©Marie-Laure Briane
Jeroen Verbruggen ©MLB
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©Marie-Laure Briane
Jeroen Verbruggen ©MLB

Le Spectre de la Rose

MARCO GOECKE

A new “Spirit”

From its first performance in Monte-Carlo in 1911, Mikhail Fokine’s ‘Le Spectre de la Rose’ made a name for itself, eventually becoming a legend which still endures today.  The ballet was inspired by Théophile Gautier’s verse — ‘I am the spirit of a rose you wore at the ball yesterday’ («Je suis le spectre d'une rose que tu portais hier au bal ») — and is set to Carl Maria von Weber’s music, “Invitation to the Dance”.  It is the story of a young girl who has just come back from a ball. Falling asleep with a rose in her hands, she dreams of the spirit of the rose, who appears by jumping through her window, dances with her and disappears before she wakes up...

…In 2009, Marco Goecke was commissioned to create his own version of Le Spectre de la Rose.  Unlike Maurice Béjart, who created a parody based on the original ballet in 1979, Goecke’s approach is deeply serious.  He has added six supporting spirits to the principal couple and a second piece of music by Carl Maria von Weber, “The Master of the Spirits” to the original one.   By doing this, the new Spectre is not only longer but Goecke has given the principal dancer the chance to embody a Spirit  who differs from the original version in many ways, particularly in the music for the solo and Marco Goecke’s distinctive  choreographic language. Although the solo includes various jumps, they are neither high nor wide.  Goecke’s interpretation is anything but a eulogy of romanticism.  His choreography often emphasises power and intensity, so avoiding any impression of naturalism.  His vision is not clouded by extravagant stage design, such as the young girl’s bedroom in Fokine’s version.  Even if his costumes are inspired by Gautier’s spirit and red is the principal colour, Goecke’s modern choreography draws on the poem while embracing new interpretations at the same time. 

In spite of great differences of style, his choreography is as inventive as the original.  Using different methods, Goecke has found a unique way of developing the port de bras, finding new combinations for the arms and creating rapidly changing movements.  Like Fokine in his time, Goecke has also changed the relationship between the masculine and feminine roles to find a new balance.  Even though the Spirit is still the principal character in Goecke’s ballet, the feminine role shows great independence and is powerfully interpreted.

Nadja Kadel


Choreography: Marco Goecke
Music: Karl Maria Von Weber « L’invitation à la danse », « Le maître des esprits »
Artistic Advisor: Nadja Kadel
Costumes: Michaela Springer
Lighting: Udo Haberland

Creation for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Premiere held on July 14th 2009, Terrasses du Casino de Monte-Carlo