With just over a week to go, I’d like to share the thinking behind my new work for the company – True
It’s a quartet for the whole company very loosely based on the German folk tale of Weibertreue. At Weinsberg, in Württemberg, on the summit of a hill, remain the ruins of a castle; which is also known by the name of “Weibertreue,” or “Woman’s Faith.” During the Guelph and Ghibelline wars the castle was besieged in 1140 by the Emperor Conrad III., who, in his exasperation at the protracted resistance made by the garrison, vowed to put all the men to the sword, but promised to spare the lives of the women, with the engagement, moreover, that each should be permitted to carry out along with her, her most choice treasure. “The good women were beside themselves with sorrow that their husbands and children were to be burned alive. Therefore they took counsel with one another and decided that each woman would take her husband and children onto her back and carry them outside the city. They did just that; each woman took her husband onto her back and her children under her arms and carried them outside the city.
Now the chronicle tells us that when the conquering lord saw this, tears came to his eyes, and he spared the lives of everyone and set the city free as well” *
It’s lovely tale of virtue and cunning. I’ll be setting this to some exquisite Medieval dance music, which will structure the dance into episodes. As those who know my work well, the music is the driving force behind my choreography rather than narrative, and I’m very much looking forward to getting into the studio with our 4 dancers who are all exceptional at picking up on musical form and dynamic. However structure and form aside, there will also be humour and wit involved, making this piece come alive from the pages of history and folklore.
I hope you join us on our True journey
*Source: Martin Montanus, “Ein statt würt gewunnen, daraus die weyber ihre mann und kinder tragen,” Schwankbücher (1557-1566), edited by Johannes Bolte (Tübingen: Gedruckt für den literarischen Verein in Stuttgart, 1899), 80, pp. 341-42.