Marie & Pierre

By Bobbi Jene Smith
Commissioned composition: Celeste Oram

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  • © Jubal Battisti
  • © Jubal Battisti
  • © Jubal Battisti
  • © Jubal Battisti
  • © Jubal Battisti

  • World premiere and Swiss premiere
  • 1 hour 55 minutes with one intermission
  • Interesting for people aged 13+

Abduction into a sensual and dramatic multiverse

'Marie & Pierre' is a two-act creation by US choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith for 31 stage artists and the Sinfonieorchester Basel with specially composed music by Celeste Oram, under the musical direction of Tianyi Lu and Thomas Herzog.
Stories, images and dramatic arcs overlap in this evening of dance. Lovers, a cosmos of stories, a prophetic dream? In her exclusively commissioned work for Ballett Basel, Bobbi Jene Smith embarks on a search for identities and new narrative forms. Dreamlike scenes and moments of deep emotion alternate, revealing the relationships between lovers, friends, family members and generations. Where Pierre demands rules, Marie is guided by intuition. 'Marie' is: a seemingly chaotic landscape, fleeting images and yet a feeling that past dreams outlast time. The counterbalance to this is represented by 'Pierre's' universe of overbearing structure. 'Marie & Pierre' contradict and complement each other, like a world in black and white, contrasts that can only exist through the existence of their counterpart.
Choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith danced for the legendary Batsheva Dance Company for nine years. Now she is showing her work for the first time in Basel.
This evening brings together the unique talents of three young women. Marie & Piere' is the first work on the Grosse Bühne of the Theater Basel that brings together female positions in choreography, composition and musical direction.

Shortly before the premiere, during the final rehearsals, we invite you to a first exclusive insight. In an introduction you will get to know the choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith and composer Celeste Oram and find out more about the piece, the material and the production. Afterwards you will attend a stage rehearsal.

  • Meeting point foyer
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • In English
  • CHF 10.-
  • Date: 14 November 2023

On certain dates, the introduction will be held in German and English.

  • 5 & 10 February 2024
  • 30 minutes before the start of the performance
  • Foyer

Following the dernière on 10 February 2024, an audience discussion with dancers, artistic director and curator Adolphe Binder and other team members from the ballet ensemble will take place in the foyer. Exchange ideas directly with the stage artists and ask any questions you may have! Afterwards, you are cordially invited to have a drink with the ensemble in the theatre café.

Together with the dramaturgy department, the Basel Kulturhaus Bider & Tanner has been curating the book table for our pieces for many years. Now this selection of books, CDs, DVDs, catalogues and sheet music can be accessed at any time in the online shop. It's worth browsing regularly.

Book table

With the kind support of the Gönnerkreis, of Theater Basel's Medical Partner  Kantonsspital Baselland, the Binding Stiftung and the Stiftung Basler Ballettgilde (bbg)

Co-production with the Festspielhaus Sankt Pölten, to be seen in Sankt Pölten from 17 February 2024

Before the performance on 2 February, Ballett Basel will be offering a guided movement session with the audience. This way you can not only see but also feel some of Bobbi Jene Smith's movement methods. The introduction will be led by a member of the Ballett Basel team.

  • 2 February 2024, 7:00 pm
  • Duration approx. 20 minutes
  • Meeting point: dance floor downstairs in the foyer
  • Free of charge, with registration
  • In English and German 
  • No special attire required


Get to know the choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith from New York, the rising star of the dance world, at two lecture performances. Up close and exclusive.

  • 13/14 October 2023, Small Stage
  • In English
  • Free admission, registration

Performance: Bobbi Jene Smith, Jonathan Fredrickson, Breanna O'Mara, Alma Toaspern. Moderation: Adolphe Binder



It's been a long time since Basel theatre has seen so much womanpower. Together they develop a highly individual, unique signature that creates its own cosmos of time and space, almost unknown in Basel with a few exceptions.
Basler Zeitung
This premiere challenges the Basel audience to change their viewing habits. 'Marie & Pierre' creates associative references to religion, for example: At the very beginning, the apple scene between Adam and Eve is unmistakably reversed, a promising basis for rethinking things
bz Basel

Once a month, tickets for a selected performance are 50% off! The theatre deal is valid for our newsletter subscribers for the performance of 'Marie & Pierre' on Saturday 10 February.


Ballet Basel 23/24: