Orphée et Eurydice is one of Pina Bausch’s major works. The choreographer brings flesh and blood to Gluck’s score –here conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock—while opting to distance herself from the work’s happy ending. Having descended into the Underworld to look for his loved-one, Orpheus fails to bring Eurydice back from the realm of the dead and watches her disappear forever. Beyond the mythological tale itself, the ballet evokes despair, grief and the fragility of the human condition. In this opera-dansé, first performed in Wuppertal in 1975 and added to the repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet in 2005, each of the main roles is split in two, creating a permanent dialogue between song and dance. In this uncluttered staging, slender swanlike silhouettes trace images of disturbing beauty and plunge into painful introspection.