The Hamburg Ballet and John Neumeier return to BAM for the first time in more than 20 years
with an inventive take on Thomas Mann's classic novella, Death in Venice -- a story of sexual
repression, passion, decadence, loss of dignity, and ultimately death. 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. Two male dancers serve as symbols of
Aschenbach's latent sensuality. Experiencing a professional crisis, the famous choreographer
visits Venice where he is stunned by the beauty and innocence of an adolescent boy. Fascination
turns to fatal love 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
compositions by Bach and Wagner.
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