Und Pippa tanzt!


Und Pippa tanzt!
(And Pippa dances!) by Gerhart Hauptmann.
   Premiered 1906. The title character of this four-act impressionistic play is closely identified with actress Ida Orloff, for whom Hauptmann wrote the play. He blended Naturalistic scenic embellishments with symbolism, employing both prose and verse. The Naturalistic portions of the play recall his native Silesia, while the verse sections tend toward poetic preoccupation for the beautiful and fragile, yet unattainable, Pippa. Two Silesian types fall in love with Pippa, a violent lout and an idealistic poet. Pippa and the poet escape from the lout, but they must proceed through a magical forest. There they find refuge in a cottage owned by an old magician; but the lout has followed them. In his rage to possess Pippa, he knocks over a glass and breaks it; Pippa dies of shock. The lout likewise dies, while the poet goes blind. As the poet leaves the cottage to stumble along what remains of life's path, the magician remains to contemplate the meaning, or perhaps the unfathomability, of what has just transpired.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.


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