The world-renowned Hamburg Ballet is making its highly anticipated and long awaited return to Chicago bringing two works; Othello on February 23 & 24 at 7:30PM as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago and Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, considered John Neumeier’s masterwork, on February 26 & 27 at 7:30PM

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Long Awaited Return of the Hamburg Ballet to Chicago

In Their ONLY U.S. Performance This Season



CHICAGO – The world-renowned Hamburg Ballet is making its highly anticipated and long awaited return to Chicago bringing two works; Othello on February 23 & 24 at 7:30PM as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago and Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, considered John Neumeier’s masterwork, on February 26 & 27 at 7:30PM. Plus, get an exclusive look at what it takes for a world renowned ballet company to put on two full productions in this never-before-seen interview with Hamburg’s Technical Director, Frank Zöllner, HERE.


Hamburg Ballet made its Chicago debut of Neumeier’s critically acclaimed Nijinsky at the Harris in 2013, and was slated to perform the Neumeier classic, Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, the following year in 2014, when an electrical fire at the Theater forced the performance to be rescheduled. The company will now make its triumphant return bringing two of their most acclaimed works to Chicago in their only United States performance of their season.


About the performances & John Neumeier

Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, wins the heart of Desdemona, a Senator’s daughter and they are married in secret. Driven by his own jealousy, Othello’s captain Iago seeks revenge by stirring Othello into a manufactured rage. The destructive course of action is set and the unfortunate fate of all is sealed.


This performance of Othello is in conjunction with Shakespeare 400 Chicago, celebrating the life’s work and legacy of The Bard during 2016, marking the 400th anniversary of his death.


Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler was 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. Since its premiere in June 1975, Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler has become one of John Neumeier’s most important and defining works.


“I have translated the feelings experienced and images suggested while hearing his Third Symphony into movement, into pure dance situations, and into human relationships,” says Neumeier who also designed the costumes and lighting concept for the ballet.


This masterpiece of classical ballet is guaranteed to leave audiences visually, musically, and emotionally fulfilled.


John Neumeier was born in 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he received his first dance training. He continued his dance studies in Chicago as well as at Marquette University in Milwaukee where he created his first choreographic works. After further ballet study both in Copenhagen and at The Royal Ballet School in London, John Cranko invited him in 1963 to join Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to soloist and continued his choreographic development. In 1969, Ulrich Erfurth appointed Mr. Neumeier Director of Ballet Frankfurt, where he soon caused a sensation with his new interpretations of such well-known ballets as “The Nutcracker” and “Romeo and Juliet”. In 1973, he joined The Hamburg Ballet as Director and Chief Choreographer.


Mr. Neumeier holds the Dance Magazine Award (1983), Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and French Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honour. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Nijinsky Award for Lifetime Achievement. He received the Herbert von Karajan Musikpreis in 2007 and the Deutscher Jubiläums Tanzpreis in 2008, all along with countless other awards and recognitions throughout his career. Additionally, in 2015, the Inamori Foundation presented Mr. Neumeier with the Kyoto Prize for his contributions to the Arts and Philosophy.


Hamburg Master Class in Chicago

While in the States, Laura Cazzaniga, Ballet Mistress of the Hamburg Ballet, will conduct a master class for high school dance students on Saturday, February 27 at 3:00 PM CT at Chicago Academy for the Arts. 30 students from Chicago Academy for the Arts and Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) will participate. Ms. Cazzaniga joined the company in 1988, was named a Principal in 1998, and has been Ballet Mistress for the past eight years.


The Hamburg Ballet master class is part of the Harris Theater’s ongoing arts education partnerships, which connect Chicago’s most gifted young artists and students with presented artists through master classes, workshops, conversations, and collaborative performances. Through its arts education partnerships, the theater has connected students with renowned artists including Wendy Whelan, Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Alonzo King, Wu Han, Kronos Quartet, Pinchas Zukerman and Scottish Ballet.


In addition to hands-on instruction in the master class, dance students from Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), Chicago Academy for the Arts, and Curie Metro High School will receive underwritten tickets to performances in this engagement through the Theater’s Access Tickets Program. In total, the Theater will provide more than 90 high school students with the opportunity to see Hamburg Ballet perform on the Harris stage.


Launched in 2009, the Access Tickets Program ensures that Chicago residents of all ages and communities are able to experience the powerful and uplifting benefits of the performing arts. Through this program, Harris Theater partners with health and human service organizations, K-12 schools, and community organizations to provide underwritten tickets to performances each season. To date, over 8,000 underwritten tickets have been distributed to children, students and families across 25 diverse Chicago neighborhoods.



Single tickets now available at or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312.334.7777.



  • •• All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change •••



This performance was made possible with support from Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes, Presenting Sponsors, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Lead Sponsors, and Ariel Investments and Lee Blackwell Baur and Tom Baur, Contributing Sponsors.


The Northern Trust Company is the Harris Theater’s 2015–2016 season sponsor. United Airlines is the Official Airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris Theater’s season hotel partner. The Theater gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund. The Harris Theater is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances take place on the Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.


About Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Harris Theater’s primary mission is to partner with an array of Chicago’s music and dance performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Harris Theater’s original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 35 diverse organizations. Through these partnerships, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.


Opened on November 8, 2003, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929. Today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.


Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater, is a $38.8M comprehensive fundraising effort supporting the Theater’s multifaceted mission. The campaign ensures the continued growth and artistic development of the Harris Theater over the next 10 years.


The Imagine campaign is led by four transformational gifts: from The Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris; Alexandra and John Nichols; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation. Additional leadership gifts supporting programmatic and capital projects have been generously funded by The Crown Family, Jay Franke and David Herro, Jack and Sandra Guthman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Neisser Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz, and Marilyn and David J. Vitale.


The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are the lead underwriters of fundraising for Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater.


The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to engaging Chicago residents of all ages and communities. Programs like the popular Eat to the Beat and Exelon Family Series advance access to, and understanding of, the performing arts. The Theater partners with health and human service agencies, K-12 schools, and community arts organizations, providing more than 8,800 underwritten performance tickets through the Access Tickets Program since 2009. The Theater also connects gifted young artists and students to presented artists through master classes, artist talks, and other enrichment activities.


To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit Call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.


The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago’s state-of-the art 1,525-seat performance venue, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.



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