Petite Mort

“Petite Mort” is a poetic, and strangely significant way of 
describing the ecstasy of a sexual intercourse. In French, 
and in some other languages, this sensation is described 
as “small death”.

And it maybe so, that in the moment of pleasure ( or in 
the moment of potentially creating a new life ) we are 
reminded of the fact that our lives are of a relatively short 
duration, and that death is never too far from us.

In my work, I have based my choreography on two slow 
movements from the two most famous piano concertos by 
Mozart. I have cut them away from the fast movements, 
leaving them as mutilated torsos, lying helplessly in front 
of the listener and beholder. They lie there, just like some 
ancient torso's, without arms and legs, unable to walk or 

There is no doubt, that it is perverse to do such a thing. 
But yet we do. And I am no exception. We live in a world 
in which nothing is sacred. Since the time in which Mozart’s 
music was created, and today, many wars were fought 
and much blood had to flow under the “Bridge of Time”. 
And, it was mostly men swaying swords in show of their 
potency and power.

And it is always a "Mort”, which accompanies our lives, 
sometimes it is "Petite", sometimes it is "Grand", but it is 
the most faithful companion we have, from the dawn of 
our existence till the end. 

Jiří Kylián -  Den Haag  September 23, 2007