Keep the flame, don’t pray to the ashes
The Choreographer Martin Schläpfer

XDCAM HD Optical Disc 1080ii25, Stereo, 16:9, in colour, 52‘ and 85‘
Movie version and DVD:
85 minutes, German, German version with English subtitles
TV version: 52 minutes, German and French version
Production: 7T1 Media Köln
> International distribution: EUROARTS

> Preview of the movie version:
November 20th 2015, Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg
> Theatrical release: February 11th, 2016
> Television premiere SRF: September 18th, 2016
> Television premiere Arte: September 26th, 2016
> DVD release: October 7th, 2016

> Film Website
> Film distribution: Real Fiction Filmverleih
> Trailer

> Nomination for Prix Italia 2016, Category Performing Arts
> Official Selection for The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), Montreal 2017


"Splendid art, appealing to the spectator’s eye, heart and mind."
(Filmtabs, 08.02.2016, Günter H. Jekubzik)

"An artist’s portrait and piece of luck in art mediation; a work approached with complete independence of spirit."
(Filmdienst 3/2016, Ulrich Kriest)

Martin Schläpfer, one of Europe’s most creative choreographers, makes the press and the public cheer: “Sensitive, amazing, performing with intelligence and virtuosity – audiences are thrilled”. (Nicole Strecker, tanz) His “Ballet am Rhein” is winning one prize after another, stunning and exhilarating its audiences within the country and abroad. In November 2014 it performed in Muscat, Oman and in June 2015 in Moscow. For Manuel Brug (Die Welt) Schläpfer’s ballet is “Germany’s most exciting dance company”.

The film accompanies the exceptional artist, Martin Schläpfer, through his work day and reveals the energy and creativity he infuses to revolutionise ballet. Two world premieres are at the center of this success story, and with “Alltag” (in Ballettabend b.21) the sensation is doubled: After more than 20 years Hans van Manen, ballet master and Grandseigneur of modern ballet, created a new piece for the German dance company and Martin Schläpfer himself danced the main part.

“Keep the flame, don’t pray to the ashes” is an intimate portrait of the passionate artist as well as the private individual, and reveals in many aspects why Schläpfer’s ballet means much more than just art for insiders. Through his work, buried emotions and common values, virtues that bond people all over the world, are expressed. Schläpfer’s ballet touches the soul directly by not conforming, by swimming against the current, and through its unflinching commitment to freedom, beauty and nuances. And by revealing human vulnerabilities, it points away from brutality and hate.

Excerpts from the ballets
ein Wald, ein See, in b.22
Alltag, in b.21
Johannes Brahms – symphony No. 2, in b.21