The romantic tale is based on a story by a German writer Friedrich de la Motte Fouque and involves a water sprite - Ondine - who falls in love with a man - Palemon - when she feels his heartbeat (water sprites don't have hearts ...). They marry, but she dives back into the sea. Deserted Palemon returns to and prepares to marry Berta, whom he had been courting before the sprite's appearance. Just before the second wedding Ondine reapears, and due to his unfaithfulness her kiss kills Palemon ......
The music (by Hans Werner Henze) is considered unispiring - but the choreography, especially when it portrays images of water, is outstanding.
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