As part of its jubilee as well as its outstanding international activities THE HAMBURG BALLET – JOHN NEUMEIER will tour the United States from February, 1st to 19th – 2013 with two of its most renowned ballets: “Nijinsky” and “The Little Mermaid,” choreographed by American-born John Neumeier, Director and Chief Choreographer of THE HAMBURG BALLET.
“Having directed the HAMBURG BALLET – JOHN NEUMEIER for nearly 40 years, it is a very special, nostalgic moment for me, as an American, to present two of my most important works in the United States”, says John Neumeier, the world’s longest director of a ballet company.
Mr. Neumeier is an honorary citizen of Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and Northern Germany’s prime maritime location and cultural hub. Neumeier is Hamburg’s most important representative, promoting the city’s outstanding cultural landscape. The start of the compagnie’s US tour is also accompanied by Hamburg’s Senator of Culture, Prof. Barbara Kisseler: “In the year of John Neumeiers 40st anniversary in Hamburg, I am very happy to join him and the Hamburg Ballet on a visit to his home country and to our sister city Chicago. The Hamburg Ballet performances in the Harris Theater Chicago mark a wonderful starting signal for another upcoming anniversary: in 2014 we celebrate 20 years of sister city relationship with Chicago.”
John Neumeier has been officially appointed as cultural ambassador for Hamburg – a city that boasts Europe’s longest-standing People’s Opera, top-class museums and an exciting creative and music scene. For example, Hamburg is currently developing one of the world’s most spectacular, daring architectural projects: the Elbphilharmonie concert house in the heart of Hamburg’s port district. But not only lovers of classical music find a home here: After all, Hamburg is the place where the Beatles launched their career more than 50 years ago and where the Reeperbahn Festival every year in September celebrates Europe’s newcomers in pop music. In short, the city offers a various cultural landscape where the HAMBURG BALLET – JOHN NEUMEIER plays a vital part. The audiences of the US tour will be presented with Neumeier’s ballet masterpieces “Nijinsky“ and “The Little Mermaid”.
“Nijinsky“ and “The Little Mermaid”
The ballet “Nijinsky” is based on the life and legend of one of the most exceptional artists of our century: Vaslav Nijinsky experienced popularity, publicity and fame, as a choreographer he established a new direction – a dance vision pointing the way towards modern choreography. The character and destiny of Nijinsky inspired John Neumeier in 2000, for the fiftieth anniversary of the Polish-Russian dancer’s death, to dedicate him a full-length ballet. its first tour to the US, having been performed in New York and Orange County the ballet is now back to America, being performed the Harris Theater in Chicago and in the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.
Neumeiers “The Little Mermaid” was created for the bicentenary of the birth of the poet Hans Christian Andersen. It is a dramatic tale set in two contrasting worlds: The simple, underwater life of the ocean creatures and the flamboyant lifestyle of humans. The central figure of the mermaid travels through both worlds, enduring torment because of her committed love for the prince. The ballet underlines parallels to the fairy tale in the biography of Hans Christian Andersen. “The Little Mermaid” has been danced by the HAMBURG BALLET – JOHN NEUMEIER in Hamburg and Tokyo. For the first time John Neumeier will bring the ballet with his own company to the US, dancing in the Segerstrom Centre for the Arts, Costa Mesa (CA).