Intoxicated by the romance of a mid-summer night, Julie, the count's daughter seduces the servant Jean. As her excitement gives way to reality, Julie's passion turns to hate. The planned escape with Jean fails and leads to a tragic end.
Irina Pauls sets the tension range of aloofness and sensuality, of desire and displaced emotions in the foreground of her adaptation. The personification of the characters depends greatly on the individuality of the dancers. Several famous choreographers chose August Strindberg's (first shown 1889 in Copenhagen) drama as a model for their own creations. Birgit Cullberg and Kenneth MacMillan provide handy examples. Irina Pauls worked out her own solution in which the fate of Julie and Jean receives a generalisation since the class barrier's cross-over problems now have a completely different significance.