The Tanztheater Wuppertal, which has just celebrated its fortieth anniversary, returns to the stage of the Palais Garnier with Two Cigarettes in the Dark. First performed in 1985 and inspired by the title of a Bing Crosby song evoking solitude and the loss of a loved one, this piece is an example of the “dance theatre” so characteristic of Pina Bausch’s work. In a box-like set of pristine white conceived by Peter Pabst, the dancers interact, crossing paths and following on from each other in violent and burlesque sequences, thus attempting to fill the emptiness of their existences. Situated between tragedy and derision, suffering and hope, the tableaux dovetail into each other, revealing the complexity of the relationships between men and women and the contradictions of human nature. A rare and incisive piece, Two Cigarettes in the Dark raises questions about the theatre of life.