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Found 7 results

  1. I'm not trying to be facetious here, but what in your opinion is Neumeier's best work? I'm just trying to understand. Illusions like Swan Lake is one of my all time favourites but I struggle with the rest of his output.
  2. Finally got to watch John Neumeier's Illusions – like Swan Lake danced by Hamburg Ballet (thank you Video on Demand) and its really good, normally I am a bit wary of changing stuff in classics but I think Neumeier made it work , it had its own internal logic and did not go against the music score. I've only seen video clips and photos of it so it was nice to see it in full. I liked how it weaved the actual ballet in with the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his retreat into fairy tales, Jirí Bubenícek was great as the lead character, danced very sensitively. I am not familiar with the choreography of Neumeier, he seems much more big in Europe but his choreography is very dramatic and intense. Just had to articulate my thoughts about it.
  3. Anyone seen "Illusions - like Swan Lake" at Hamburg - thoughts? Certainly looks interesting from the video on their website.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Recently there have been several ballets by John Neumeier on Sky Arts and what I find striking about them is that they all seem to start in silence. The most recent was La Dame aux Camelias but I remember his version of Swan Lake a little why ago and there have been others whose titles I can't remember at the moment. In most/many of them the silence continues for quite a while into the action which I find very odd indeed. I'm a simple soul at heart and always thought that classical ballet required music for the dancers to interpret. Take away the music and you're left with little more than mime (or pantomime) IMHO. So can anyone explain this to me? Why the silent beginnings? Is there some specific reason for this that I am too unfamilar with Neumeier's work to understand? I'm sure there must be some knowledgeable person in this forum who knows all about this so I would be most grateful if he/she could enlighten me. Linda Afterthought: La Dame etc. is credited as being based on the book by Dumas so what are characters from Prevost's Manon doing in it?
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