By Thomas Hauert
This piece by Thomas Hauert delicately balances the spontaneity found in children’s games and the nostalgic memories of old age.

Swiss choreographer Thomas Hauert’s Notturnino is a playful and poignant work that takes inspiration from the documentary Tosca’s Kiss, a touching film that follows the lives of retired opera singers living in a nursing home in Milan. This is a tightly structured piece of improvisation where the audience witness the dancers’ decisions resulting in a truly unique experience for each performance.

Choreographer’s Notes

My fascination with dance has a lot to do with its sensual aspects, with how dance/motion feels and what one can feel when looking at it. In the creation of Notturnino I took inspiration from the film ‘Tosca’s Kiss’, opera music and Candoco Dance Company’s dancers. The soundtrack from the film, which features the voices of ageing singers re-enacting scenes from operas and talking about their lives, but also the sounds of everyday life at their rest home, conjures images of situations and characters, triggering association and memories. I wanted the dance to add another layer of textures and sensations rather than being a literal illustration of the sound. I hope that the piece will elicit an individual response from each audience member and draw on their own memories, sensibilities and concerns. I always work with improvisation both in the process of creating a piece and on stage, as I believe that the body is capable of creating much more complex movement if you allow it to include intuition rather than relying on forms processed by our conscious mind.

Through scenes of boredom, puzzlement, affectation and tenderness, Notturnino intermittently but sympathetically invokes ideas of human vulnerability and vanitas.
The Guardian, March 2014


Production details

Concept, Choreography & Direction

Thomas Hauert

Assistant to the Choreographer

Liz Kinoshita

Lighting Design

Chahine Yavroyan

Costume Design

Natasa Stamatari


From Tosca’s Kiss (1984) by Daniel Schmid, T&C Film

Co-commissioned by

Live at LICA with additional support from Platform, Islington and Greenwich Dance

Performed by

Tanja Erhart, Andrew Graham, Mirjam Gurtner, Annie Hanauer, Victoria Malin, Kostas Papamatthaiakis, Susanna Recchia and Rick Rodgers

With thanks to

Denis Laurent at ZOO; Kevin O’Hare at the Royal Opera House; Suzanne Lee, Naomi Blanche and CJ Dyson at Platform



Running Time

35 minutes


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