Passing by or Not, Fate Decrees it all


La Ronde, as an amazing play written by the Austrian dramatist Arthur Schnitzler, has never been performed on Chinese stage. As a part of the postgraduate division’s creative project, this performance at the Black Box studio of STA is the play’s first performance in China as well as the graduation performance of Zhao Mu, 2014 MFA postgraduate majoring in directing. There are a total of ten characters in this play: the Whore, the Soldier, the Parlor Maid, the Young Gentleman, the Young Wife, the Young Husband, the Little Miss, the Poet, the Actress, and the Count. Their love affairs were strung together, forming a perfect plot. All levels of the society, lowest or highest, are all full of sexual affairs of the same nature disguised under different lusts whether for a paid prostitute or for an aristocrat-kept mistress. That is all that La Ronde signifies.

Recreation and performance of La Ronde are independently done by STA’s students. They put this play into the contemporary background of China without changing its whole structure or character relationships. They also added some opera element into it. A century ago when Schnitzler wrote this play, he might have just returned from the theatre with the symphony still lingering on his mind and shaking his soul. That is because that written words must be vitalized by a certain power, like what Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte did to librettos.

Love is the eternal topic of human beings. In people’s emotional world, one can not keep a stable mental state forever. With great intimacy comes great anxiety. Therefore, we could better understand why in this play the husband keeps a friendly relationship with his wife instead of trusting and loving her completely. These ten characters are always in the circle of one abandoning others abandoning him/her. Their fates are an endless circle; the meaning of their lives lies in their meeting with others. Different person has his own way dealing with intimacy. All in all, passing by or not fate decrees it all.