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Stuttgart Ballet review – Beethoven trio plays with desire and despair

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The premiere of Mauro Bigonzetti’s Einssein is one of a trio of pieces set to sonatas and showcasing suffocating relationships

There’s something stifling about the couplings in Mauro Bigonzetti’s Einssein, a live-streamed world premiere from Stuttgart Ballet. It’s the way their hands grab each other’s shoulders, arms latticed like a reef knot. Or the way one woman is clasped around a man’s neck, while her high-lifted leg presses against the side of his face. Or it’s a knee hooked firmly over a shoulder, or a man held in a sort of headlock between a woman’s ankles. The men are even wearing corsets, just to underline the sense of constriction.

The title Einssein means “oneness” or “to be one”, but this doesn’t look like a comfortable kind of unity. Are they trapped against their will, or is this merely the sometimes suffocating tangle of needs and desires in any close relationship? That’s open to interpretation.

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