Transfigured Night

by Kim Brandstrup

Transfigured Night

In Transfigured Night two lovers meet by moonlight, and a dark secret threatens to tear them apart. Created by two-time Olivier-award winning choreographer Kim Brandstrup, it is a dramatic love story, with intimate duets and spectacular ensemble dancing amplifying the beauty and romance of its Schoenberg score.

‘Suddenly everyone’s doing narrative’ – interview with Kim Brandstrup in the Financial Times (registration required)

Facing the Music – Kim Brandstrup on the music that inspires him in The Guardian

In February 2017, Kim Brandstrup won the award for Best Modern Choreography for Transfigured Night, at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2016.

Kim Brandstrup
Arnold Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht
Chloe Lamford
Lighting design:
Fabiana Piccioli

Premiere: Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 28 October 2015

'Suffused with a staggering emotional resonance inherent in every single phrase.'

The Times

Transfigured Night rehearsal

Extracts from rehearsals. Dancers: Miguel Altunaga & Simone Damberg Würtz; Dane Hurst & Hannah Rudd. Note: this film uses a recording of Schoenberg's music set for piano and strings. In performance, the work will be played live by a string ensemble.


© JohanPerssonKim Brandstrup

Kim is a two-time Olivier Award-winner. In 2010 he won the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Creation for Goldberg: The Rojo/Brandstrup Project, having previously won the award in 1990 for Orfeo (London Contemporary Dance Theatre).

Previous productions include: Pas de Deux (Royal Opera Gala), Ceremony of Innocence (Royal Ballet/Aldeburgh Festival/DanceEast) revived for performances in Copenhagen and Royal Opera House, Metamorphosis-Titian, co-choreographed with Wayne McGregor (Royal Ballet), Eidolon I and II, Ghosts (Royal Danish Ballet), Invitus, Invitam, Rushes and Goldberg (Royal Ballet), Medée (Théâtre des Champs Élysées), The Fairy Queen (Glyndebourne, Paris, New York), Fall of the House of Usher, incorporating L’après-midi and Jeux (Bregenz Festival), Pulcinella (Birmingham Royal Ballet), White Lead (Royal Swedish Ballet), Two Footnotes for Ashton (Royal Opera House, Russia, New York, Bucharest), Songs of a Wayfarer (Rambert, UK tours), Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (Brothers Quay film), Afsked (Out of Denmark), Queen of Spades (Montreal), In Place of Stone (Norwegian Ballet), Sleeping Beauty (Royal New Zealand Ballet).

Work in opera: Between Worlds, Death in Venice, Marriage of Figaro, Messiah, Eugene Onegin (ENO), Carousel (Opera North), Guillaume Tell (Netherlands Opera/Metropolitan Opera).

Direction/choreography: Seven Deadly Sins (Greek National Opera), The Hour They Knew Nothing of Each Other (Malmö).

Kim’s most recent works include Jeux for New York City Ballet and Shaken Mirror/Rystet Spejl for The Royal Danish Ballet which premiered in May 2016.

Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg, was born on September 13, 1874, Vienna, Austria and died on July 13, 1951, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

An Austrian-American composer who created new methods of musical composition involving atonality, namely serialism and the 12-tone row. He was also one of the most-influential teachers of the 20th century; among his most-significant pupils were Alban Berg and Anton Webern. In 1899, Schoenberg composed the string sextet Verklärte Nacht (“Transfigured Night”), a highly romantic piece of music, it was based on a poem of the same name by Richard Dehmel and was the first piece of programme music written for such an ensemble. Its programmatic nature and its harmonies outraged conservative program committees. Consequently, it was not performed until 1903, when it was violently rejected by the public. Since then it has become one of Schoenberg’s most-popular compositions, both in its original form and in Schoenberg’s later versions for string orchestra.

Chloe Lamford

Chloe is an Associate Artist at the Royal Court Theatre.

Theatre includes: How to Hold Your Breath, The Twits, Teh Internet is a Serious Business, 2071, God Bless the Child (Royal Court Theatre), Rules for Living (National Theatre), Lungs (Schaubuhne, Berlin), 1984 (Headlong, Almeida, Playhouse, West End, Tour), The World of Extreme Happiness (The Shed, NT), Boys (Headlong/High Tide Festival); Cannibals, The Gate Keeper (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales / Berlin), The Events (Actors Touring Company / Young Vic, National and International Tour), The History Boys (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Salt, Root and Roe (Trafalgar Studios 2), Disco Pigs and Sus, Blackta (Young Vic), My Shrinking Life, Appointment With the Wicker Man, Knives into Hens (National Theatre Scotland), The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (National Theatre Wales / Edinburgh Festival), Ghost Story (Sky Arts Live Drama), Britannicus (Wilton’s Music Hall), My Romantic History (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield / Bush Theatre / EIF), Joseph K and the Kreutzer Sonata (Gate Theatre), Songs From a Hotel Bedroom (Royal Opera House / Tour), it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now (Clean Break), Everything Must Go!, This Wide Night (Soho Theatre), The Mother Ship, How to Tell the Monsters From the Misfits (Birmingham Rep), The Country (Salisbury Playhouse), Desire Lines, the Snow Queen (Sherman Theatre, Cardiff), Small Miracle (Tricycle Theatre / Mercury Theatre, Colchester).

Opera includes: Alcina (Festival d’Aix en Provence), The Little Sweep, Let’s Make an Opera (Sweden), The Magic Flute (ETO), War and Peace (Scottish Opera / Royal Conservatoire Scotland), The Cunning Little Vixen, Orpheus in the Underworld (Royal College of Music), La Calisto (Early Opera Company).

Fabiana Piccioli

Winner of the 2013 Knight of Illumination Award for Dance for iTMOI (Sadler’s Wells).

Previous productions include: The Pursuit of Now choreographed by Akram Khan (Sadler’s Wells), V (Joss Arnott Dance), The Bayadere – The Ninth Life choreographed by Shobana Jeyasingh (Royal Opera House), Rainy Days Festival (Philharmonic Orchestra Luxembourg), Go Down, Moses choreographed by Romeo Castellucci (Theatre de la Ville, Paris), We/Part (Rome Ballet), Breathe (Errol White Company), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Inked (Askash Odedra), Pests (Clean Break), Dust (ENB, Akram Khan Company), iTMOI (Akram Khan Company), One Side to the Other (Exhibition by Akram Khan, The Lowry Galleries), Within, Immersed, Timeless and Now Is (Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company), Race Race, choreographed by Paolo Mangiola (Teatro Vascello Rome), Pirates (Improbable productions), Confluence, Beautiful and Beautiful Me and Svapnagata Festival (Sadler’s Wells).

As Lighting and Set Designer: Harbour Me choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (L.A. Dance Project, Theatre du Chatelet, Paris), We/Part choreographed by Paolo Magnolia (International Dance Festival Civitanova Marche, Italy), Gnosis (Akram Khan Company), Bahok (Akram Khan Company & National Ballet of China), Variations for Vibes Pianos and Strings (Akram Khan Company and the London Sinfonietta Orchestra).

'a major piece by a master of modern-dance expressiveness'

Daily Telegraph on Brandstrup's last work for Rambert: Songs of a Wayfarer
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