A choreography on the homonymous cycle of Franz Schubert's songs

"Three birch trees stretch their branches skyward. A white, cast-iron park bench offers a place to rest. The rectangular space is whitewashed. But the paint is flaking off. In the left background, a barbed-wire fence can be seen. A sense of melancholy pervades the bright surroundings. Daniel Goldin has choreographed Franz Schubert's 'Winterreise' in a mood of deep sadness, with a lyrical melancholy like no one before. Eight members of his Münster ensemble dance the cycle in a most impressive and moving performance. Goldin demands the utmost concentration of both audience and actors... The premiere audience was deeply moved and expressed their appreciation with long-lasting applause."

Marieluise Jeitschko, Westfälische Nachrichten, 8 December 2003

"Goldin's evening-filling 'Winterreise' is one of his strongest works to date... Daniel Goldin has managed a great achievement; out of the 24 lieder, he has formed an episode ballet in which the essence of the composition is sublimated. The simple but beautiful sequences are like citations of German expressive dance... The choreographic richness is a joy. Some passages, like the magnificent solo to 'Auf dem Flusse‘, are reminiscent in their expressionistic, woodcut-like ductus, of Kurt Jooss.... Goldin' dance is honest, and his imagery sometimes so direct as to become a literal translation... To the 'Winterreise', he has found a very profound access."

Bettina Trouwborst, Westdeutsche Zeitung, 9 December 2003

"Daniel Goldin reaped strong applause for his latest work, 'Winterreise', based on Franz Schubert's lieder cycle of the same name. The highly concentrated ensemble of four male and four female dancers created a melancholy picture of life, heading only for death. To avoid the trap of duplicated illustration, Goldin's company, four women and four men dressed in plain black, largely follow the rhythm of the 24 songs. The movement sequences are rooted in only minimal text elements, but blossom from them sometimes in seeming slow motion, at other times with breakneck speed. Goldin choreographs with the eyes of a painter who aims at creating beautiful pictures towards which all the movement tends, only to break up and dissolve again. The direction of the movement is towards the ground, the grave. The few jumps are fractured or, if they succeed at all, then only in dreams and in exaggerated form. In these cases, warm sunlight falls sparingly on the cold, ice-bound earth. The earth is worn out. In the end - a compelling picture  - comes the graveyard, where the whole hurly-burly reaches its goal in the encounter with the old hurdy-gurdy man, death. With strong, sustained applause, seasoned with cheers and foot stomping, the premiere audience thanked the ensemble and their leader, Daniel Goldin, after 80 concentrated minutes. Our recommendation: Do not miss."

Hanns Butterhoff, Recklinghäuser Zeitung, 9 December 2003

"The stage is a whitewashed courtyard, light and friendly at first sight. Except that from the windowless facade the plaster is starting to crumble. And everywhere there are black stains... Daniel Goldin goes in for unadorned black and white, but demonstrates just how moving this simple symbol language can be. In an intoxicating 80 minutes, the choreographer tells the affecting story of just one temperament: melancholy.... The eight performers wear sober black... Against the bright walls of past beauty, they cast long, comfortless shadows, luxuriate in the memory of sweet romanticism and suffer in the present of bitter forlornness. The pathos, however, is sincere and unobtrusive, reined in by a repeated matter-of-factness. Their movement pulsates with playful lightness, but always remains highly concentrated and carefully controlled.... Limbs tremble and tiptoes move almost imperceptibly. Behind this movement there is burning passion.... The Münster ensemble presents itself as a brilliantly congruent company. The end finds them all standing together, in long, black coats. Together, but alone, they sink to the floor. The last hope is lost. But a wholly captivated audience has been won."

Simone Thielmann, WDR 5 – Scala, 9 December 2003

"Goldin picks up all the aspects of the composition, without creating an atmosphere of frozen depression. It is above all the expressive embodiment of melancholy that moves the audience to thunderous applause. In his choreography, Goldin lays bare all the facets of this aim-less journey, with dancers who shine in both the ensembles and solo. With perfection and appeal, the eight dancers impressively display the diversity contained in Schubert's music. The flowing transitions between the lieder help create a one-piece choreography, while the use of different performances of the song cycle highlights the different facets of the interpretation.... Whether the sluggish movements of a man without hope or the despairing upsurge triggered by melancholy memories, in Goldin's stage interpretation they become expressive, intensive dance. The unity of text and music that makes Schubert's 'Winterreise' so fascinating is in this interpretation further enriched by the dance."

Petra Faryn, Die Glocke, 9 December 2003

"Nowhere in the world can German expressive dance be experienced in such pure, sincere and appealing form as here."

Rheinischer Merkur, 18 December 2003

"In the simple elegance of the movements, the sincere gravity and the powerful visualisation of the profound weltschmerz of Schubert's music and Müller's poems, Goldin's expressive dance fits more perfectly than that presented by any choreographer before."

Marieluise Jeitschko, Die Deutsche Bühne, Nr.1, January 2004

"His music to the 24 songs has inspired many a choreographer before, but none has found such profound access as Daniel Goldin with his Münster Dance Theatre.... His 'Winterreise' is not a source of depression but of inspiration."

Bettina Trouwborst, K.WEST N° 3, January 2004

"In Matthias Dietrich's white stage space, dance director Daniel Goldin creates a choreography for his ensemble that is frighteningly in tune with the music. To the sometimes fascinatingly modified CD recordings of Schubert's cycle, Goldin finds unforgettable images for the fears, dreams, hopelessness and helplessness of people who have somehow become detached from the community."

Andreas Meyer, PRINZ Ruhrgebiet, February 2004

"Goldin's choreography is like a counterpoint to Schubert's music. With highly charged, dramatic motions, it holds itself back, is sometimes encoded in symbols, but then takes on a pictorial directness, and precisely in this way succeeds in asserting itself as a distinctive, memorable voice in this production."

Patricia Stöckemann, tanzjournal Nr. 1, February 2004

"Choreographer Daniel Goldin presents Schubert's lieder cycle as a journey into the soul. A reminiscence, a dream – a fantastic first performance."


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