The Nights: Dancing Arabic Sex Fantasies

photos: Bettina Stöß

While growing up in East Germany but coming from Italy, I had quite the strange childhood experience. I was the first kid with a “migrant” background at my school and everybody treated my like some sort of alien (even if my father is German). I remember one of my teachers touching my hair and looking into my eyes and saying: You are like the “little Muck” from the fairytales from Thousand and one Nights. She had never seen a kid with my skin and hair color before. Personally, I was always a little attracted by the ancient Arabic world, the beautiful illustration and wonderful symetrie of the architecture. Also, I know from several sources that sex was not always a tabu topic in the Arabic culture. I think the famous book One thousand and one Nights is actually the most obvious proof that there where once more playful sexual behaviours then nowadays in the Arabic culture.

The recently premiered ballett The Nights by the Staatsballett Berlin is showcasing several choreographies inspired by One Thousand and One Nights by the same choreographer who chreated the amazing Snowhite Ballet. Read my impressions of this ballet after the jump.

The French choreographer with Albanian background Angelin Preljocaj created with The Nights quite some sensual and provocative images and movements. By using dancers from his own company he gave the whole piece a very young and dynamic energy. The costumes where made by Azzedine Alaïa which is one of the most famous French designers with an Arabic background. Also the music by Natacha Atlas gave the audience several highlights.

Sadly, some choreographies did not match with the mysterious and dark atmosphere of most pieces but seemed to come out of Friedrichstadtpalast. I had the feeling, that maybe the choreographer did not dare to pursue his first concept to the end and wanted to insert some more mainstream choreographies to please the big audience.

Prelijocaj is a very established choreographer and also his last piece in Berlin Snowwhite was a big succes. This is why I am a little disapointed that he was not more cohesive. Maybe even if the ensemble work is amazing a scheherazade charakter leading through the night could have helped. But all in all an extremely well created piece, which has quite a lot of sensual dance highlights.

The Nights


25 February 2014
01, 06 , 12 March 2014
03 April 2014

Time: 19.30 h

Deutsche Oper
Bismarckstraße 35
10627 Berlin

Diesen Artikel auf deutsch lesen.

<a href="" target="_self">Claudio</a>