the piece is based on the descriptions of various characters and inspired by dostojevsky’s psychological depictions of mankind. the characters are caught up in surreal, baffling and sinister situations. they are trapped, ensnared in a web of their own fear, stuck in-between self-confidence and uncertainty, desire and failure, power and abuse, idealism and fanaticism. possessed by their inner demons, they open up a rift – sucked in, as if hypnotized, they discover the abyss behind the façade, masks of the everyday, appearances that crumble sooner or later.
not the excessive, but the everyday night, behind which something sinister shimmers … two stepps further… and the soul turns black … the darkness is sometimes still far away, sometimes it already glitters in the shadows on the edge of the scenery – in silent accord – an insecure terrain – deeply threatening and elegantly conjured. an excavation – beautiful and eerie – of the fears and weaknesses of anxious hearts.

a mysterious shadow lies over the events … something could happen at any time … not obvious and yet it is everywhere …

»lovers of contemporary dance had the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most respected companies in belo horizonte. she presented her magnificent, highly virtuosic and touching masterpiece ›les possédés‹.« (belo horizonte, mg)

a cie. toula limnaios production supported by the cultural department of the city of berlin and the concept funding of the fund for performing arts, with federal means. 
tours: belo horizonte, fortaleza, recife, joa pessoa, münster

* excerpts from henry purcell und helder vasconcelos are used in the music.


toula limnaios


ralf r. ollertz*


mercedes appugliese, fleur conlon, kayoko minami, clebio oliveira, ute pliestermann, hironori sugata


felipe luck


maximilian stelzl, jan langebartels

public relation

silke wiethe

light technic

marko lindner


antonia limnaios, toula limnaios


olivia zillmer, dieter hartwig, cyan



»in her new piece »les possédés«, she once again plunges into the dire world of the russian author.a dance on knife’s edge. violence lurks behind tenderness. the dancers point at places where they are particularly vulnerable, thus creating a cartography of the body, an emotional landscape. the choreographer fully understands how to translate inner turmoil into powerful images.« (tagesspiegel, spielzeit, sandra luzina,2009.)

»lovers of contemporary dance had the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most respected companies in belo horizonte. she presented her magnificent, highly virtuosic and touching masterpiece »les possédés«.« (luciana assessoria – belo horizonte, mg)

»the choreographer toula limnaios has again thrown herself into a russian delirium, but is clearly at an advantage compared her colleagues from the theater, for she is under no pressure to chisel this monolith of world literature down to a form more compatible in a standard theater environment. no one expects 100 pages of dance. thus the choreographer has let herself instead be guided by the reverberating atmosphere of her heavyweight reading… limnaios is not so much interested in a tableau of pre-revolutionary society, but much rather in universally valid images of humanity from the melancholy cosmos of the humiliated and offended.
with playful delight, her piece revolves around abyssal depths, obsessions and the origins of desires … and yet the piece … displays … limnaios’ strength,to build tableaus, which are as powerful, as they are elusive, to the energetic beats of composer ralf r. ollertz: for instance, when mercedes appugliese dips her hair in black water and whips her partner with the wet strands. an exhilarating scene of passion, fueled by the irony of crime-and-punishment.» (tip, patrick wildermann, 2009)

»toula limnaios already dealt with dostoyevsky once before in 2005. at that time it was his story »a gentle creature« that provided the greek choreographer with material for her dance. now it is the russian novelist’s tormented characters in general, whose motives she has gone in search of. the setting is thus accordingly more or less empty; the only thing is a wet, brown coat that hangs surreally inhumane to the front right side of the stage, dripping into a vat. narrow, white strips of gauze on three sides of the room give the space a shimmering atmosphere. in the middle four motionless figures stand with heads in hoods. clebio oliveira comes rushing in from outside into the silence of die halle. a woman with a pistol is right on his heels. the piece is entitled “les possédés” and she is the first of the possessed,forcing the man over and over again to various actions. he is compelled to lift and carry her,to fall and stand up again, to kiss and hit her, to sing and to speak of himself. the brazilian dancer does all this in english and very personally, while the faceless ones gradually unveil themselves, pulling the cloth over their heads into their mouths like cows chewing cud. then the six dancers form a slow group, their gaze directed at the audience, a motif that will be returned to again and again, as if they seek to make us accomplices of their actions. … accompanied by streaks of noise over floating sounds, hironori sugata aims … the pistol at us. another pistol surfaces and together they harass a woman, who convulses, frees herself, grasps a pistol, but doesn’t know what to do with it and prefers to return to being the victim that the other two deranged figures are meant to threaten. the game of victim and perpetrator goes back and forth, a trance seems imminent, one of them grasps the pistol, creates a rhythm with the clicking of the, which torments the others from pose to pose like hanging marionettes. … clebio breaks out of the merry-go-round to go to mercedes and perform with her the evening’s strongest duet yet to a jumble of voices, an inventive with various lifts and traveling movements, risky jumps and grasps. what was originally (insinuated gesture), now becomes an …application of make-up. with white corpse-like faces and mechanical movement sequences, the group dances towards a collective outbreak of demonic possession. mercedes falls into a frenzy of biting and tearing, fingers point at her, as she insanely crashes down from the heights she is lifted to. she is placed head first into the murky black of the vat. clebio is caught and stripped naked. mercedes proceeds to maniacally whip black welts onto his body with her long wet hair. the st. vitus’s dance infects clebio: he is forced forwards by the others behind him in a row. on the floor, he twists himself into knots to the point of immobility. just one moment before he reaches the audience, the darkness swallows the ritual. that hurts; such a strong ending comes completely unexpected. it once again proves toula limnaios as a true mistress of visually stunning imagery….» (tanznetz und neues deutschland, volkmar draeger, 2009)

»toula limnaios and ralf r. ollertz have found an impressive way of transforming literature into movement and music. the uncanny and the romantic, creatures of the night and daydreams in aesthetic form. the success story of choreographer toula limnaios is based on her opulent dance theater images of great psychological depth.« (zitty)