This ballet is not an ascent to Heaven, instead it uses a powerful movement vocabulary firmly rooted on the earth to demonstrate just how much human beings – even in the midst of life – are faced with the shadow of death. However, this dance piece also contains moments of indescribable ease: in its joyful leaps, its subtle exploration of fine balances and delicate disclosure of the divine in our fellow humans.
In Ein Deutsches Requiem Martin Schläpfer has chosen one of the most unconventional examples of the death mass as the source for a full-length ballet: an extremely individual score with which Johannes Brahms sought to rise above all the boundaries of religions, denominations and nations and in whose title he would have "happily left out the 'German'" and "simply put 'human'".
Created in 2011 for the Ballett am Rhein, awarded the German theatre prize Der Faust and celebrated by audiences and the press at numerous international guest performances, Ein Deutsches Requiem with the dancers of the Vienna State Ballet, soloists, the chorus and the orchestra of the Volksoper has also been thrilling audiences in Vienna since its premiere in September 2021. "A deeply touching and inspiring evening of ballet" (Ulrike Burgwinkel, WDR), "a furious, resigned or also flattering struggle against death, but sometimes also a feast" (Verena Franke, Wiener Zeitung), "a dance of death to celebrate life" (APA).