Two Cigarettes in the Dark

Pina Bausch
© Elliott Franks

A cubic apartment decked out in white velvet. Men in black tuxes. Women in sleek wedding dresses. Such are the stylistic parametres of Pina Bausch's minimalist chamber piece, which takes its name from a Bing Crosby song about lost love. A product of the German choreographer's most austere phase, 'Two Cigarettes in the Dark' channels a melancholic ennui through the resigned limping and desperate prostrations of its small cast. Beethoven, Purcell and Monteverdi are among the composers called upon to underline the tragedy of it all. But this being Pina, humour is ever present, in the form of the odd burlesque scene and bawdy dialogue. Just be warned: it lasts two and a half heavygoing hours.

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