Alternate Title Death in Venice: A Dance of Death by John Neumeier
Premiere US Premiere
Country of Origin Germany
Description John Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet's longtime artistic director, crafts roles that distill a character's essence—be it a swan, prince, or sleeping beauty—while simultaneously capturing the individual qualities of the performer. This profoundly emotional approach frees his dancers to infuse each part with a great depth of feeling and has produced a stellar company whose unrivaled sense of adventure goes hand in hand with a mastery of classical style.
Neumeier returns to BAM for the first time in more than 20 years with an inventive take on Thomas Mann's classic novella, Death in Venice. While Mann conceived his protagonist as a poet, Neumeier re-imagines the aging Gustav von Aschenbach as a successful and honored choreographer totally immersed in his work. Experiencing a professional crisis, he visits Venice, where he is stunned by the beauty and innocence of an adolescent boy. Fascination turns to obsession as Aschenbach turns from art to life—and death in Venice. The large-scale, coolly minimalist sets emphasize his anguish as does the heartrending score featuring Bach and Wagner.