A Ballet by John Neumeier
A Ballet by John Neumeier
One of the best-known and most canonical of American stage plays – and equally esteemed as a film – Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire is adapted for dance with daring and sensitivity by choreographer John Neumeier. In his 1983 ballet version of the play, Mr. Neumeier is less concerned with simply retelling the precise narrative details of the original than with using the famous story of Blanche DuBois as a way of exploring themes of memory, madness and desire.
The first act finds Blanche in a mental institution, reliving memories of her early life and relationships. This, in effect, functions as a prologue or backstory to the more familiar world of the second act when Blanche visits her sister in New Orleans. The two acts are radically different in conception, mood and feeling. The first, set to music by Prokofiev, is more romantic and reflective in character. The second, to music by Schnittke, takes on a more fragmentary, jarring tone. But both parts are seen and experienced through the consciousness and sensibility of Blanche and, taken together, create a wholly unique and compelling interpretation of one of the seminal works of 20th century drama.
“An artistically ambitious work that is fascinating, challenging and hauntingly powerful.” —Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“It’s dark. It’s violent. It’s erotic. But A Streetcar Named Desire becomes even more shocking when told as a ballet by John Neumeier.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A Streetcar Named Desire is exciting, provocative and raw. It will take your breath away.” —Broadway World.com
Choreography, Costume, Set and Lighting Design:
John Neumeier, Tamas Detrich and Laura Cazzaniga
Sergei Prokofiev and Alfred Schnittke
A Streetcar Named Desire is made possible by the generous support of The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation and The Producers’ Circle.
The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Susanne Boyce & Brendan Mullen, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan Slaight, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Hal Jackman Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Judith & Robert Lawrie, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Joan & Jerry Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan, Sandra Simpson and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Streetcar Named Desire Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Enhance your experience and learn more about our productions from Lindsay Fischer, Artistic Director, YOU dance/Principal Ballet Master.
The dancers relish dramatic story ballets for the emotional journeys of their characters that they can experience together with audiences. Help support powerful storytelling through movement and music.
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