Valmont - Ballet - Estates Theatre Prague

Choderlos de Laclos was a French army officer unable to satisfy his military ambitions. Hence, he began devoting to literature. He wrote a number of poems and librettos but is best known for the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782), 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. On the surface, there is the seemingly faultless and immaculately mannered aristocratic elite, yet lifting the mask reveals the rotten core underneath. Cruelly bizarre is how easily one can fall into the life game whose rules are determined by others. No one is an island, we all are influenced by the milieu surrounding us. Sometimes it is difficult to recognise when we decide about our life ourselves and when others do so on our behalf… The story of cynical hedonists has been adapted by the Czech choreographer Libor Vaculík to Franz Schubert’s music arranged by Petr Malásek. The chamber production will oscillate 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.



Photo: Martin Divíšek, Hana Smejkalová, Pavel Hejný



Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 15 minutes, 1 intermission

Program and cast

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PreviousAugust 2020
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Estates Theatre

The Estates Theatre today

 

The Estates Theatre is one of the most beautiful historical theatre buildings in Europe. It has been part of the National Theatre since 1920. The Opera, Drama and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the Estates Theatre.

 

History

 

The Estates Theatre is one of the most beautiful historic theatre buildings in Europe. Its construction was initiated by the enlightened aristocrat František Antonín Count Nostitz Rieneck, led by the desire to aggrandise his native city as well as the souls of its inhabitants. The construction lasted less than two years and the Theatre was opened in 1783. This project, extremely important for the Prague of the time, was in keeping with the zeitgeist of the late 18th century, a time when national theatres were being built at European courts, royal seats and cultural centres in the spirit of the Enlightenment idea that a generally accessible theatre is a moral institution demonstrating the cultural level of the nation.

The first, sporadic Czech-language performances took place in 1785. From 1812 onwards there were regular Sunday and holiday matinees. At that time, these performances became to a certain degree a political matter too. Thus arising in the difficult years following the failed revolution in 1848 was the idea of a Czech National Theatre.

 

 

By car to the National Theatre car park

To the centre (OldTown), approach on Masarykovo nábřeží (Masaryk embankment) in the direction from the Dancing House, at the crossroads in front of the National Theatre turn right to Divadelní street and then right again to Ostrovní street to the National Theatre car park. Parking costs 50 CZK/h. 

From there, walk to the Estates Theatre along Národní street, then 28. října street, turn left on to Na Můstku street and right to Rytířská street. 

 

Other nearby secure car parks:

Kotva department store (Revoluční 1/655, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh.

Palladium department store (Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh, or to the Powder Gate through Celetná street to Ovocný trh.

 

By tram

By daytime trams Nos. 6, 9, 18 and 22 or night trams Nos. 53, 57, 58 and 59 to the stop “Národní třída”, then by foot along Národní street, then 28. října street, turn left to Na Můstku street and right to Rytířská street.

By daytime trams Nos. 5, 8, 14 and 26 or night trams Nos. 51, 54 and 56 to the stop “Náměstí Republiky”, then on foot around the Municipal House to the Powder Gate, on Celetná street to Ovocný trh.

By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14, 24 or night trams Nos. 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Jindřišská”, then on foot along Nekázanka / Panská streets, turn left to Na Příkopě street and then right to Havířská street (from Na Příkopě street you can also walk through the Myslbek arcade).

 

By metro

To the station “Můstek”, lines A and B (green and yellow), then on foot through Na Můstku street and right to Rytířská street.

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