Johan Inger, artistic director of Swedens Cullberg Ballet invited Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to create End, which premiered in the Göteborg Festival. On stage is a long wall inspired by the wall that separates the Palestinian territories from Israel. Set on a score of Georgian music, there is a sense of peace and serenity in the story. Yet through these heavenly harmonies one can hear gunshots, tanks, airplanes and helicopters in the distance. There is clearly a war going on at the other side of the wall.
One dancer, playing a traveler who might try to go to the Holy city with literally everything he owns, is held back by the wall and decides to settle close to it, until he finds an entry. His construction of a home at the wall inspires some invisible lost souls to try and enter his house. The show is inspired by what was happening in the world at the time of the creation: the invasion of Lebanon. Translating fear and conflict, prayer and sacrifice, the cast sings and dances of outcasts and refugees. A baby survives in the arms of the traveler; but what to do with it in such an empty no man's land? The end, a beautiful image of the sea radiating light, is no more than a silly illusion fooling no one in the audience, and certainly not the traveler who realizes, by getting closer, that it is only a cardboard.