Mephisto Valse
Maurice Béjart

In his work Mephisto-Valse, Liszt tells the story of how Satan, disguised as a fiddler, pursues Marguerite into a village tavern where he forces her to dance to his enchanted instrument and drives her into insanity.

It is the story of a spell through music: the violin, during the romantic era, was often associated to the devil because of the demonic virtuosity it requires.

The modern ballet, though seemingly different from the Faustian legend, reunites with the satanic and morbid magic atmosphere that was so dear to the great composer. In that respect, it remains completely true to the spirit of the music. The final twist in the story is a mere variation on a theme that associates Liszt and Byron, Lautréamont and Mary Shelley.

Maurice Béjart

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