Hamburg Ballet Presents THIRD SYMPHONY OF GUSTAV MAHLER at Harris Theater Tonight

The Hamburg Ballet, led by Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier, brings the classic Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler to the Harris Theater for Music and Dance tonight, February 19, and tomorrow, February 20, 2014 at 7:30PM. The Harris Theater is the only American venue that will present Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler during the company's U.S. visit in 2014.

Following the Chicago debut of Neumeier's critically acclaimed Nijinsky last season, the world-renowned ensemble makes a triumphant return to the city with another Neumeier classic. In Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler-described by dance critic Clive Barnes as "a work of genius" (New York Post)-the Milwaukee-born choreographer takes inspiration from Mahler's captivating Third Symphony (the longest of Mahler's nine symphonies), translating the imagery into a momentous six-movement ballet that conjures themes of creation, death, and existence, among others. The Hamburg Ballet will make its second appearance at the Harris in as many years, a special return as part of season 10.

"The Harris Theater has established itself as a premier destination for international dance companies," said Neumeier. "When the Hamburg Ballet premiered Nijinsky last season [at the Harris Theater], the company received an incredible reception from the patrons of Chicago, and we look forward to performing again during the Theater's 10th season."

The fourth movement of Neumeier's ballet ("Night") originally premiered in Stuttgart in 1974 as a tribute to choreographer and former Stuttgart Ballet director John Cranko. The full-length ballet premiered in Hamburg, Germany, in 1975, and has since toured in more than 40 cities internationally, including Paris, Tel Aviv, Beijing, and New York City. Third Symphony has been performed by some of the world's most prestigious dance companies and is currently in the repertory of the Paris Opéra Ballet and the Royal Swedish Ballet.

Michael Tiknis, the Harris Theater's President and Managing Director, added: "We've forged a special relationship with The Hamburg Ballet and John Neumeier in just two short years. It becomes even more special with this performance of Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, a ballet of immense beauty and virtuosity. We were very fortunate to make this happen exclusively for Chicago audiences."

More On: Gustav Mahler, John Cranko, International Artists.

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by Barnett Serchuk