Raptus, whose main characteristic lies in its passionate movements, is based on the romantic and emotive songs contained in Richard Wagner's Wesendonklieder.
These songs were inspired by the very intense, albeit hopeless, relationship between Wagner and Mary Wesendonk which was destined to be broken off. Even though the choreographer does not portray their conflict directly, the images and atmosphere created convey, without doubt, an evocative emotion. Walter Nobbe’s stage design plays and important role here. It consists of two large , thick moveable panels, one of whose sides is covered with reflecting material, and the other with images of the shoulders and head of a man and a woman.
The overall impression of Raptus is overwhelming, with uncontrolled passions leading to destruction. It is a ballet endowed with enormous intensity, in terms of movement, emotion and staging.