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Neumeier: Death In Venice (Tod In Venedig 2004) (Arthaus: 101622) [DVD] [2012]

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Neumeier: Death In Venice (Tod In Venedig 2004) (Arthaus: 101622) [DVD] [2012] + Bach: Matthaus Passion (Matthaus Passion: A Ballet By John Neumeier) [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Neumeier, Hamburg Ballett, Elizabeth Cooper
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: 9 April 2012
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007C7FFTA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,386 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


John Neumeiers free adaptation of Thomas Manns novella Death in Venice for the marvellous dancers of the Hamburg Ballett walks a fine line between astute theatricality and melodrama, between brilliant passages of movement and banal gestures. The primary message is that the life of an artist - even a famous, successful one - can be hell unless hes in creative touch with his inner child, his emotions.

In a sense, my ballet is a love story with life. What fascinates me in Thomas Manns text is his depiction of absolute love. In my ballet, von Aschenbach is a master choreographer. Tadzio, however, causes the artist to confront a neglected aspect of his humanity. Resisting at first his emotional reaction to the boy, he seeks a purely artistic justification for his obsession. But, eventually he will surrender, turning from art to life and ultimately to death in Venice. John Neumeier

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mordrain on 11 July 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here it is another ballet by Neumeier, choreographer that I truly estime for his "literary" approach, and who gave us great ballets, as the wonderful "Die Kameliendame".
This time the challenge is "Tod in Venedig" (Death in Venice) inspired to Thomas Mann's novel, whose plot has slightly been changed to fit Neumeier's inspiration.
Here we have von Aschenbach, a choreagrapher at the top of fame, arrived at a turning point of his life. He is composing a new ballet about Friederich the Great, on Bach's music, and it is a work truly representative of his life: rational, clear, apollonian, but also cold, as it is Aschenbach's life indeed.
But he starts to have dreams and encounters with sensuous and sensual men, that awaken his perceptions and the awareness of his life's deficiencies. He goes to Venice, where the encounter with Tadzio - a young, beautiful, innocent but sensual boy - is like a conflagration in Aschenbach's life. He now discovers how deeply rooted is his dionysiac part. The conflict between apollonian and dyonisiac - between his well-ruled life and the huge passion for the lovely boy - cannot be resolved and he surrenders to the Death, that now strikes Venice with a cholera epidemy.
The conflict is well showed using the juxtaposed music from Bach and Wagner, that symbolise very well the apollonian and dionysiac sides. Even the dance styles change deeply, following the music, and this is one of the better aspects of this ballet.
I have found the plot intellectually interesting and humanly moving, and I also think that it is almost the best part of this ballet. But, sadly, I think that this ballet lacks of dance. A quite severe opinion, and maybe not everybody would agree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caspa on 27 July 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although some of the narrative sequences are a little turgid, this Wagnerian take on what we tend to consider a 'Mahler' subject works surprisingly well. Neumeier is at his best when composing passages in neo-classical style, and there are many of these for Tadzio and his chums, as well as for the dancers in a studio. Llyod Riggins (an older American dancer new to me) is effective as the central character (changed, here, to a choreographer rather than an author)and he achieves true pathos at the end when he imagines embracing the boy just before his demise. Tadzio is a big-boned, healthy-looking Adonis type whose personal radiance goes a long way to explaining why Aschenbach becomes obsessed. Neumeier's company looks good. I looked up some reviews of the production when it was new, and the critics were generally a bit dismissive of it. I must say, I liked lots of it.
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Another ballet of genius from John Neumeier.The character of Aschenbach is superbly danced by Lloyd Riggins and he is well supported by all the others of Hamburg Ballet. The music is brilliantly chosen using Bach for the ordered world of Aschenbach and Wagner for the Dionysian ecstasy of the world that he encounters in Venice. The sets are minimalist but adequate and add to the appeciation of the ballet.
I have no hesitation in recommending this to lovers of John Neumeier ballets and eagerly await others in the future.
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