s arrangement of the cycle, titled Schuberts Winterreise – eine komponierte Interpretation (Schubert’s Winter Journey – a composed interpretation) premiered in Frankfurt in 1993. Adopting his own, new approach to Müller’s poems, Zender ventures into the darkest regions of the human condition exposing the sinister strata in the depths of the music.

Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise | Choreography C. Spuck | © Gregory Batardon
Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise | Choreography C. Spuck | © Gregory Batardon

Christian Spuck’s production is concerned with a far-reaching, abstract vision and offers a journey inside the human being exploring timeless themes as love, longing, estrangement, and abandonment.

Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise | Choreography C. Spuck | © Gregory Batardon
Rufus Didwiszus, Winterreise | Choreography C. Spuck | © Gregory Batardon

For the set, Spuck had imagined an abstract setting. Rufus Didwiszus created an environment blending a wintery snowy landscape and an interior. On the cold, concrete finish walls, the undeclared image of trees covered in snow can be recognized. Light stripes, a semi-reflective floor, and snowflakes create a cold and crisp atmosphere. The black accents given by the crows underline the theme of death, which is very much present in Winterreise. The theme of wandering is addressed by the costumes designed by Emma Ryotts as for example in the heavy shoes worn by the dancers.