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World Famous Winterreise Music and Dance Performance Comes to Islamabad

Goethe Institut and PCNA bring the performance to Pakistan.

Ever since Dr. Fouzia Saeed has been placed in charge of the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) the body has been bustling with one event after another. Just yesterday they collaborated with the Goethe Institut to present ‘Winterreise‘.

Winterreise‘ means the winter journey in German. The event featured classical music and contemporary dance performance that told the tale of a winter day.

The performance debuted last year and has been playing all across the globe since then. Last night it was in Islamabad with the help of the German Embassy.

Winterreise at PNCA : Image Courtesy of Goethe Institut Pakistan



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Originally Winterreise featured a set of 24 songs, with piano and vocals created by Frank Schubert. Music does stir something inside you but understanding the lyrics to the songs is the hard part.

Images Courtesy of Goethe Institut Pakistan

How do you tell a story then? That’s where choreographer Andreas Heise comes in. Contemporary dance is a medium of storytelling and Heise brought the lyrics and music to life with his 70 min choreography to the classic 24 song set.

Pianist Alexander Krichel, singer Juliane Banse and dancer István Simon moved the audience with their performances.

Pianist Alexander Krichel : Image Courtesy of Goethe Institut

Juliane Banse and István Simon told a story of what it feels like to experience love for the first time. You’re fine on your own, and then before you know it, a stranger piques your interest.

Soon enough they sweep you off your feet like István Simon does to Juliane Banse as ‘Gefror’ne Tränen‘ starts to play. The title literally means ‘frozen tears.

Singer Juliane Banse and dancer István Simon: Image Courtesy of Goethe Institut Pakistan

What follows after this is a turbulent relationship. There are lonely days like in any relationship as we see with the song ‘Einsamkeit‘ (solitude).

But there’s a spring that follows afterward with ‘Frühlingstraum‘ (Dream of Spring).

When can you watch this again?

Goethe Institut is a German cultural institute, with offices across the globe. They aim to provide a cultural, social and political understanding of their country.

With Goethe Institut Pakistan planning on hitting the capital Islamabad in April, we’ll have a lot more of art like this to look forward to.


Image courtesy of Goethe Institut

Franz Schubert created Winterreise in 1827. The 24 piano compositions are paired with lyrics by Wilhelm Müller.


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Wilhelm Müller’s lyrics tell a tale of a lonely traveler trying to move on from his lost love. Meanwhile, Schubert’s music narrates his own personal trauma.

The musician Schubert was diagnosed with syphilis around that time and the disease killed him in 1828 at the age of 31.

Written by Ummara Sheraz

Entertainment & culture writer at ProPakistani/Lens. Occasionally dabbles in other news.


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