By In Dance 1 hour 27 min

(Re)discover Ibsen's masterpiece as told by the Norwegian National Ballet.

Are we ever honest enough to be unaffected by lies? This is the question asked by Henrik Ibsen's drama Ghosts (Gengangere). Oswald Alving returns from a bohemian existence in Paris to small-town Norway. Encountering people who do not communicate, Oswald responds by becoming ironic and distant. He gradually learns more of the secrets that weigh on his family, as well as those inside himself. His mother, Mrs Alving, welcomes her much-missed son home – and slowly understands what, or whom, he has brought home with him.

«Ghosts is a psychological thriller in which the characters learn more and more about their own stories,» says director . «It's about how the unsaid can grow to become insuperable. Immense courage is required to make peace with one's illusions.»

Together with the young, critically acclaimed choreographer , she retells Ibsen's play as a ballet. The pair feel the story is suited to dance because both its inner and outer brutality can be pitted against the power of dance.

Ibsen's Ghosts is an evocative production in a modern dance style. Nils Petter Molvær has composed new music, which he performs on-stage together with Jan Bang.

Act 1
Mrs Helene Alving's son Osvald has returned home ten years after his father's death to attend the opening of the new orphanage that was built in his memory. The carpenter Engstrand seeks goodwill from his daughter Regine, who is unaware that she is the illegitimate child of Mr Alving. Regine is now a maid employed by Mrs Alving. Pastor Manders arrives. He is an old friend of the family who years ago persuaded Mrs Alving to stay with her husband. She now reveals her husband's shameless philandering and adultery. Shortly after, she overhears Osvald and Regine flirting: The two siblings seem to be getting close.

Act 2
Mrs Alving wishes to send Regine away. Engstrand tells the pastor that he is not Regine's natural father, and Osvald reveals his serious illness to his mother. According to the doctor, Osvald must have been infected through his father, who had contracted the illness through debauchery. Suddenly a fire starts in the orphanage.

Act 3
Mrs Alving is not overly concerned that the orphanage has burned down. Osvald tells Regine about his illness but anyhow asks her to be his companion. Mrs Alving then reveals the truth about Mr Alving being Regine's biological father and that she and Osvald are half siblings. Regine leaves the house for good. Osvald asks his mother to take his life when the illness gets worse. He then has a serious attack.