23 feb 2024
vr 01 sep 2017
Milo Rau’s Five Easy Pieces is based on Igor Stravinsky’s composition Cinq pièces faceless from 1917. The Russian composer wrote five small piano pieces for four hands that was meant to help children learn to play the piano. Rau adapted this structure and converted it to a theatrical context. Five Easy Pieces is set up by five small scenes. In each scene the young actors learn a different aspect to acting.
Stravinsky’s first movement Andante was a tribute to French composer Erik Satie. Rau decided to have his world famous Gymnopédies as the musical leitmotiv of the show when one of the actors suggested to use Satie during his dance routine. Gymnopédies can be translated freely as ‘moving on music’. The word derives from Ancient Greece were young athletes danced naked during the annual summer festival.
This background information actually lifts the Gymnopédies in the context of Five Easy Pieces to a higher level. Milo Rau: ‘The meaning of the word fits perfectly because it is a play about voyeurism. For example the position of the spectator during the show.’