Valmont

The game of seduction has a single rule: You must never fall in love

The author of the famous epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, Choderlos de Laclos, was a French army officer unable to satisfy his military ambitions and hence began devoting to literature. He wrote a number of poems and librettos, but is best known for Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782), a novel composed entirely of letters by the various characters to one other. The veracity of its action makes it the greatest work of its ilk. Almost 200 letters depict the relationship between two rakes who deform the noble ideas of philosophical libertinism into moral perversion. For the sake of their amusement, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont interfere in other people’s lives and hatch schemes that ultimately bring about their downfall. Emotionless sensuality becomes an art of strategy, calculated to the finest detail, and this cynical approach to morality and human responsibility not only hurts the innocent victims but also turns against their tormentors themselves.

The story of cynical hedonists has been adapted by the Czech choreographer Libor Vaculík to music by Franz Schubert, Pēteris Vasks and Petr Malásek. The chamber production oscillates between dance theatre and drama. Libor Vaculík does not aim to shock by a grand work, focusing instead on delicate, sensitive portrayal of the protagonists’ natures.

About the company

The Czech National Ballet has played a dominant role in the development of Czech ballet art resulting not only from its statute but also from the fact that it is the largest ballet ensemble in the Czech Republic. Its founding in 1883 gave rise to the continuous evolutionary tradition of Czech professional dance.

At the beginning of the 2002/03 season, the dancer and choreographer Petr Zuska was named the new Artistic Director of the Czech National Ballet. Under his guidance, the company has proceeded in several directions. It has staged works of the classical and neo-classical repertoire, as well as contemporary Czech and foreign choreographies.

At the present time, the Czech National Ballet is artistically one of the most exciting companies in the Czech Republic, made up of some 81 dancers. Even though the ensemble is “national”, Czech, its members not only hail from the Czech Republic but also from another nine countries: Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Moldova, France, Italy, Spain, Romania and Japan. 

Its openness to the world has also been demonstrated by the Czech National Ballet regularly collaborating with foreign coaches and choreographers. The experience with diverse movement phraseologies serves to spice up the artistic work: owing to different approaches to themselves and the world around, the Czech National Ballet has found its Central European identity, offering the traditional classical repertoire as well as contemporary theatre, yet with a special artistic spirit arising from the enchanting Prague multicultural milieu.

Genre

dance

Theatre/company

National Theatre / Národní divadlo

Czech title

Valmont

Names of authors

Zdeněk Prokeš, Libor Vaculík based on the novel Les liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos

Name of director or choreographer

Libor Vaculík

Length of the performance

100 minutes

Number of travelling persons

45

Language

No language barrier

Audience

Adult

Scale of venue

middle

Contact person

Martin Rypan

E-mail

m.rypan@narodni-divadlo.cz

Web

www.narodni-divadlo.cz