Ballet by John Neumeier

Second part of "All our Yesterdays":
 First part

"... and all our yesterdays have lighted fools
the way to dusty death ..."
William Shakespeare, "Macbeth"

 

Music
  Gustav Mahler
Choreography
Costumes
  John Neumeier

 

World Premiere
The Hamburg Ballet, Hamburg, December 10, 1989

The choreography of the fourth movement "Adagietto" uses material from the pas de deux "Epilogue" – created in 1975 for Natalia Makarova and Erik Bruhn and premiered at the New York State Theater.

 

Original Cast
  Gigi Hyatt
Ivan Liska
Chantal Lefèvre
Jean Laban
Bettina Beckmann
Jennifer Goubé
Anna Grabka
Stefanie Arndt
Janusz Mazon
Anders Hellström
Stephen Pier

 

The two ballets SOLDIER SONGS and THE FIFTH SYMPHONY, united under the title ALL OUR YESTERDAYS do not tell a story. The choreography was a subjective reaction to the individual scores - that is, the music itself is their essential theme. Like Gustav Mahler, I have not given the separate movements titles nor written a "program" for either work. The texts of the WUNDERHORN songs are not illustrated.

The two works were created as pure dance pieces celebrating my company's move into the newly remodeled Hamburg Ballet Center. The choreography was intended to "break in" the glorious new space and create a loving portrait of my ensemble. However, as I was creating them, two world events influenced my mood, directed my thinking, and affected my choices. In 1989 – 50 years after – we remembered with horror, deep sorrow and regret the beginning of World War II. These memories haunt SOLDIER SONGS and the first two movements of the symphony. The optimism of Mahler's "Rondo Finale", on the other hand, was at the same moment in time reflected by the miracle of Communism's fall and the sudden Unification of Germany. The opening of borders and boundaries inspired the ballet's end – endless movement!

J.N.

 

 
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