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Ballet by John Neumeier after William Shakespeare


For John Neumeier, Shakespeare’s drama describes the impossibility of ever really knowing another person. “In ‘Othello’ I see how a very intense relationship is systematically destroyed, due to the fact that there is always a boundary between two people’s complete understanding of each other”. John Neumeier’s synonymous ballet was premiered at Kampnagel in 1985 and quickly attained cult status within the dance community. Since the 2012/2013 season it has been part of the company repertoire on the stage of the Hamburg State Opera.

Music: Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Nana Vasconcelos a.o.
Choreography, Staging, Set and Costumes: John Neumeier

2 hours 45 minutes | 1 intermission

The Hamburg Ballet, Kampnagelfabrik, Hamburg, January 27, 1985

On Tour:
1987 Brussels, Paris 1988 Milwaukee, Salzburg 1990 Copenhagen 1994 Kobe, Kitakyushu, Tokyo, Kyoto, Ichikawa 2008 Baden-Baden 2016 Chicago

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Othello, a Blackmoor Captain, by talking of his Prowess and Feats of War, makes Desdemona a Senator's Daughter to be in love with him; and to be married to him, without her Parents knowledge; And having preferred Cassio, to be his Lieutenant, (a place which his Ensign Jago sued for) Jago in revenge, works the Moor into a Jealousy that Cassio Cuckolds him: which he effects by stealing and conveying a certain Handkerchief, which had, at the Wedding, been by the Moor presented to his Bride. Hereupon, Othello and Jago plot the Deaths of Desdemona and Cassio, Othello Murders her, and soon after is convinced of her Innocence – he kills himself.
Thomas Rymer, 1693