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date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

William Shakespeare has inspired more ballets than any other writer in the history of dance. This chapter deals with Shakespeare’s reception on the German ballet stage from the eighteenth century to the present day. During this period, choreographers continuously developed the movement vocabulary of dance and found new ways to transpose Shakespeare’s works into ballets. One of the most innovative creators of literature ballets in the twentieth century was John Cranko, whose ballet The Taming of the Shrew (1969) is studied at length in this chapter. Cranko influenced choreographers such as Kenneth MacMillan and John Neumeier; both artists expanded the possibilities of dance and contributed to the evolution of the story-ballet. Two brief case studies of Neumeier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1977) and Othello (1985) demonstrate how he adapted and interpreted Shakespeare’s works.

Keywords: ballet, Shakespeare, Germany, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, John Cranko, John Neumeier

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