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.