Choreography John Neumeier. Music Pjotr I. Tchaikovksy.

Ballet in two acts
recommended for 12 years and older
Van Cleef & Arpels

Choreographer John Neumeier was inspired by the life and suffering of King Ludwig II for his ballet drama Illusions - Like Swan Lake. Neumeier links Ludwig’s biography with motifs from Swan Lake and uses a careful reconstruction of the second act with Lev Ivanov's step material and the "Black Swan Pas de deux". In Neumeier's production, the king escapes into the theatrical reality of a Swan Lake performance. Here he longs for redemption from his existential torment. The unfinished walls of Herrenchiemsee Castle also reappear – an image of his unquenchable longing for fulfilment and, at the same time, his prison. The breathtaking final image finally captures the existentially tragic dimension of human desire for love in all its unfulfilledness.


  • Ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsballett
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester