Leonce & Lena, Ballet by C. Spuc
Léo Delibes, Amilcare Ponchielli, Alfred Schnittke, Johann Strauss father and son, Eartha Kitt, The Mamas and the Papas – is such a combination even possible? The Prague performance of Leonce & Lena, the celebrated ballet by German choreographer Christian Spuck, answers that question with a resounding ‘Yes!’ Through a combination of beloved classical and contemporary tunes, the talented ballet master retells the popular play of the same name by Georg Büchner (1836) and adapts it for the dance stage. The result is a wonderfully eclectic performance that will draw you in with its romanticism and charm.
The allegorical and satirical story revolves around Leonce, Prince of Popo, and Lena, Princess of Pipi. He is a melancholy young man, she – a beautiful and free-spirited young lady. Their royal families have pre-arranged their marriage ever since they were born, but neither of them is interested in playing politics. So, independently of one another, each royal heir plots a secret escape to Italy. Once there, Leonce and Lena chance upon one another at the same old inn, and fate takes care of the rest. All of a sudden, their marriage seems arranged not by meddling parents and political interests but by a wise higher power. Will the two freedom-loving young spirits obey?
The ballet Leonce & Lena offers up a charming metaphor for the power of fate and the inescapability of love. As two lovers flee what they perceive to be damnation and moral imprisonment, they inadvertently run towards that same fate, only to discover it is not what they thought it would be. The performance impresses with its dynamic plot and the multitude of talented composers and songwriters behind its musical score. It takes the comedic and satirical charge of Büchner’s original play and transports its qualities wonderfully to the ballet stage. The pointed social critique and the classic, endearing love story make for a truly memorable experience that will leave a lasting memory.