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Lulu Premiere


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First, thank you very much for your good wishes for my health. This will make me

recover so much sooner. At least I hope so...

Here I have tried to translate the first review of Stuttgarts newest Ballet:

LULU. Eine Monstretragödie by Christian Spuck

The review is by Horst Koegler, the most famous man for ballett-reviews here.

As said above, I have tried to translate it. My English is far away from good. So

please forgive me the mistakes.


It’s done! The big and important break through in the career of Christian Spuck, resident choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet.

With his ‘Lulu. Eine Monstretragödie’, Ballet in two acts, free after Frank Wedekind he can be named in one line with the great acting-ballet choreographers like Noverre and legitimate successor of John Cranko and John Neumeier.

This man can tell a story, very concrete, with pure dance and absolutely no pantomimic help. He can suggest dramatically situations, can characterise persons, can choreograph big room conquering ensembles and can give a multiple adapted literary work a new and characteristic profile.

This all may sound not very progressive and innovative but proofs the sovereign mastery of his work and has become very, very rare nowadays.

With his dramatic producer Rüdiger Nolte he brought back Wedekinds material to its source, the theatres of the suburbs, the fairs.

A big part of this success was the choice of the music: Shostakovich (film-music’s, ballet-suites), Schönberg and Berg. Contacted by James Tuggle and brilliantly played by the Stuttgart State Orchestra.

Breathtaking the choreographic dramatically access Spucks in the countless, sometimes even forced, original Pas-de-deux-combinations and especially in the big, superb structured corps-ensembles. There is such an escalating drive; this is Stuttgart Ballet at its best!

What still could be done is to sharpen the individual character profiles. Here in the roles of the painter (Jorge Nozal), Dr. Schön (Ivan Gil Ortega), Alwa (Marijn Rademaker) and the both London-suitors (Damiano Pettenella and Dimitri Magitov) as marvellous they are danced in Stuttgart.

Christian Spuck proofs that he has the gift for an individual choreographic character-portraitist with the drawing of the roles of Lulu, Gräfin (Countess) von Geschwitz, von Schigolch and Jack he Ripper.

Alicia Amatriain is a wonderful, extremely expressive Lulu: a childlike naïve bitch a la Lolita and a cunning snake but everything she does is surrounded with an aura of world-tired melancholy.

This aura of melancholy is with Bridget Breiners Gräfin von Geschwitz intensified into tragicalness, in a burning frustration.

The character of Eric Gauthiers Schigloch is not easily to be seen but he dances with an exploding dramatically presents.

Jiri Jelinek as Jack the Ripper shows his great acting talent, a mystery man, an angel of death.

Rodrigo, a lover was powerfully danced by Jason Reilly.

What an ensemble – no other company here dances with such an attack, with such an animalism lust, such an élan.

What a ballet-highlight, what a pleasure to live in a city that can call such a ballet-company its own.


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Here is another review on Christian Spucks Lulu. I found it in London's

Financial Times by Larry L Lash

Lulu, Christian Spuck's first full-length ballet, starts out so strong, it's almost too good to be true.

The Stuttgart Ballet's young resident choreographer successfully mixes elements of Tanztheater, a striking modern ballet vocabulary, and enough narrative (freely adapted from the Wedekind play on which Alban Berg based his opera) to appease traditionalists.

Spuck's fascinating combinations are dazzlingly fast, combining classical fireworks and some of the most original choreography since William Forsythe stepped out of the Stuttgart corps. There is nothing extraneous in Spuck's movement: it is non-stop and speaks volumes.

[edited by AT]

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Reinhard, I hope you're on the way to recovery! I, too, look forward to your review.

Thank you for posting these, but I had to trim the quotes from the Financial Times review since that was published in English. We have to be careful because of copyright laws -- we can link to reviews in newspapers and magazines, and quote about 250 words, but no more than that. I think we could get away with the Koegler review, because that is your translation, but we can't for an English review.

If you find other reviews in English, please post a link!

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Better late, than never, so I'll take a chance to share my impressions with the experts here. :sweating: I'm not a connoiseur of the Stuttgart company and happened to be there just by chance, but the performance really impressed me: lots of characters, lots of dancing, dynamic and passionate action. The choreographer put a lot of effort in telling the story only by means of dancing and mostly succeeded taking into account that the story is not a simple one. Without knowing the opera (I’ve heard it once) I guess I would have had problems in understanding some of the details. Well, ballets like “La Fille Mal Gardee”, which one doesn’t need to read the program to understand the story, are not numerous. Nevertheless, the action could have been distributed more evenly between the two acts. The beginning of the second one obviously lacks it - instead we have long dances of the mixed corps, though beautiful and expertly performed. What mostly impressed me about dances in general is their breathtaking tempo and the quality of dancing. I also liked the use of mixed styles – sharp points for the nervous Countess; modern, full of angles and loose feet and arms for Lulu. Lulu’s choreographic profile is 100% individual and perfectly suits her character, as well as the Countess’s. Other personages are less sharpened from my point of view.

I also liked the idea of “multiplying” Lulu in two scenes of both acts, as well as the idea to introduce the TV-screen instead of a conventional portrait of the heroine, needed in the story.

Once again I want to stress that the quality of dancing was superb. Alicia Amatriain’s technique and physical abilities are really outstanding (does she have any bone joints?). I’ve seen her once at a gala in Moscow – she was dancing a pdd from “In the Middle…”. Impressive, but the full-length ballet is another story! Bridget Breiner was impressive not only in her dancing and acting, but also in singing (was it really her own voice? :rolleyes: ).

What really created mixed feelings is the choice of music - I mean the Shostakovich pieces. It doesn't mean at all that I don't like it's quality -it's just brilliant and 100% made for dancing (mostly from ballets “The Limpid Stream” and “Bolt”). The problem is that these pieces have no decadent mood suitable for the story. For me it sounds too Soviet, too optimistic, etc. I know that one of the waltzes was used also in the Kubrick’s film “Eyes Wide Shut”., but it also seems strange to me. May be the way I hear it is due to my pioneer childhood associations. :)

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Liz was one of the three 2nd act Lulus (if I understood her correctly). She really enjoyed Lulu but now its on to Gizelle. But from what I am gathering, Lulu was quite a success by any measure.

Am not sure what she will be doing in Endstation Sehnsucht.

Regards from Oklahoma...Doug.

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