“Nijinski” is the contemporary ballet performance by the choreographer Marco Goecke that deals with the ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. It reveals the most important moments in Nijinsky’s life on and off stage showing how closely art and madness are related.
For ten years (1890-1950) Vaslav Nijinsky was the premiere and choreographer at the Sergei Diaghilev’s legendary “Ballets Russes”. He intoxicated audiences with virtuoso leaps and androgynous charisma, while his audacious choreographies provoked scandals. The last thirty years of his life Nijinsky spent in mental asylums.
The original of “Nijinski” was premièred at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart’s Gauthier Dance festival to great acclaim in 2016; since then, it has been performed on worldwide tours to great success. In 2017 Marco Goecke received the Italian prize “Danza&Danza” for “Nijinski” as the best choreography of the year.
Recommended age: 16+
Scene 1 | THE POWER OF ART
An unexpected power emerges: uncomfortable but auspicious. The world of Art is shaking and something new comes into being.
Scene 2 | TERPSICHORE
Terpsichore, the Muse of dance, meets Art and awakens it with a kiss. Both tremble from the touch and get inspired.
Scene 3 | DIAGHILEV
Diaghilev, an ingenious impresario and art connoisseur, feels the internal power to introduce Russian art to the West. Terpsichore appears before him and gifts him with the divine spark. The promise of fame also awakens greed.
Scene 4 | NIJINSKY
Vaslav Nijinsky is growing up. He becomes part of the dance world. His talent is undeniable. Nijinky lives with his mother (Polish: Matka).
Scene 5 | MATKA
Mother cares for him, loves him and supports his talent. Nijinsky studies at the Imperial Theatrical School in St. Petersburg. Now he has to live without his mother. Both are saying farewell.
Scene 6 | SEXUAL AWAKENING
Nijinsky’s power shows up. In short sequences his future parts emerge. His sexual desire is awakened.
Scene 7 | THE BALLETS RUSSES
Sergei Diaghilev forms the Ballets Russes. Between Nijinsky and Diaghilev a love-hate relationship develops. In an erotic dream Nijinsky meets his friend Isayev. The dream ends again with dance – the libidinous Faun becomes an art figure.
Scene 8 | FAME
Nijinsky is at the height of his fame. He embodies all his significant parts: Petrushka, the Faun, the Spectre of the Rose. He meets Romola and marries her.
Scene 9 | THE BEING OF DERANGEMENT
A break up takes place between Diaghilev and Nijinsky. Nijinsky is taken over by the being of derangement and sinks into internal isolation. Madness takes control over his spirit. Nijinsky has uncontrolable rages of anger.
Scene 10 | CIRCLES OF ORDER AND CONFUSION
Nijinsky soothes his confusion by drawing countless circles. These are very complex but also wild drawings that are leftovers from his creative power.