The Hamburg Ballet is an internationally acclaimed ballet company based in Hamburg, Germany. John Neumeier has been the Director and Chief Choreographer of the ballet since 1973 and the Ballet Intendant since 1996. His main focus has been on creating innovative, contemporary dance forms to expand and enrich the classical ballet tradition. During his tenure, he has brought global attention to the 60 person company. Now, as one of Germany's major artistic institutions, the Hamburg Ballet has become a cultural ambassador, receiving high praise from audiences and critics from around the world.
A great proponent of arts education, John Neumeier has conducted ballet workshops since 1973 in association with the company's matinee performances. In these workshops, he illuminates the historical background of his ballets and offers unique insights into his creative process. In 1975, to enhance the company's commitment to diverse programming, the company began celebrating the Hamburg Ballet-Days. This ballet festival marks the end of each season and showcases the current repertoire, features performances by a guest company and culminates with the annual Nijinsky Gala.
While the Hamburg Ballet typically performs at the Hamburg State Opera, the creative work begins at the "Ballettzentrum" in Hamburg-Hamm, which was opened in 1989. The building, previously a high school for girls, is one of the last buildings designed by the famous Hamburg architect Fritz Schumacher. This edifice has been converted into a training facility with nine studios, used by both the Hamburg Ballet and the School of the Hamburg Ballet. The school, established in 1978, trains young people from all over the world for professional dance careers.
In 2011, John Neumeier also founded the National Youth Ballet. This company features eight professional dancers between the ages of 18 to 23 and has begun work at its new home at the "Ballettzentrum" in Hamburg.