Flesh and Transgression: Choreographers Take on Opera’s Canon
Choreographic Theatre Johann Kresnik, Stage and Costumes - Gottfried Helnwein
Mr. Kresnik's stage pictures are often powerful. His ''Rheingold'' and ''Walküre'' compaction introduces Wagner; Nietzsche; King Ludwig; various Wagner wives and lovers; Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of West Germany; a ''red figure''; and modern-day soldiers and G.I.'s among the characters. Ludwig dances in his familiar blue jacket, naked from the waist down. Alberich hacks off his penis with a giant sword. The first act of ''Die Walküre'' is a trio for three naked men, one of whom becomes visibly pregnant (the wonders of a prosthesis and flesh-colored makeup). This last, it might be argued, successfully reintroduces the transgressive impact of incest to a modern audience lulled by Wagner's music.