Peer Gynt

Peer Gynt, often referred to as the “Nordic Faust,” is considered the best-known work by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Mixing fantasy and myth, the father of modern drama tells the life story of a man plagued by an identity crisis. Peer Gynt, a farmer's son, is a compulsive con artist who travels the Norwegian mountains and the North African desert in search of recognition and fame. He constantly slips into new roles, which, thanks to his arrogance and megalomania, take on increasingly absurd proportions. From a seducer of women, he rises to become a troll prince, influential merchant and prophet. Peer Gynt enjoys being celebrated as a genius and claims to be a historian who can solve the riddle of the Sphinx, build a canal in the middle of the desert and interfere in world politics. He sees himself as a messiah, even in his dubious dealings with China. But after a few misadventures, his life takes a dramatic turn when he is welcomed into a madhouse as a messenger of supernatural wisdom, where he is crowned emperor. Peer Gynt is horrified that all the patients live in their own world and are so busy with themselves that no one cares about anyone else. He becomes aware that he is an "Emperor of Self," an emotional state that is exacerbated when being interrogated by demonic apparitions about his true "self." He finds solace thanks to his reunion with his childhood love Solveig, who has been waiting her whole life for Peer Gynt in a forest hut.

With an exclusive cast, Luxembourg Ballet captures the timelessness of this fascinating drama. At a time when tectonic shifts are taking place, the longing for saviors is all the more powerful. However, the enthusiasm for new heroes who have a solution for everything is not a new phenomenon, but has accompanied cultural history since ancient times. Choreographer Volha Kastsel embarks on a search of today's Peer Gynt. But she does not find him in the pretentiousness of being able to alone save the world from hunger, wars and diseases or to start a new colonization beyond our stratosphere. Rather, she recognizes him in the allegorical image of Ibsen's madhouse, which appears as a prophecy for a world plagued by selfishness in which peergyntism is not a marginal phenomenon, but the norm. In this world, affection becomes the most scarce and precious resource. Kastsel shows how changeable the Peer Gynt appearance is and juxtaposes new layers of mercantilistic talents with the core of endless love embodied by Solveig.
"Nothing but layers – thinner and thinner. Nature is a mischief!” Peer Gynt

Music: Edvard Grieg

Choreography: Volha Kastsel

Luxembourg Ballet with guest stars from:

  • Opéra Nice Côte d'Azur
  • the Georgian National Opera Theater
  • English National Ballet