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Found 6 results

  1. Anyone seen "Illusions - like Swan Lake" at Hamburg - thoughts? Certainly looks interesting from the video on their website.
  2. A cold and rainy Sunday, time to come back to a performance of John Neumeier’s Bernstein Dances with Hamburg Ballet in Baden-Baden on 7 October. Without being a biography of Leonard Bernstein, Bernstein Dances uses key musical pieces to guide through and illustrate 8 themes that Neumeier identified in Bernstein’s life and thinking - to quote from the programme booklet, of Bernstein’s “spirit”. Overture (Overture from Candide) Prologue – Who am I? (extracts from Peter Pan et al.) Start and Departure (Facsimile. Choreographic Essay for Orchestra) The city of all cities (extracts from Wonderful Town/ On the Town) Spirituality (extracts from Mass/ Broadway for Peace) Success (extracts from West Side Story) Time lapse (Overture from Candide) Review (extracts from Wonderful Town) In the Evening and through the Night (Serenade et al.) – this features a party at an apartment in NY Neumeier calls it “a loose sequence of compositions and choreographies”, and the themes flow from one to the next. The parts that I enjoyed most were the interaction on stage between dancers (Christopher Evans as Bernstein) and pianist (Sebastian Knauer) respectively dancers and singers (Marie-Sophie Pollak and Roy Goldman). Plus recognising Age of Anxiety (it’s not listed in the booklet but I recognised a theme from it, unless this theme is also used in other compositions) and Serenade, and thinking about how Neumeier’s choreography compared to Scarlett’s and Wheeldon’s works for the Royal Ballet. Very beautiful, flowing, elegant, timeless costumes by Giorgio Armani. Finally, I just loved the curtain calls, choreographed to Candide’s Overture. Trailer on the company’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOhT1Rahtls.
  3. There’s been a discussion recently in the thread about ENB’s performances of Song of the Earth/ La Sylphide about John Neumeier’s choreographies to music by Gustav Mahler. The Song of the Earth is another example, one of a total of 15 ballets that he created to Mahler’s music. I saw Neumeier’s The Song of the Earth in Baden-Baden on 8 Oct, together with his Nijinsky on 15 Oct. The Song of the Earth was created for POB in 2015 and premiered in Hamburg in a revised version at the end of 2016. I wondered at the start of the performance whether I’d seen MacMillan’s version too many times and tried not to get into comparison mode, and yet it was maybe inevitable that I visualised some of the movements that MacMillan created while I was watching Neumeier’s version. The view from my seat wasn’t the best, and so I’ve kept the following to a broad outline, together with the intention to see Neumeier’s version again some time. The work contains a prologue that starts in silence and continues with extracts of the music from subsequent scenes. Adding short interludes between the scenes, the piece amounts to 90 minutes (including applause and curtain calls). I marvelled at the lead man (Alexandr Trusch) who, as participant and observer of the flow of life, is on stage throughout the performance. Other key roles are for a woman (Xue Lin) and another male dancer (Alexandre Riabko). Recurring motives are those of a tea cup as symbol of hospitality and support (real tea cups being carried by dancers; the lead man takes up the offer of a cup of tea), and of lotus flowers (dancers opening their hands so as to depict the opening of the flower). An item of scenery looks like a piece of lawn, to which the lead man retreats from time to time to observe the surrounding events. The ending felt more upbeat to me than in MacMillan’s version - the lighting during the final poem, which had become increasingly dark, brightens up towards the end, together with dancers slowly rising from the floor, reminding me of a new start, a renewal, the beginning of a new cycle. If Neumeier’s The Song of the Earth grew on me over the course of the performance, his Nijinsky was love at first sight as and when the work started with dancers having conversations on stage and loud shouts could be heard off stage, all representing the events in a hotel in Switzerland in 1919, moments before Nijinsky appears on stage, initially dressed like a Roman emperor, for his final public performance. What follows is a combination of Nijinsky’s memories – and increasingly his nightmares and delusions. Nijinsky’s former roles are represented through solos by other dancers e.g., Harlequin and Spectre de la Rose (Alexandr Trusch), Golden Slave and Faun (Marc Jubete) and Petrushka (Konstantin Tselikov). Key figures from his life are also present e.g., Diaghilev (Ivan Urban), a ballerina, his wife Romola, his sister Bronislava, his brother Stanislav, his parents. While his memories of his former roles are shown one by one in the first part of the work, the memories, nightmares and delusions become increasingly intertwined in the second part. It ends where it starts, in the ballroom of said hotel in Switzerland. Nijinsky was performed by Alexander Riabko, and I was fascinated by his ability to express thoughts and emotions through the rising of a single eyebrow, the indication of a smile, the lighting up of his eyes. I also loved the solo for Nijinsky’s brother, played by Aleix Martinez, and the solos by Marc Jubete as Faun and as Golden Slave. A good part of the first act is performed to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherezade, and for the past week, I haven’t been able to get the music out of my head. What I found captivating is that the two works had the lead dancer both providing the framework and being an active part within it. Also, Neumeier’s first encounters with both Song of the Earth and Nijinsky go back a very long time - he performed in MacMillan’s Song of the Earth in Stuttgart in 1965, and he became interested in Nijinsky at a very young age when he came a across a book about the dancer. I found it mesmerising to see how such long-term and detailed interest and involvement got transferred into the two works. I really look forward to seeing the company in Baden-Baden again next year. So do many others, I guess – as on both nights, the applause turned into standing ovations. Links to the English-speaking versions of the trailers that are on the web site of the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden The Song of the Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqOwVBvkx_Y Nijinsky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1z85cVl7Rc
  4. Never been to Hamburg before and they have some different rep. Bearing in mind I prefer classical ballet and nothing too heavy can anyone advise me what to see? Think the ballets are all Neumeier's work and they have on offer the following. Thank you in advance! Nutcracker (not really) Third Symphony Gustav Mahler Tatiana Duse The Seagull St Matthew Passion Giselle Peer Gynt Othello Nijinsky Cinderella Story Little Mermaid Anna Karenina Turangalila Song of the Earth (not if it's like MacMillan) Nijinsky Gala
  5. The Hamburg Ballet premiered John Neumeier's take on the Onegin story this week, and have just released this video of rehearsals. Can't say I'm a fan of Lera Auerbach's music (for this or the other ballets Neumeier's commissioned from her (Preludes CV, Little Mermaid), which is a shame because I love his choreography. Tatjana Larina Hélène Bouchet Eugen Onegin Edvin Revazov
  6. Help wanted, please, with booking for the Hamburg Ballet. I was in two minds whether to start a new topic to ask my questions but thought they would probably fit in here. Booking for the new season opens later this month and I have been looking at the seating plan of the Opera House and trying to get an idea of what seats to book. Looking at availability for Liliom (link to the plan here https://tickets.rzsthh.de/staatsoper/HallPlanBooking.aspx?msg=0&ret=17&eventid=2116&e=2116 ) I noticed that the first row of the balcony costs exactly the same (i.e. highest price) as parts of the orchestra stalls, while in Stuttgart those seats were cheaper, so in terms of price there's nothing to be gained by choosing balcony over stalls. Since it's a relatively modern building I'm assuming it would be well-raked, would this be a fair assessment? If not, of course, the first row of the balcony would be infinitely preferable. Some stalls seats are in a cheaper category than those in the same row: in row 3, for instance, it's price group 1 (107 Euros) while the seats at the ends are in price group 2 (95 Euros), while row 5 is mainly group 2 with the end seats in group 3 (85 Euros). Is the view from those end seats restricted enough to warrant a cheaper price? I would be most grateful for any advice. Thanks very much!
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