John Neumeier presents the Farewell Program at the Hamburg Ballet | – Culture

Status: 04/05/2022 11:51 AM

After 50 years, the director of the world’s longest-serving ballet left the Hamburg Ballet Company. John Neumeier presented the show for its final season on Monday. The Moscow Bolshoi Ballet is also scheduled to come to Hamburg in 2023 – but with only one condition.

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by Annette Matz

Hamburg without its honorary compatriot John Neumeier as ballet director – it’s hardly imaginable. Noemeyer reiterated his decision when presenting today’s memorial program, “It is a decisive decision. I have decided not to extend my contract.” “When I came to Hamburg almost 50 years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would spend most of my life in this city,” the 83-year-old said Monday in Hamburg while presenting the remembrance programme. In 1973, August Everding brought the Native American to Hamburg.

John Neumeier wants to keep working

Of course, John Neumeier will not retire. He remains the director of the National Youth Ballet especially close to his heart. And he will do what he has sometimes yearned to do: work as a freelance artist. His schedule was already glowing when his final season ended in the summer of 2023: “The first two years are somewhat full of work orders, for creativity in many other companies.”

John Neumer’s World in Town Hall Square

Before he said goodbye, John Neumeier had been planning a lot. A gift to the city in the beginning: the Hamburg Open Air Ballet at the Rathausmarkt. On September 3rd, “John Neumer’s World” will be shown for free abroad. “In a figurative sense, it’s a kind of autobiographical dancer,” reveals the ballet director. “This means that they are excerpts from works from the past 50 years. A short text also tries to explain a little what these works have to do with my life.”

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Dancer and dancer from the Creativity Workshop © Ernst Deutsch Theater / Silvano Ballone Photo: Silvano Ballone

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“Dona Nobis Pacem” in December at the Opera

With Bach’s “Dona Nobis Pacem”, the director of the Hamburg Ballet gives his last major performance at the Hamburg Opera. On the 4th of December with Resonans. This particular choral work was in his spirit long before war and peace became the topic of the hour again.

With the traditional Hamburg days of ballet at the end of its final season, John Neumeier 2023 will truly allow itself to be torn again in terms of ballet: then there will be ballet for four consecutive weeks. 19 Neumeier Productions – A comprehensive review of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Liliom’ and ‘St Matthew Passion’.

Bolshoi Ballet . is scheduled to perform

Three guest companies closely associated with John Neumeier’s work were also invited to his ballet days: the Royal Danish Ballet with “Othello”, the Stuttgart Ballet with “The Lady of the Camellia” and the Bolshoi Theater Ballet with “Anna Karenina”.

An invitation to the Bolshoi Theater was planned before the Russian attack on Ukraine. The decisive factor is that the director of the Bolshoi Theater spoke out against the war. “As long as Vladimir Oren, director of the Bolshoi Theatre, remains, I will try to bring the Bolshoi Ballet here,” Neumir says. Vladimir Oren signed an open letter against the war in Teatr magazine in March.

Performing Bolshoi Ballet standing and falling with urine as an exit

However, Oren’s position as director is on shaky ground. Apparently, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the conductor Valery Gergiev to take over the Bolshoi Theater. And the city of Munich dismissed Gergiev, who is considered a friend of Putin, from the position of head of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. John Neumeier says that if a person like Valery Gergiev, close to Putin, took such a position, the invitation could not be accepted.

Ukrainian children in a ballet school

The Hamburg Ballet has also received inquiries from dancers from Russia and Ukraine. There is a special connection with 22 Ukrainian children who are likely to come to the ballet school. Ten children have already been accepted.

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Vladimir Putin and Valery Gergiev © picture alliance / Russian Look |  Kremlin pool

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John Neumeier smiling for the camera © picture alliance / dpa |  Georg Wendt Photo: Georg Wendt

In an interview, the head of the Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier, described the emotional state of his company in connection with the Russo-Ukrainian war. more

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NDR 90.3 | Culture Magazine | 10/03/2022 | 7:00 pm

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