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Tickets CHF 40.- / 50.- / 60.-
Price category freely selectable
U18 CHF 15.-

Duration: 60 minutes, without break
Spoken language: none
Age recommendation: none
Content warnings: none

 Hora recommends «Tristan and Isolde»: «A story to feel – very big feelings»


In “Tristan and Isolde” Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara meets Richard Wagner’s unmistakable music, which, in spite of being clearly European, has the power to transcend spatial and temporal boundaries.

With dancer Rihoko Sato Teshigawara condenses Wagner’s eponymous opera and tells the tragic story of Tristan and Isolde in a one-hour-long duet, without any words. The curtain rises on a man and woman, both dressed in black, on a simple black-box stage. In their performance the story at the heart of the opera – a love that can never be – begins to glow.

Without ever touching one another the dancers fill the space with palpable passion and unquenchable desire. Arms and emotions flow and ebb in wave-like movements and transform the stage into a fascinating world where love confronts death – to the bitter end.

The choreographic approach to and abstraction of Wagner’s opera is not the only distinguishing feature of this production; there also is the unique relationship and interpretative practice of these two dance artists.

Both look back on long and successful careers; they have been working together for nearly 30 years. In 2024 Rihoko Sato and Saburo Teshigawara will still share the stage as Tristan and Isolde. In 2022 Teshigawara was awarded the Golden Lion for his life’s work at the Biennale Danza in Venice.

Simply put::This piece is a duet. It tells the tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde. The music is by Richard Wagner. Two people from Japan dance on stage. One of them is over fifty, the other over seventy years old.

Saburo Teshigawara

Rihoko Sato


Choreography, lighting design: Saburo Teshigawara
Artistic collaboration:
Rihoko Sato
Rihoko Sato, Saburo Teshigawara
Auszüge aus «Tristan und Isolde» von Richard Wagner
Technical coordination/lighting operation:
Sergio Pessanha
Mie Kawamura

Production: Karas Apparatus
Production, tours:
Epidemic (Richard Castelli, Mélanie Roger, Florence Berthaud)
With the support of: Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, Japan Arts Council

In spring 2024, two more works by Teshigawara will be shown in Switzerland under the title “Verwandlung”. The double evening with Ballett Basel consists of a choreography created exclusively for the ensemble and the Swiss premiere of the work “Metamorphosis”. “Verwandlung” will premiere at Theater Basel on March 22, 2024.

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