The beautiful music of “waltz king” Johann Strauss inspired a romantic ballet about the choice between love and the stage, dreams and reality. An der schönen blauen Donau was first performed in Riga in 1957; in the 60 years since, it has been revived numerous times and has become one of the cornerstones of the Latvian Ballet. This new production is in celebration of yet another anniversary. April 2017 marks the 110th birthday of Helēna Tangijeva-Birzniece – legendary ballerina, ballet master, instructor and producer of this ballet.
A lovely young woman named Annelie and her friend, the composer Franz, live in a small city on the bank of the Danube. Franz arrives to greet Annelie on the morning of her birthday.
A famous performer is travelling through the city – Franziska, a dancer from the Vienna Theatre. One of the wheels on Franziska’s carriage breaks down right in front of Annelie’s home, and Franziska finds herself amidst the youths’ joyful celebration.
When they learn Franziska is a famous dancer, they beg her to perform at the city’s theatre. She agrees. After the performance, the enthusiastic audience greets Franziska and other ballerinas. Everyone goes to celebrate the successful evening.
Celebration is in full swing at the city tavern. Franziska is a very beautiful woman, and soon Franz is absolutely smitten with the unexpected visitor. Franziska must continue on her journey to Vienna, and she invites Franz to visit her there. Annelie sees Franziska and Franz together and is very upset.
Franz arrives to Franziska’s fancy manor in Vienna; he finds himself in the midst of a high-society ball that Franziska’s suitor, a count, has organised. Franziska is delighted to see the young composer, with whom she had fallen in love during her time in the small provincial city – and whom she still loves. Franziska must choose: a simple and peaceful love with Franz or her existing career, fame and promise of wealth if the count takes her under his wing. The decision is not an easy one, but Franziska decides to stay in Vienna and devote her life to the stage.
Franz returns to his hometown. He composes a new waltz on the bank of the Danube, inspired by the storm and lashing waves. Franz finds Annelie, his true love, and together they start their new life.