Its maiden journey was in 1883 – the Orient Express. It went from Paris to Constantinople, today’s Istanbul. Right across Europe. It used to link the Occident and Orient, people and cultures, up until the 1960s.
Its passengers included the notorious double agent Mata Hari and a love-smitten arms smuggler. It inspired crime writers like Agatha Christie. The interwar period’s most brutal terrorist attack threw the luxury train off its rails. For many of those persecuted by the NS-regime, the Orient Express offered a last chance to escape the concentration camp. During the Cold War, it brought the first “guest workers” from South-eastern Europe to Germany.
“Off to the Orient Express!” became the cynical slogan of xenophobia.
Demis Volpi, internationally award-winning house choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet, and Christian Baier, author and head dramaturgist of Ballet Dortmund, narrate the eventful story of the legendary train as a kaleidoscope of the dream of a Europe without borders.