Carmen is a problem, because she does not behave in the way society expects. Because she fascinates and at the same time unsettles people, questioning their identities. The collective response is unambiguous: Carmen is consumed, Carmen is sanctioned – but ultimately disapproval of her difference will prevail. The French choreographer Roland Petit turned the material into a ballet in 1949, creating a legendary classic that touches and thrills audiences with its blend of virtuoso ballet, Broadway-style dramatic effects and Spanish local colour.
The second part of the evening revolves around another character who does his utmost to provoke people. In his early play ‘Baal’, the dramatist Bertolt Brecht created a creature who provokes strong reactions and a great many questions. How do we as a society deal with someone whose behaviour is anti-social? What mechanisms have we devised in order to limit the unpredictable forces that lie within all of us? With a commissioned score by Nastasia Khrustcheva, the choreographer Aszure Barton will juxtapose a world premiere based on Brecht’s ‘Baal’ against Petit’s ‘Carmen’.