Carmen is a problem because she doesn't act the way society expects her to. Because she fascinates and at the same time unsettles people, questions their identities. The collective response is clearly formulated: Carmen is consumed, Carmen is sanctioned - in the end, disapproval of deviation wins out. The French choreographer Roland Petit turned the material into a ballet in 1949 and created a legendary classic that continues to touch and delight with its mixture of virtuoso ballet, effective Broadway drama and Spanish couleur locale.
The second part of the evening also deals with a figure who provokes people to the extreme. With his early play "Baal", playwright Bertolt Brecht gave birth to a being that provokes strong reactions and a lot of questions. How do we as a society deal with it when someone behaves antisocially? What mechanisms have we developed to limit the unpredictable forces that lie within us all? To a commissioned composition by Nastasia Khrustcheva, the choreographer Aszure Barton juxtaposes Petit's "Carmen" with her interpretation based on Brecht's "Baal": Intensely and without fear of the protagonist's otherness, she shows a contemporary view of someone who seemingly defies all the rules of society.