Thank you for the question, andreeaunicorn
Spar Dame, is the current ballet that The Royal Danish Ballet is performing! The choreographer is no other then the one and only, Liam Scarlett. The simplistic, yet chic sets and amazing costume designs are by Jon Morrell. Together they have created quite a show!
Spar Dame, or Queen of Spades in English, tackles a dark story about an interest that becomes obsession, that turns in to madness. It is based on Russian Alexander Pushkin’s short story about a officer named Hermann, who meets an elderly countess, aka. Queen of Spades, who holds the secret, three winning cards at gambling. Hermann seduces her young chambermaid, Liza, in order to get closer to the countess in hopes of discovering her secret cards. Every time he thinks he has taken a strong step forward in his scheme, it ends up being that the countess was really one step in front of him all along. Eventually, he loses his mind over the cards in a epic solo that closes the ballet.
That last scene, Hermann’s mad scene, is my favorite thing about Spar Dame. The set closes in on him with three huge walls blocking his exit. To me, representing his own mind closing in on himself. You see him dark eyed, frustrated and crossing the line in to insanity as the solo builds and builds and builds.
It must be an absolutely exhilarating scene to dance and play. The reason why it is my favorite thing about Spar Dame is because it is the first mad scene, as far as I am aware of, that uses the male character going mad instead of the more typical, female character.
The most famous mad scene will forever be Giselle’s. Rightfully so. It’s heartbreaking. The completely innocent girl experiencing a dramatic, heartbreak of devastation. Many amazing ballerina’s have performed this scene. Many more in the future will as well.
In Spar Dame, it is the mans turn to be completely vulnerable, to show an “ugly” emotion with the challenge of still being honest on stage. The closing scene in Spar Dame is choreographically phenomenal. Hermann dances for at least five minutes with big jumps, runs, and turns until he eventually jumps to his knees on the floor. Physically exhausted. Emotionally drained.
This scene stays with you. You believe that he has really lost it. Goosebumps. His obsession with the story and the countess destroys him in the end. Haunting.
Bravo, to both our current men, Alexander Bozinoff and Tobias Prætorius playing Hermann. It is an absolute privilege to watch them perform. They knock it out of the park every time! You can catch Spar Dame through November 23rd. Not to be missed!