Dance: The Stars of Stuttgart

A skeletal mob of concentration-camp prisoners shuffle wearily across the stage. As the orchestra surges to the brass-driven climax of the adagio from Mahler's unfinished Tenth Symphony, naked fluorescent lights flash down from the ceiling, garishly illuminating the entire theater. Slowly the prisoners turn away from the audience toward a distant, fiery orange backdrop.Slowly they doff the blankets that cover t heir bodies; on their backs are stenciled stark black numerals.

It is a moment of intensive, moving theatricality—the visual and emotional high point of John Cranko's Traces, which was given its American première last week at Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera House...

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