Music by Peter I. Tschaikowsky
…Silence. An empty room in a gloomy castle. Scattered throughout the room, concealed sculptures fill the empty space. Shown in by reverent guards, a man stares into nowhere. The gate slams shut behind him. Gradually, the king begins to grasp – imprisoned and deprived of power – his situation, his surroundings. In an introverted gesture, he places his hand on his heart… the music meets his lament with the first notes of Swan Lake
The choreographer and director of the Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier, drew his inspiration for the ballet drama Illusions – Like Swan Lake from the life and tribulations of King Ludwig II. Into this story, he interwove the meticulous reconstruction of a ballet-historical point of culmination, the second act of Swan Lake in the choreography by Lev Ivanov and the "Black Swan Pas de deux" in which the significant choreographic contribution of Marius Petipa to the definitive St. Petersburg version of Swan Lake is rescued.
The king escapes into the theatrical reality of this Swan Lake performance, in which he seeks deliverance from his existential agonies. The unfinished walls of the castle on Herrenchiemsee are rediscovered, an image of his unquenchable yearning for completion, while concurrently serving as his prison. None of the women courting him can offer him fulfillment; death and the constantly present man in the shadows become one in the breathtaking final scene, which captures the existential-tragic dimension of the longing for human love in all its devastating inattainability.
Recommended age: 12 years